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 won Breakout Artist of 2021 and we interviewed her in our annual BEATS magazine. Check out the magazine article below but keep scrolling for the extended version of our conversation including questions we asked her for our 'Flutes on Fire' interview with Ragan Whiteside and Althea Rene.
Read the rest of the BEATS magazine here.
Kim, “I’m Every Woman” peaked at #1 on Billboard this month (December 2021). How does it feel?
It feels wonderful and I'm so honored to receive the recognition! I can't believe this is my third #1 Billboard hit and I give all the glory to God for this accomplishment! This milestone is for the team and I couldn't have done it without some amazing music colleagues who supported my vision! Thank you to Phil Davis who produced and arranged the song, to Althea Rene and Ragan Whiteside for their amazing features on the song, to Kelvin Wooten for recording and mixing, and Steve Hall for mastering. Also, thank you to Adam Leibovitz with ASL Music Media and Promotion for US radio promotion and to The Sundial Agency for publicity! This one is also for all the women and young girls who desire to create music and break into the industry! We're proof that it can be done and we encourage them to get out there be fierce doing it!
How did that collaboration come about?
The collaboration idea was one I’d had a couple years ago, but I didn’t move on it at the time. The idea resurfaced last year when I developed a very strong conviction to champion women in the arts and empower them to be bold and unapologetic! I also wanted to address the music audience’s comparison of myself, Althea and Ragan as flutists. I recognize that we each have a unique gift and our own signature style and sound. I wanted the world to have a chance to celebrate that with us instead of comparing us!
By choosing Chaka Khan’s women’s anthem, I wanted to capture each of us in our own way as we celebrate being dynamic women musicians! I’m so honored and grateful that Althea and Ragan said yes to the call. I also enlisted a good friend of mine in the music business to help with my vision, producer Phil Davis. I shared with him my idea of three powerhouse flutists on one track. He and I mapped things out and it came out beautifully! We had a blast putting it all together and we’re so excited the world loves what we did with the song! It showed that there is no competition between myself, Althea and Ragan; only respect and our obvious love of the music and the flute!
Your single “Back Together Again” was the #2 song for all of 2021! Congratulations! Tell us about the inspiration behind this tune.
The inspiration behind "Back Together Again" came to me during the pandemic. We were maybe 3 to 4 months into the pandemic when I had a strong desire to write something upbeat, powerful, and inspiring with regards to people coming back together again after months of isolation from family and friends. I contacted Greg Manning and asked if he'd collaborate with me and we very quickly crafted the spirited tune. I knew once we completed it that people all over the world would feel the love, joy, energy, and spirit that we were trying to capture! Ironically, I had the title before Greg and I even wrote the first note, so the melody was totally driven by the message. I don't take any accolade for granted, and again, I'm so honored that "Back Together Again" has inspired the world in this way.
What else can we expect from your forthcoming CD “Shine”?
I'm so excited for the world to hear the new album! It's such a bright light that was birthed during the pandemic, and it is a feel-good, spirited, album that people can enjoy and groove to. There are 10 tracks on the album and I'm proud to say that I co-wrote 8 of the tracks. I've been wanting to write more, and the time at home seemed to be just the remedy. There are a few features on the album from artists like Jonathan Butler, Blake Aaron, and of course Althea and Ragan, so it was wonderful to collaborate with others in the business who I admire and appreciate. One of my favorite tracks on the album is the title track, "SHINE!", which I co-wrote with Adam Hawley. After we finished writing the tune, I had to make it the title track because it such a bright light and will bring so much joy and hope to the listeners. Another favorite on the album is my flute-filled cover of Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly". Cool story about how that came about: I took on an Instagram challenge for the song and there were so many positive comments about my interpretation that I had to record my own version. Kelvin Wooten produced the cover, along with other tunes on the album, and it is absolutely stunning! The album will be released Feb. 4th!
