There were only so many professions available growing up in the small Louisiana community that raised rising artist Dylan Scott.
His hometown is Beekman, Louisiana, a 15-minute drive north from the nearest small town, Bastrop. For years, the area’s primary employer was International Paper until the company closed its local mill in 2008.
Folks driving through Bastrop always knew they were getting close to town when the smell of paper pulp would fill the air.
“Where I’m from,” Scott tells CMT.com, “you’re either farming, or you go work offshore oil rigs, or you work in a mill somewhere. Growing up, I had my fair share of summer jobs working in paper mills, construction jobs, roofing houses and what not. That’s just what you do. You grow up, you get married, you have kids, and you work at a paper mill or wherever you can to support your family.”
Scott is one of those rare types of people who knew their calling at an early age. All he ever wanted to do was go into the family business — music. As a child, his father was often on the road playing guitar for Freddy Fender, Freddie Hart and other country acts and would come home with epic tour stories from Nashville and beyond.
“I was 16 when Taylor Swift came out,” Scott said. “And I was thinking to myself, ‘Well, if she can do it, why can’t I go do it?’ And my dad told me back then, ‘It’s not an overnight success.’ That kind of goes with everything. Nothing is an overnight success.”
After graduating from high school, Scott did make the move to Nashville, and Music City has been home ever since. But no matter where life takes him, Louisiana will always be in his heart.
“Louisiana’s home,” Scott said. “Don’t get me wrong — I love Nashville. Nashville is home now to me. I’ve been here now for seven years. But anywhere I’m at, home is Nashville and it’s Louisiana. That’s where I was for 19 years of my life and that’s where my family still is. There’s always going to be a piece of me there, for sure.”
Scott has been on the road nonstop since the August 2016 release of his self-titled debut on Curb Records. Online, he’s a viral sensation, with his latest single “My Girl” garnering more than 29 million Spotify spins to date. Others like “Lay It onMe,” “Makin’ This Boy Go Crazy” and his lead single “Crazy Over Me” have been played on Spotify up to 11 million times, and he sees those numbers translate to big audiences at his live shows.
“It surprises me every time I get onstage,” he said. “Three or four years ago, we went to Montana and played for 12 people. Now we’re playing anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 people. Some people are driving three or four hours to our shows, and it kind of blows my mind, to be honest with you, because knowing where I’m from and how I grew up, for people to spend their hard-earned money to watch us play, it’s crazy.”
He returns to his home state for a performance at the Bayou Country Superfest in New Orleans on May 26, two days before his first wedding anniversary with his wife Blair. The couple started dating in high school and tied the knot back home in Bastrop on May 28, 2016.
“‘My Girl’ is about my girl,” Scott said of his latest hit. “It’s about my wife. I was 15 and she was 16 when we started dating. When I sat down to write this song, I wanted to write about stuff that we did together and all the things I get to see in her that nobody else is going to pay attention to but me. I’ve been with my wife for 10 years now. People ask what inspires my music, and it’s definitely her.”
Scott will take his brand of country to several musical festivals this summer starting Friday (April 29) at Stagecoach in Indio, California. He’s also scheduled to appear at the Windy City LakeShake in Chicago on June 25 and Summerfest in Milwaukee on July 2.