Kim Scott: Behind the Beats
Each week we'll take you 'Behind the Beats' to learn more about the artists that play on our airwaves. This week: Kim Scott.
Kim Scott’s current single “Back Together Again” has been hanging in the top 5 on several national charts this past month, further solidifying her as a top-level smooth jazz artist. I got a few moments with Kim this week and we talked about experiencing this recent success, as well as her journey as a recording artist.
It’s been about ten years since your debut album. Tell us about some of the things you have learned along the way.
Wow, Allen, it has been a beautiful journey! I can hardly believe ten years passed so quickly, but I've grown so much and learned a great deal about the business. The biggest lessons I've learned are to stay authentic in who I choose to be and what I choose to say as an artist. Some feel they need to be mainstream to gain an audience or respect in the business. I refuse to adopt that mindset and feel that my musical voice is best expressed playing styles that I love and that feel good to me. For me, that's blending my classical background with jazz as all of my music degrees and training are in classical music. I'm blessed and thankful that the world loves the music I create! I've also learned that in order to be successful in the music business, I must be knowledgeable about the business itself. From how to market myself, how to successfully secure royalties, how to handle contracts, and how to professionally represent myself in the best light, this knowledge has been so important and helpful. Any significant challenges?
There have been a couple challenges, but nothing detrimental. One challenge is trying to maintain the balance between being a wife, mom, school administrator and performing artist in both classical and jazz. That's a lot to juggle! Outside of my home life, I'm Director of Student Support Services at Alabama School of Fine Arts, and in addition to hitting the jazz stages, I play with the Tuscaloosa Symphony. It sounds like a lot and it is, but it all works out and makes for a very interesting and beautiful life!
I am seeing a giant resurgence for the flute as a lead instrument in smooth jazz over the past few years. How does it feel to be one of the driving forces of this recent focus?
It feels great, Allen! It's such an honor to help bring the flute back to the main stages in jazz. Along with others like Althea Rene and Ragan Whiteside, my goal is to represent the instrument as best I can to prove that it's a powerful and relevant instrument in this genre. And, I'm honored also to show that women are a force to be reckoned with in this industry. Our musical voices need to be heard and we have so much to say. I'm happy to see jazz venues and festivals begin to program more female artists on their rosters. I hope this continues to improve as well! Tell us about your work with the supergroup “Jazz In Pink”.
I've had the honor of sharing the stages with Jazz in Pink for several years now! I believe my first performance with them was in 2012. Since then I've graced many stages with them from Catalina Island JazzTrax Festival to Lake Arbor Jazz Fest. It's amazing to share that stage with so many powerful, talented, beautiful and bright women. We empower each other and especially the women in our audiences, showing them that women do have a place in this industry. You’re also a radio host! Tell us about that part of your career.
Yes, Allen, I'm the host of Kim Scott's Block Party Radio Show! It's a weekly 2-hour syndicated jazz radio show on terrestrial and internet stations across the US and London! We're in over 30 markets and have been on the air for almost 7 years. I call it "the hottest jazz party on the airwaves," and have the pleasure of featuring the top artists/hits in jazz, in addition to music from independent artists that people need to know about! I absolutely love hosting the show and never thought it would be something I'd be doing in my career. How did you get started playing the flute?
I grew up in a musical household and music was a daily part of our lives! Both my parents play instruments and were even in a band (The Dynamic Soul Machine) signed to Stax records back in the day! My mother was a music teacher and made sure my two brothers and I played instruments and exposed us to all types of music. I started playing piano and violin at the age of 4, then moved to flute in the 5th grade. Once the flute touched my hands I knew that was the instrument for me! I was totally obsessed with it and knew I'd be doing it for the rest of my life. I was one of those kids who knew very early on that I wanted to be a professional musician and I did everything I could to learn as much as I could about the instrument and music itself. I went to fine arts schools, summer music camps around the country, studied privately, and even received degrees in flute performance and pedagogy. Any advice for up and coming musicians?
Yes, never stop learning and evolving! When we get comfortable and complacent, we stop growing. Also, I would encourage up and coming musicians to take learning the music business as serious as they take their playing. It takes a great mix of the two to have long term success. Lastly, have a good attitude and be professional in all you do. That good attitude and professionalism will allow you to have more experiences and opportunities than you would if you have an ego and can't show up to the gig on time! What is on the horizon for you?
I have a new single coming out in August and it's a collaboration that will take the jazz world by storm! I won't spill the beans just yet, but it's exciting! Also, my 5th album is almost complete and will be released on the Innervision label Feb. 2022. Shouts out to them, to ASL Music Media and Promotion (Adam Leibovitz), and to my amazing team! In addition, I'm back to performing and have lots of dates this season! I look forward to seeing my fans again in person and am ready to have some fun!! I absolutely love what I do! Thank you for the opportunity to have this great conversation with you, Allen, and thanks for the support of my music and career all these years!
Get the latest news and info from Kim Scott on her website.