William Scott
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William Scott

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"Reviews soul — Wednesday, 26. April 2006"

William Scott-
Who’s Afraid of William Scott?

Regular readers of jazz-not-jazz certainly know my desire for music that moves more than your body, for music with a political message. And an album that offers more than one political alibi track these days seems to be as rare as humane working condition in Chinese sweatshops. Well, Who’s Afraid Of William Scott is one of these rare albums that combines a message with a fresh blend of soul, R&B, hip hop and pop which at its best evokes memories of soul music’s halcyon days and Stevie, Curtis, Donny or Marvin.
William Scott labels his music as FreeSoul. Maybe it’s free because he’s proud to be black and gay and he isn’t afraid to mention this in his songs (namely Invisible Man). As most fans of black music may know there are quite a few gay singers/musicians but most of them are still in the closet and can’t be seen like invisible men, because they think they may lose their fans, sell less records, lose their record contracts, lose their friends (the term friend is used very loosely here because a real friend would of course stay through thick and thin) or whatever when they’s come out of the closet. So the late Sylvester is still the first who comes to people’s mind when talking about gay black artists. Maybe it was/is still easier these days to be open with your sexuality in the disco/dance music genre. It’s certainly harder in the more homophobic world of hip hop.
However, with the recent announcement that Sony Music launches a gay record label it looks like someone told them that gay people have a lot of money to spend. And with the rootkit desaster we all know how devoid of scruples Sony BMG Music is when it comes to making money. Maybe if CBS/Columbia would’ve come up with a gay label in 1969 (there was no Sony record label back then) it would’ve been innovative and maybe helpful for gay liberation. But in 2006? This is just a silly move from an almost dead dinosaur to make more cash.
Anyway, William Scott has released his debut album Who’s Afraid of William Scott? independently and thus had not to have meet any obligations but could decide freely what he wanted to sing about (another reason to call it FreeSoul).
The album starts with the soulful and pleading Mr. President. As a German, who doubts that just a change in the government without replacing the head himself is sufficient, I guess I rather don’t comment the line “Dear Mr.President we need a real change in the government/ Cause too many lives are spent on war please listen to my two cents“. All About Love is an inspiring uplifting soul song with a message straight out of the 70s (”If we are the higher species then/ Why is it boggling me that/ We can’t see what they see we can’t find a way to love/ Forget all the trivial stuff and/ Love whats inside of us/ So we can spread love to all man“). Act Like is a funky and catchy longing for the good ol’ days when black music actually had soul. In some way this is the musical translation of the article What the F**k Happened to Black Popular Music? by Kenny Drew, Jr.
You Are A Star is a soulful uptempo song with a slight house flavour and an uplifting message. William wrote this song in the awareness “that many people, minority groups such as African Americans and Homosexuals have not been affirmed by society [and] to give us that affirmation and self worth.”
Songs like Revolution or Do It with their hip hop/R&B sound show that William Scott is musically really versatile and don’t want to be pinned. Although musically these songs miss the point for me (and the readers of jazz-not-jazz certainly know about my general problems with rap, urban and today’s R&B). But luckily things get deeper and soulful with tracks like Soul II Soul, Repetition, a beautiful song with just William and an acoustic guitar, or the midtempo delight More To Life. The albums closer, the downtempo soul/rock of Death To The Poet, is another winner and wouldn’t be out of place on an album by Carl Hancock-Rux.
All in all Who’s Afraid of William Scott? is an impressive and musically diverse debut and finally a much-needed album with a political message.

Tracklisting of Who’s Afraid of William Scott?: 1. The Dedication/ 2. Mr. President/ 3. All About Love/ 4. Act Like/ 5. Invisible Man/ 6. You Are A Star/ 7. Revolution/ 8. Little Drum and The Devil/ 9. Do It/ 10. Soul II Soul/ 11. Repetition/ 12. Hold On/ 13. More to Life/ 14. Death to the Poet/ 15. Freedom | released 2005 William Scott Davison
Dirk Binsau - Jazz-not-Jazz.com (Apr 26, 2006)
- Jazz-not-Jazz.com


"Reviews soul — Wednesday, 26. April 2006"

William Scott-
Who’s Afraid of William Scott?

