Scott Quinn is one of those people who simply lives and breathes music. It’s in every facet of his existence, and always has been – right from those first moments as a child, when he was drawn towards the family turntable.
“It’s always been in my life, whether I was listening or playing,” he explains. “I was always encouraged. If we were ever interested in anything then we were supported in it, and music was just one of them.”
Born with an aptitude to playing music, Scott first focussed on the double bass – winning national championships, and even touring China. His natural ability, though, meant that he didn’t quite appreciate these achievements. “I didn’t practise enough. I felt a bit bad, really. It’s more of a natural ability, because I can’t read music, I always played by ear. I’m pretty good at it, so I can pretty much listen to any piece of music and play it. Which I think has been a real benefit to me.”
Forming a band at high school with a number of friends seems to have unlocked his interest in songwriting – they toured both locally and nationally, winning radio support in the process. Gaining entry to Leeds College Of Music, he was told he would have to submit an EP’s worth of material – from scratch.
“I did it in the back room of my house,” he recalls. “I had two weeks ‘til deadline so I just locked myself away. It’s all borrowed gear. It was very DIY at that point.”
The material, though, rapidly proved to be something quite special. Intelligently crafted pop music, the sumptuous, R&B drenched production is matched to some impeccable, highly motive songwriting. Remarkably mature, the music recalls everyone from The Weeknd to Nat King Cole, with Scott Quinn allowing his influences to billow out without fear of judgement.
Placed online as the ‘Lust Game’ EP, it became a viral success – the web loved it, and Radio 1 hammered it. For Scott himself, it’s a rather personal evolution: “I’ve written songs all my life, but it’s been the last year that I’ve kind of discovered my ability as a writer, and that’s why I’m comfortable playing it to other people.”
Almost continually working on new ideas, the songwriter has helped turn his studio in Harrogate into a creative hub, writing for many of the artists over at Ont’ Sofa, the highly successful YouTube channel and record label. Aside from these creative endeavours, Scott also advocates the importance of good mental health (focusing on the music industry) via his MAD (Music And Depression) campaign, run alongside HELP Musicians UK.
“I guess it’s quite a natural thing for me,” he insists. “I was always going to be in music. Any job I’ve ever held – minus one, when I worked in an ice cream shop – has been music-related to some degree.”
With a base he feels comfortable in and rising artistic confidence, Scott Quinn is blossoming into an unstoppable talent. New single ‘Delicate’ is another stunning step forward, with his mellifluous voice backed by strong, tasteful production. Finely honed, it feels incredibly exact but was actually composed within the space of a few hours.
“It usually starts with a piano chord sequence, or a melody. And then I just play. It’s a really natural thing for me,” he says. “I’m big on hooks, I’m big on memorable melodies. But I give myself a bit of a time limit. If I haven’t really got anything down within a couple of hours then I move on as I don’t think you should force it. I’ve learned to trust my judgement.”
An artist whose work boasts impeccable pop immediacy and a real sense of depth, Scott Quinn has every right to trust his judgement – and perhaps you should too.