Arts & Entertainment

Country Newcomer Finds Music Chart Success

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At the end of this month, Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island will be transformed into a country music fan’s dream.

The country music festival Country LakeShake, formerly known as Windy City LakeShake, will be returning to the outdoor concert venue for its third year. This year’s three-day music festival will feature 34 acts in total, with Thomas Rhett, Miranda Lambert and Rascal Flatts headlining each of the three days.

In addition to performances from these top country acts, the festival has also put together an impressive lineup of opening acts including some of the genre’s top up-and-comers. Dylan Scott, a Louisiana native and one of country’s fastest growing names, will take the stage on the final day of the festival.

The PHOENIX spoke on the phone with the “My Girl” singer-songwriter about his rise in the music industry and future projects.

Scott said he was inspired to enter the industry by his father, who played acoustic guitar and sang background vocals for artists such as Freddy Fender and Freddie Hart. For the 26-year-old, there was no question that he wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps.

I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Whether or not it would happen, I didn’t know. But that’s what I wanted to do,” Scott said.

For the then-aspiring artist, it did happen — and rather quickly. Scott moved to Nashville when he was 19 years old and signed a record deal with Curb Records that same year. In 2014, he released a self-titled debut EP, but didn’t get much airplay until the following year when he and Curb Records started releasing new singles.

In 2015, “Crazy Over Me” became Scott’s first song that landed him on Billboard’s Country Top 40 chart. It was at this point Scott said things started feeling real.

“I got a top 40 single on country radio and that was like, ‘Wow, that’s the real deal. We made it in the top 40.’ And now we’re sitting at top 10 on the charts,” Scott said. “It’s cool to see things go from absolutely nothing to what they are now.”

The top 10 song Scott referenced is his current hit “My Girl.” The hit, which Scott said took a few hours to write and subsequently catapulted his career, was almost never released.

“I almost didn’t record this song because it’s such a personal song for me,” Scott said. “It’s basically my wife and I’s love story. When I wrote it, I thought to myself, ‘Nobody wants to hear my love story.’ And so I didn’t record it for a while. Then some people got their hands on the demo that I did of it and they were like, ‘Man, you’ve got to record this.’”

In addition to its success on the charts, “My Girl” now has more than 33 million listens on Spotify and nearly 17 million views on the music video posted to YouTube. For Scott, getting to this point in his career was no easy feat.

“It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not going to happen next week. It’s not going to happen next month,” Scott said. “You have to put a lot of hours into it and a lot of time away from home and just be patient and continue to grind and, you know, good things will happen.”

With a full summer tour schedule, a deluxe edition of his first album set to be released this summer and a Christmas album in the works, Scott’s career shows no signs of slowing down. Despite his success, the country artist described himself as the same person he was when his journey in the music industry started.

“No matter what happens, whether we go No. 1 with the next album or song, it doesn’t matter,” Scott said. “I’m just a down-to-earth, real guy. I put my heart and soul into my music and hope that people enjoy it.”

Three-day general admission passes to Country LakeShake are available for $225 and single-day general admission passes cost $99.50. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.lakeshakefestival.com.

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