In 2016, Louisiana native Dylan Scott earned his first no. 1 hit at country radio with the double platinum-certified ‘My Girl’, and soon followed it with the platinum-certified Top 5 hit ‘Hooked’. Equipped with the success of the hits under his belt, in 2019 he paid tribute to the artist that inspired his career path, with a seven-song EP entitled An Old Memory (A Keith Whitley Tribute). Though Whitley died in 1989 - over a year before Scott was born - he says hearing hits like ‘Between an Old Memory and Me’ and ‘I’m No Stranger to the Rain’ is what really drew him to music.
“I was the kid growing up where we'd go to a bonfire and someone would say, "Dylan, play a song". If I wasn’t writing my own music, I was listening to Keith Whitley. I didn't have a ton of albums by different artists, but I heard them on the radio".
Scott’s father was also a musician, playing on the road for artists such as Freddy Fender and Freddie Hart. Between his love of country music and hearing his father’s stories from his years out touring, Scott knew he was destined to follow the family lineage into music.
Last year, Scott found his smooth romantic tune, ‘Nobody’, reaching its way to the pinnacle of country radio. Now, he’s aiming to follow the song’s success with his latest, ‘New Truck’, which puts a fresh coat of paint on a time-worn topic.
“It was just different,” he says of hearing ‘New Truck’. “I know it's another country song about a truck, but it's written about a guy and his girlfriend. After they break up, he's still finding the hair ties and pictures of her in the truck. He’s trying to forget about her, but he can't. In the end, he’s like, ‘I need a new truck to do that.’ I just love the story of it. We’ve all been there at one point in our lives, so I'm pretty sure everyone can relate to it.”
The break-up anthem offers a hint at the new music Scott has already wrapped up for a forthcoming full-length album. “It’s completely done and hopefully will be out in the first quarter of 2022,” he reveals.
Summing up his approach to the new project, Scott reflected, “I just wanted to record great songs, whether I wrote them or someone else did. I wanted to make an album that allows me to hopefully stay in the business for a long time and make music. I feel like this is the best music I’ve released.”
“We’ve grown in the past few years, and the music has too - I’m married, I’ve got kids, that changes you as well. I'm not a big partier. There’s not a ton of party songs on this album, but there are still some really fun, up-tempo songs that talk about life and I think it's just very relatable to people.”
As Scott readies what he hopes is one of the most impactful projects of his career, he spoke with Holler about some of the songs and albums that have had the greatest impact on his own music for Cuts The Deepest.
We have to start with Keith Whitley. This is the song that made me learn how to play the guitar; the one where I sat on the end of my bed for hours and would work out how to play the chords. I used to imagine myself at the Grand Ole Opry, playing that song. I've actually done that song several times at the Opry now - it's a dream come true.
I grew up listening to all his stuff. I still play 'I Like It, I Love It' in my show to this day.
I think this is one of the most cleverly written songs I've ever heard in my life, just personally. You’re just not expecting it, but the verse talks about how she’s not what you like - ’I like blue eyes, but hers are green,’ you know? She's not the girl of my dreams. She's not this. She's not that. She's so much more. So good!
My dad taught me that song when I was three. Even at that age, I knew what I wanted to do: play music. My dad played music and I wanted to be like him. No deep album cuts or anything, just music I grew up listening to.
I didn’t have a lot of albums growing up, to be honest. I would go to Walmart and they used to have single cassettes with two songs on them, so I used to buy a lot of those - my parents didn't have enough money to buy full albums. But this was the first full album I ever got. It was a present for Christmas when I was five or six years old. I remember hearing ‘Ten Feet Away’ and not knowing what it meant lyrically but falling in love with the melody. I was definitely a die-hard Keith Whitley fan.
'New Truck' is out now via Curb Records. Listen to the track below.