Tell us how you got started playing the flute and what influenced your career choice to enter
the smooth and contemporary jazz field.
I grew up in a musical household where music was a part of our everyday lives. My mother is a retired music educator and a very talented pianist and vocalist. While my dad is not a musician by profession, he has a beautiful singing voice and played saxophone for many years. In fact, before I was born my parents were in the band “Dynamic Soul Machine” and were signed to Stax records. They were quite amazing and you can still hear their records today!
My mother taught me piano at the age of 3, then violin by the age of 5. By the time I started 5th grade and was able to be in the band, I chose the flute and it was the happiest day of my life! I became obsessed with the instrument and practiced every single day. I knew I wanted to do something that involved playing the flute for the rest of my life. For years I took private flute lessons, went to a performing arts high school to study classical music, then on to college to receive a Bachelor’s in Music Performance and a Master’s in Pedagogy and Performance. After college I took a job at a performing arts school, my alma mater, to teach flute and conduct the orchestra. During that time I also performed classically as a soloist around the world and even won a seat with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra of which I still perform with to this day. Ten years in, I decided that my love for classical flute and jazz needed to be merged and I began pursuing a different path. That’s how my debut album evolved in 2011 and why that album’s title is “Crossing Over”. Now, I’m releasing my 5th album, “SHINE!”, in 2022 and I haven’t looked back! I’ve been blending my love of flute, classical music, and jazz into my own signature sound and I’m so honored that the world is inspired by it!
Kim, you are also a radio DJ. Tell us about Block Party Radio.
Yes, I’m the host of Kim Scott’s Block Party Radio Show! It’s a two-hour weekly syndicated
program showcasing the best in today’s smooth, contemporary, and Latin jazz. We call it the
hottest jazz party on the airwaves! It’s playing in over 30 markets across the US and London, and we’ve been on the air now since 2015! I love hosting the show because I not only get to feature the top jazz artists on the airwaves, but I take pride in also showcasing independent artists and female artists that people need to know about. Shouts out to all the faithful listeners of the show and to all the stations and networks who continue to support it!
This past year, there have been more new singles released than in any year previous. The three of you have blazed a very nice trail for the flute as a lead instrument and for women as solo artists. However, I still see a pretty wide discrepancy between the number of releases by male artists compared to females. How do you feel it is going and how might we encourage and discover more female jazz artists.
I believe things are beginning to improve slowly, but surely. I’m starting to see more women
releasing music and receiving recognition for their hard work. I do believe the playing field in jazz is uneven, but talented women musicians like Kayla Waters, Cindy Bradley, Jazz in Pink, Jazmin Ghent, and us three flutists are doing our best to change that. I encourage more women musicians to step out and make themselves visible! The world needs to see and hear your beautiful talent! That visibility can help increase the demand for more women on the airwaves and can inspire the next generation of female jazz artists.
How does it feel to be playing in front of audiences again?
It feels absolutely amazing! I’ve missed my fans so much! Playing for them virtually for almost two years doesn’t compare to the energy and love experienced live from the stage. There’s nothing like it! It’s such a personal experience shared between me and the listeners that I will never take for granted. I look forward to all the performances coming up in 2022 now that we’re getting back to normalcy!
What are your plans for 2022?
As of right now, there are no plans for another flute collaboration and that’s okay because we gave it our all with “I’m Every Woman”. We have no regrets! I do have a new album entitled “SHINE!” coming out in February of 2022 and I’m very excited about that! I’ve co-written 8 of the 10 songs on it, having written with Adam Hawley, Greg Manning, Kelvin Wooten and others! As you know the album features Althea and Ragan, but it also features Jonathan Butler and Blake Aaron. It’s a beautiful, uplifting and downright funky project, and I’m excited for everyone to hear it! Also, I have lots of upcoming performances in the US and abroad, and I’d love for everyone to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up with me. They can subscribe at www.kimscottmusic.com. Other than that, everyone can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok and Twitter @kscottflute!