"Undoubtedly one of the USA’s hidden gems...
[Vân Scott] clearly has a
gift for writing songs..."
- Gig Goer
"...it's hard to understand how he's somehow avoided the limelight as long as he has. His talent is unstoppable..."
It's "Vân Scott's time to step out of the background!"
Many people around the world have heard alt-pop singer / songwriter Scott Oatley aka Vân Scott’s voice, but they probably didn’t know it. As a sought-after singer in the Hollywood session scene, Scott has had the chance to perform on some of the industry’s most well-known projects. Since his first professional recording session as part of the High School Music 3: Senior Year cast, he’s had the opportunity to sing for renowned film composers like Danny Elfman and Michael Giacchino, sung on blockbuster scores for La La Land, Jurassic World, and Sing, been a featured singer on ABC's Black-ish and FOX's The Simpsons, and has performed as a background vocalist for The Oscars and The Voice, to name just a few of his credits. But now, Scott has turned the spotlight on his own artistry, putting his multi-instrumental talent and songwriting skills front and center.
Vân’s latest single “Taylor (not the name of my guitar)” echoes the nostalgic melancholy that has come to define his sound. What began as his first homework assignment for songwriting class at BerkleeNYC became the backbone for a retrospective sophomore album that looks back on love lost. Listeners were swept into the story of a “perfect love affair” that went sour after Scott’s ex dumped him to date his best friend – a detail that all but guarantees an outcry from the crowd at Vân live shows. “Taylor'' is the third song from Scott’s upcoming full-length project titled Songs I Never Wrote (Because They Would Have Been About You). It follows the September release of the infatuating and upbeat “Impress You'' and October’s lonely sad boi anthem, “Long Long Time.” The remainder of the album will continue to be released gradually, song by song, before culminating in its final LP form later this year.
Scott’s next single “Ticket to Waco'' (out Apriil 27) is the second chapter in the “Taylor'' saga, and is about the struggle in deciding whether to fight for someone or let them go. “I never told anyone this, but I bought a plane ticket to go see my ex so that I could try to win her back,” Scott shares. “I’m a hopeless romantic so it seemed like a grand gesture that could change the whole picture. But I never ended up going. Ultimately, I figured she had moved on and I would seem desperate or psychotic for showing up at her doorstep. Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if I had boarded that flight.” Scott has been diving even deeper into the stories behind his songs with blog posts on his website, exclusive to his newsletter subscribers.
Years later, in 2023, Vân Scott’s “Texas Tea'' Tour (inspired by his SXSW showcase in Austin) finally afforded him the opportunity to revisit Waco, a place now haunted by the bittersweet memories of his past. “I remember going with her to see my favorite band, Mutemath, at the Common Grounds stage – a little detail that I slipped into the second verse of the song,” Scott explains. “It was strange to be back there after so long, walking alone through the coffee shop when it has existed so perfectly immortalized in my mind as a time of my life when I was with someone and the love was palpable.”
Scott decided to document his return to Waco with a visualizer video that follows him from local staples like Lover’s Leap to his personal favorite, Katie’s Custard. “At this point, it’s all about good storytelling, and I want my audience to be able to put themselves in my shoes,” says Scott. “I’ve held on to so many aspects of my love life as secret wounds, but now I’m finally letting go of them, sharing my stories as songs. The coolest part is that it hasn’t just been healing for me. After playing many of these songs live for crowds over the past year, I’ve been able to hear other people’s stories of similar struggles. And there’s a mutual comfort in knowing you’re not the only one dealing with pain and insecurities in love.”
Vân has already begun his regional touring of the US this year, continuing as he did last fall when he hit the road for his first ever tour with 16 shows across 8 cities. The bicoastal “Look Mom, No Vân!” Tour was in partnership with Sofar Sounds, playing intimate, grassroots shows across California and the Northeastern US to music lovers with an affinity for artist discovery. They are the lucky few to have gotten a sneak preview of the songs and stories yet to come in 2023. In addition to his Sofar shows, Vân Scott has an April residency at Hotel Ziggy in Los Angeles for Grant Owen’s We Found New Music showcase, before traveling to NYC for work, including a performance at the iconic Bitter End on May 9.
A recent graduate from Berklee School of Music’s inaugural Songwriting and Production Master’s program at BerkleeNYC, Scott chose to spend his time at school focusing on his next major artist project, a sophomore album. As part of the program, Scott studied and recorded at the legendary Power Station Studios in Manhattan, under the direction of Will Wells, a Grammy and Oscar-nominated writer, producer, and performer. While still a student there, Scott’s single (and Track 3 from his debut album) “What’s Coming Next?'' was declared the Overall Grand Prize winner of the 2021 USA Songwriting Competition. The decision to start afresh across the country in order to formally study his craft was a bold and focused move that now enables Vân Scott to be a bicoastal writer, producer, and performer.
Vân Scott began releasing singles and videos at the end of 2019 while finishing songs for his debut album, Almost Gone (AWAL / Oat Brand Music), which came out in July of 2021. During the recording process, he was fortunate enough to be mentored by influential music producers Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and Mike Elizondo. “There was one afternoon I spent with Rodney where we talked for hours about production philosophy,” says Scott. “I played him a bunch of demos that day and he gave me tips on how I should approach the productions.” “As for Mike,” says Scott, “I used to meet with him pretty regularly at his Tarzana studio to play my latest demos. He always gave me invaluable feedback and helped me uncover more of my own unique voice, at the same time introducing me to obscure artists I’d never heard of for inspiration. Eventually, I reached a point where I walked in with my first three singles off the debut album, and we both knew it was time to record and share those songs.”
Sincere and true to himself, Vân Scott’s journey has only just begun. Although Scott left the Big Apple to make Los Angeles his home again in 2023, he continues to foster his bicoastal relationships and fanbase with collaborations and touring stints that promote each new release. Like his musical influences Coldplay, John Mayer, Mutemath, and ‘70s icons, like Elton John, David Bowie, and Freddie Mercury, Scott hopes that his earnest songwriting encourages others to embrace who they are, and to be their best self.