EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Canada has given country music some pretty amazing female singers over the years. Anne Murray, Shania Twain, k.d. Lang and Terry Clark just to name a few. But it has become pretty clear to Nashville.com who will be the next break out star from our neighbor to the North. Born in Ontario and raised in Alberta, Marlee Scott knew what she wanted to do from a very young age. She released Souvenir in 2005 and Marlee Scott in 2008, both solid albums, but her latest effort, Beautiful Maybe, which was just released last week, lifts her to a whole new level. Broader content, from break-ups to love to suicide combined with world class song writers like Desmond Child, Blair Daly, Marcus Hummon, Hillary Lindsey, Aimee Mayo and Troy Verges will make Beautiful Maybe the album that puts this 26-year-old singer on the map. Scott recently sat down with Nashville.com to tell us about her new album, and her plans for world domination in country music.
Nash: So tell us how your singing career got started.
Scott: Well I was born in Ontario and I moved to Alberta when I was six. It’s kind of like the Texas of Canada. There’s a lot of farming, wheat and canola. It was kind of natural for me to be exposed to cowboys and country music because it’s so present there. There was nothing that I wanted to do other than be a singer. So after I graduated, my mom and I went around Alberta and played a bunch of tiny fairs and festivals for nothing, just trying to be seen. I ended up doing a record but I always wanted to move down here and have success here and in other countries. I always joke and say I want world domination in country music. But I think Nashville is where you need to be if you want to do that.
Nash: So Beautiful Maybe is your third album tell us how this is different from your first album.
Scott: This is my first American release which is definitely a big deal for me. I’m considering it almost like my first record because I think I’ve really come into my own as an artist musically, and stylistically, I know where I want to be and what I want to sing about. It’s definitely more mature than the projects I’ve done in the past. I did my first record when I was 18 so I’ve done a lot of growing up since then. I think there’s something for everyone, which was really important to me when I was picking songs.
Nash: You wrote or co-wrote every song on most of your first and second albums, but you only co-wrote two on Beautiful Maybe, why?
Scott: I just fell in love with so many outside songs. They beat what I was writing. I’m not ashamed to say that.
Nash: Marcus Hummon produced Train Wreck and Jane Doe. What was it like working with him?
Scott: Working with Marcus Hummon was like a dream come true for me. I can remember listening to God Bless The Broken Road, Ready To Run . . . and Born to Fly was one of my staple songs when I was in bar bands and doing talent contests. It’s funny to be working with him now. It’s like, pinch me. I remember when I first wrote with him I was so scared but within five minutes it was like I was with an old friend. He’s just such a genuine guy.
Nash: Vince Gill makes a guest appearance on the song Train Wreck. How did that come about?
Scott: Vince Gill is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met in this industry. For him to sing on this project was like “He’s actually going to do it?” He’s a legend in not just country music but music in general. I listened to him as a kid and every year we listened to his Christmas record. When we were in the studio doing the song, his name came up but we didn’t think he’d do it because I’m a new artist and he’s Vince Gill. But my manager knows him, so it took a while but he tracked Vince down and Vince said “Let me hear the song.” He called back and said “I like the song, I like Marlee’s voice, I’ll do it.
Nash: You do a cooking webisode series called “Make It or Bake It”. Are you a “foodie”?
Scott: I wouldn’t say I’m a foodie but I love to bake. I like to cook too but baking is my stress reliever. It’s just a great way to be creative in another form. I grew up baking with my mom when I was a kid. She actually pulled us, me and my sister, out of school one year to bake Christmas cookies. We hadn’t had time and we do it every year so she told the school we were sick or something. So it’s just kind of in my blood. The webisode started with me bringing food around to different radio stations when we were visiting them. Every episode I wear a different themed costume. It’s on Youtube, just search Marlee Scott “Make It or Bake It,” and you’ll find it. You’ll see that I don’t take myself very seriously.
Look for Marlee opening up for Blake Shelton this summer. She will perform the national anthem live on ESPN at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen on Aug. 12. and make sure you check out her new album, Beautiful Maybe. Just click here to listen or buy.