- Marlee Scott
Megan Cheung for Front Page Media
“I was always a ham as a kid,” says the animated, rising country artist Marlee Scott.
She remembers dancing in home videos and recording songs with her childhood band, The Mermaids. At age 10, with her first tape recorder and three years of guitar and voice lessons under her belt, she wrote and recorded seven songs with her sister and friend. Fast-forward to the present day and The Mermaids have long since disbanded, but the 25-year-old Canadian remains an entertainer at heart.
Raised in St. Albert, Alta. and based in Nashville, Scott stopped in Ottawa earlier this week to promote her new single, “Beautiful Maybe.” Written by accomplished songwriters Marcus Hummon, Tia Sillers and Tania Hancheroff, the polished track showcases Scott’s effortless voice and relays an inspirational message about hopes and dreams – something she said anybody can relate to. The feel-good song also speaks volumes about her “big dreams” for a career in country music.
- Marlee talking with our interviewer Megan Cheung
Though she recognizes she still has a long way to go, the confident singer has found some success at home and abroad. Last year’s release “Here to Heaven” was a Top 20 hit in Canada and Australia and Scott was a Rising Star nominee at the 2010 Canadian Country Music Association Awards. The catchy “Beautiful Maybe,” released in Europe a few months ago, is topping charts and sitting at No. 2 in England and Belgium.
“I’d love to get an opening spot on a tour down in the States or up here. I’d love to go overseas…I want to say, ‘I’m coming tomorrow!’” exclaimed Scott. “I live to be on stage.”
Her passion for performing is apparent, as she breaks into song not once, but twice during the interview. Eager fans, though, will have to continue to wait to see the talented singer in concert. Lately, she has been too busy working on her third album.
“This is the big one. This is the big wham,” Scott said of her work-in-progress. She last toured with Emerson Drive back in 2009.
With a possible release date in early 2012, her upcoming album will feature mostly outside music. Her self-titled, second album (2008) had 10 songs – nine of which she co-wrote.
“I just fell in love with these songs from these other writers. I fell so hard for them that I couldn’t give them up and I couldn’t say, ‘Well, I’d rather do my stuff.’”
Live versions of “Planet Of Your Own” and the album’s next single “Train Wreck” are already available online. In videos from her U.S. radio tour, she may only be armed with her acoustic guitar, but these songs are full of sass and spunk.
“I love surprising people. It’s fun to be a little different than everybody else and I think the record’s going to stand out. It’s a little edgier and it’s got almost a bit of rock undertone. But there are some killer ballads on it that just rip your heart out of your chest.”
- Marlee Scott and her manager Gerry Leiske in the background
Scott is also not afraid to embrace the pop potential of her songs. In the U.S., a dance remix of “Beautiful Maybe” can be heard in country clubs and the song has sparked its own line dance.
“I’m a fan of all styles of music. I love pop music. I love dance music. I love rock. I love country. So it’s fun for me to hear my stuff get almost ‘pop-sized.’”
She may be branching out on this “emotional rollercoaster” of a record, but she hasn’t forgotten why she chose to make country music in the first place.
“I love that country music is real. It talks about real life situations and stories and it says something.”
She penned “Love Hating You” a few years ago and it tells how she plays “mean” tricks on a fictional girl who has done her wrong. She also worked with Marcus Hummon to write “Kiss Coming Home,” a song about being on the road and having that special person to come home to. Both songs will appear on the upcoming record.
For now, listen for “Beautiful Maybe” on your local radio station to hear what she has to offer. While The Mermaids won’t be making a comeback, and the male members of her backing band are likely to reject the title, Marlee Scott is optimistic about her future – and she doesn’t need to share the spotlight.