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"Long Time Comin'" - Vân Scott | Review

I mean it is clear at this point that we love Vân Scott on Unheard Gems and his newest single "Long Time Comin'" is no exception.

I love Vân Scott's lyrics. When you listen you feel the story and can find elements to relate to no matter who you are. His voice is so unique and has the pop artist catchiness but this power-house tonality that he busts out. The track is obviously filled with emotion and tells a story of an uphill battle. It is so empowering to hear this sort of narrative so beautifully done in pop music.

"“Long Time Comin” is an emotionally charged, 80s-imbued anthem. It’s one of a handful of songs from the album that I wrote during a very productive and inspiring trip to Nashville in 2019. We weren’t writing for me specifically, but I realized later just how autobiographical this song was. Spiritually and mentally, I was on the up and up, following my rebound from a long period of depression and doubt. I could recognize that the funk was finally “slippin’ away,” and that “the rock bottom” was now behind me. The synth/guitar solo that Chad threw down on this song is still one of my favorite musical moments on the album, if not ever. You can actually feel your spirit soar with the melody, which is both liberating and heartbreaking. This track almost summarizes the album itself with its hopeful, yet melancholic quality."

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 that began with a recording session at Capitol Records in 2008 for Disney's High School Musical 3 soundtrack. Since then, 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, Mulan, Jurassic World, and Sing, been a featured singer on ABC's Black-ish and The Goldbergs, and has performed as a background vocalist for The Voice, to name just a few of his credits. Now, with the release of his first full-length solo album, Almost Gone (AWAL / Oat Brand Music), Scott’s ready to bring the spotlight directly onto himself and put his musical talent and songwriting skills front and center.

Scott began releasing singles and videos at the end of 2019 while finishing songs for the album. 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 that I spent with Rodney where we talked for hours about production philosophy,” says Scott. “I played him several demos that day and he gave me some tips on how I should approach the production.” “As for Mike,” says Scott, “I used to meet with him pretty regularly at his studio to share my latest demos. He helped me uncover more of my own unique voice and gave me invaluable feedback while introducing me to obscure artists I’d never heard of for personal inspiration. Eventually, I reached a point where I walked in with my first three singles off the album, and we both knew it was time to record and share these songs.”

All of the songs on the album were inspired by deep conversations he had with family and friends about their feelings, relationships, circumstances, as well as his own personal experiences. “Tough Love” is a candid appeal for a true friend. “I was stuck in some pretty unhealthy patterns in my life,” says Scott, “and I was secretly longing for someone to help snap me out of it. This song is that cry for help; for the hard facts; for tough love.” The emotional “Die Young” sheds light into the shadowy corners of Scott’s mind, revealing his fear that he won’t live long enough to experience life’s biggest milestones. “It’s a bit morbid, I know,” says Scott, “but I’ve always had the hardest time imagining myself very far in the future. I’ve actually been surprised to hear from fans how I’ve helped articulate something they felt too but could never put into words. And that’s a really special thing.”

With the 2020 pandemic year, Scott kept his focus on releasing new songs and videos. “Poster Boy” is a confessional ong about a challenge he faced at his job overseeing music at his church where he was often revered; a situation he was never comfortable with. “I was put on a pedestal,” Scott explains. “I was constantly treated like I could do no wrong, and that’s a dangerous place to be. I felt like I had to play a role and hide my flaws, and so it was hard to be myself. ‘Poster Boy’ calls out that unhealthy expectation of perfection, whether self-imposed or brought on by others. It’s meant to give the listener permission to be human, since mistakes are inevitable for us all.” “Starry Eyed” was inspired by Scott’s best friend coming out to only him and the isolation he felt while being the sole guardian of his friend’s secret. One night, feeling particularly alone and overwhelmed, Scott retreated to his studio in hopes of finding some sort of catharsis. “Before I knew it, my feelings existed in sonic form,” says Scott. “The main theme of the song though is about sticking together through hard times.”

Sincere and true to himself, Vân Scott’s journey has only just begun. He’ll release three more singles ahead of his album release - the appropriate, “What’s Coming Next?” written by Scott out of frustration and anxiety about the future, “Long Time Comin”, written after Scott experienced a long period of depression and doubt, and “Don’t Know The Words,” a song that pokes fun at himself but also serves as a metaphor for having no idea what you’re doing in life. And this summer, Scott will move to New York City, after being selected as one of only forty people from around the world, to take part in Berklee College of Music’s new Master of Arts in Creative Media and Technology at BerkleeNYC where he will specialize in Songwriting and Production. The program is headed up by Will Wells, a Grammy and Oscar-nominated writer, producer, and performer.

Even though Scott still leads music at his church when he can, he quit his full-time job in 2018 to fully devote himself to becoming an artist. “There was a time when I thought I wanted to become a CCM artist but that all changed when I discovered U2. I saw real beauty in how that band wove spiritual power into their songs. There’s a kind of next-level creativity and poeticism that it takes to pull a thing like that off, to the point where people respond so passionately on a global scale.” Like his musical influences Coldplay, John Mayer, Mutemath, and ‘70s icons, like Elton John, David Bowie, and Freddie Mercury, to name a few, Scott hopes that his music encourages others to embrace who they are, and to be their best self. “I want people to feel less alone, and to be reminded that there are plenty of other people out there that share their same worries and fears. I want them to feel better understood and have a stronger sense of belonging. I want them to have hope and to be inspired to be the best version of themselves. I think that people will discover this through my own vulnerability, and I hope that they’ll be able to see and discover more of themselves within my songs.”

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