Dylan Scott’s style of country music reflects multiple influences

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Dylan Scott. Photo by Joseph Llanes

In the “About” section of country singer Dylan Scott’s website, after a brief biography, he speaks of the aspirations he has for his 2016 self-titled debut album.

“It would be nice to have a No. 1 come out of this,” he says. “But I’d love to make some noise and build the fan base level by level, just like we made this album.”

Well, there’s nothing like achieving your goal. Last year, a single off of the album, “My Girl,” took it’s mix of rock guitars, country twang, and pop hooks to the top of the Billboard Country Airplay charts, and it was actually the third Top 40 hit Scott had off the album.

“It’s crazy, to be honest with you,” Scott says. “It’s what I dreamed about. It’s what I always wanted to do. We’ve had a lot of work to get where we’re at, and it feels rewarding to be able to do it. But it’s still a little crazy to know that we’re able to do this for a living, people are coming out to see us, and they’re singing our songs back to us. It’s fun.”

Scott has the music business, and particularly Music City, in his blood. His father was a Nashville guitar ace who toured with old-school country acts like Freddie Fender, which began Scott’s lifelong love affair with classic and contemporary country.

“I heard a lot of old-school country music, and I loved guys like Keith Whitley, George Strait, and Tim McGraw,” he says. “That’s what I listened to as a kid.”

But country wasn’t the only thing Scott was into, as a quick spin through his album will illustrate. He has a good ear for polished, pop-friendly choruses, and he even slips an occasional rap into his verses.

“As I got older, I started listening to a little hip-hop, like Lil Wayne, and a little pop,” he says, “and guys like Maroon 5 and Kings of Leon. Even today, I listen to everything and try to take a little bit from it all and put it into my own music.”

And as it happens, Scott thinks that wide-ranging musical curiosity is what’s attracting fans, who have put his album into the top five on the Billboard chart and streamed his songs a stunning 330 million times.

“I just think that’s where music is these days,” he says. “My crowd is basically my age demographic, and we kind of grew up the same way. We’d listen to a country station and then flip it over to a pop station. So, I kind of know my crowd. I know what they like, which is the same thing I like.”

Scott split the songs on his album between tunes he wrote himself and songs by outside writers, but he says his goal is the same for both.

“Whether I’m writing a song or looking at someone else’s, the main question is, ‘Can I see myself performing this song onstage?’” he says. “That’s the biggest thing; can I see people relating to it as I sing it? That’s what I look for the most. It’s about a good song and how it translates to people.”

In fact, Scott, who will perform at the Blind Horse Saloon in Greenville on Friday, had so many good songs stocked up for his debut album that he had to leave some off, including a sweeping, emotional ballad called “Sleeping Beauty.” Luckily, he was able to revisit the album last year and issue a 16-track deluxe version.

“That was really cool because there were songs that didn’t make it onto the album, songs like ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Can’t Take Her Anywhere,’” he says. “They didn’t quite fit, so when we got the chance to do a deluxe version, it was perfect. It worked because I got the music out there that I wanted to put out there, and the fans loved it.”


Dylan Scott w/ John Mirenda
When: May 188 p.m.
Where: Blind Horse Saloon, 1035 Lowndes Hill Road
Tickets: $17 adv, $20 door
Info: 864-233-1381, http://www.blind-horse.com/index.html

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