Regular readers of jazz-not-jazz certainly know my desire for music that moves more than your body, for music with a political message. And an album that offers more than one political alibi track these days seems to be as rare as humane working condition in Chinese sweatshops. Well, Who’s Afraid Of William Scott is one of these rare albums that combines a message with a fresh blend of soul, R&B, hip hop and pop which at its best evokes memories of soul music’s halcyon days and Stevie, Curtis, Donny or Marvin.
William Scott labels his music as FreeSoul. Maybe it’s free because he’s proud to be black and gay and he isn’t afraid to mention this in his songs (namely Invisible Man). As most fans of black music may know there are quite a few gay singers/musicians but most of them are still in the closet and can’t be seen like invisible men, because they think they may lose their fans, sell less records, lose their record contracts, lose their friends (the term friend is used very loosely here because a real friend would of course stay through thick and thin) or whatever when they’s come out of the closet. So the late Sylvester is still the first who comes to people’s mind when talking about gay black artists. Maybe it was/is still easier these days to be open with your sexuality in the disco/dance music genre. It’s certainly harder in the more homophobic world of hip hop.
However, with the recent announcement that Sony Music launches a gay record label it looks like someone told them that gay people have a lot of money to spend. And with the rootkit desaster we all know how devoid of scruples Sony BMG Music is when it comes to making money. Maybe if CBS/Columbia would’ve come up with a gay label in 1969 (there was no Sony record label back then) it would’ve been innovative and maybe helpful for gay liberation. But in 2006? This is just a silly move from an almost dead dinosaur to make more cash.
Anyway, William Scott has released his debut album Who’s Afraid of William Scott? independently and thus had not to have meet any obligations but could decide freely what he wanted to sing about (another reason to call it FreeSoul).
The album starts with the soulful and pleading Mr. President. As a German, who doubts that just a change in the government without replacing the head himself is sufficient, I guess I rather don’t comment the line “Dear Mr.President we need a real change in the government/ Cause too many lives are spent on war please listen to my two cents“. All About Love is an inspiring uplifting soul song with a message straight out of the 70s (”If we are the higher species then/ Why is it boggling me that/ We can’t see what they see we can’t find a way to love/ Forget all the trivial stuff and/ Love whats inside of us/ So we can spread love to all man“). Act Like is a funky and catchy longing for the good ol’ days when black music actually had soul. In some way this is the musical translation of the article What the F**k Happened to Black Popular Music? by Kenny Drew, Jr.
You Are A Star is a soulful uptempo song with a slight house flavour and an uplifting message. William wrote this song in the awareness “that many people, minority groups such as African Americans and Homosexuals have not been affirmed by society [and] to give us that affirmation and self worth.”
Songs like Revolution or Do It with their hip hop/R&B sound show that William Scott is musically really versatile and don’t want to be pinned. Although musically these songs miss the point for me (and the readers of jazz-not-jazz certainly know about my general problems with rap, urban and today’s R&B). But luckily things get deeper and soulful with tracks like Soul II Soul, Repetition, a beautiful song with just William and an acoustic guitar, or the midtempo delight More To Life. The albums closer, the downtempo soul/rock of Death To The Poet, is another winner and wouldn’t be out of place on an album by Carl Hancock-Rux.
All in all Who’s Afraid of William Scott? is an impressive and musically diverse debut and finally a much-needed album with a political message.

Tracklisting of Who’s Afraid of William Scott?: 1. The Dedication/ 2. Mr. President/ 3. All About Love/ 4. Act Like/ 5. Invisible Man/ 6. You Are A Star/ 7. Revolution/ 8. Little Drum and The Devil/ 9. Do It/ 10. Soul II Soul/ 11. Repetition/ 12. Hold On/ 13. More to Life/ 14. Death to the Poet/ 15. Freedom | released 2005 William Scott Davison
Dirk Binsau - Jazz-not-Jazz.com (Apr 26, 2006)
- Jazz-not-Jazz.com


"Who’s Afraid of William Scott?"

OUT Magazine

William Scott
ARTIST RITES Enterprises

Don’t be fooled by the title of William Scott’s new CD, Who’s Afraid of William Scott? A big teddy bear of a man with a voice so smooth you can skate across it, Scott doesn’t intimidate easily, but he is hard to ignore. The Detroit singer-songwriter-producer’s soulful songs about erasing racism and homophobia have such rich melodies and progressive vibes that it’s virtually impossible not to get drawn into his musical social activism. Scott’s versatile vocals echo Luther one minute (“Mr. President,” “All About Love”) and, with a switch to rhythmic rap and funky falsettos, Prince the next (“Act Like”). As with most of the 12 other tracks—a tapestry of tunes Scott calls “FreeSoul”—“Act Like,” a hip-pop ode to the Soul Train era of the ’80s, is an instantly likable jam about a time when Jheri curls and learning how to “pop” and “lock” were our biggest concerns. Even more impressive is “Invisible Man,” which experiments with unconventional melodies to create one of the most original, catchy pro-gay anthems to come along in quite some time. Though the between-tracks sociopolitical skits on his eclectic disc are commendable, their impact pales in comparison to the one made by his songs. (Available for purchase at (www.cdbaby.com/williamscott)
- OUT Magazine


"Who’s Afraid of William Scott?"

OUT Magazine

William Scott
ARTIST RITES Enterprises

Don’t be fooled by the title of William Scott’s new CD, Who’s Afraid of William Scott? A big teddy bear of a man with a voice so smooth you can skate across it, Scott doesn’t intimidate easily, but he is hard to ignore. The Detroit singer-songwriter-producer’s soulful songs about erasing racism and homophobia have such rich melodies and progressive vibes that it’s virtually impossible not to get drawn into his musical social activism. Scott’s versatile vocals echo Luther one minute (“Mr. President,” “All About Love”) and, with a switch to rhythmic rap and funky falsettos, Prince the next (“Act Like”). As with most of the 12 other tracks—a tapestry of tunes Scott calls “FreeSoul”—“Act Like,” a hip-pop ode to the Soul Train era of the ’80s, is an instantly likable jam about a time when Jheri curls and learning how to “pop” and “lock” were our biggest concerns. Even more impressive is “Invisible Man,” which experiments with unconventional melodies to create one of the most original, catchy pro-gay anthems to come along in quite some time. Though the between-tracks sociopolitical skits on his eclectic disc are commendable, their impact pales in comparison to the one made by his songs. (Available for purchase at (www.cdbaby.com/williamscott)
- OUT Magazine


Discography

In 2006 William Scott independently released his debut album “Who’s Afraid of William Scott?” which sparked consciousness and controversy because of it’s refreshing sound and daring subject matter regarding race relations, the loss of cultural history and homophobia in the African American community. The album quickly gained attention from several newspapers and magazines such as, The New York Times, The Michigan Chronicle, Between The Lines Newspaper, and two consecutive issues of Out Magazine. Currently several track's from "Who's Afraid of William Scott?" are being played in the UK and locally on WHPR 88.1FM, WGPR 107.5FM and FM98 WJLB. William also wrote the theme song "That's What's Up!" for the FM 98 WJLB talk show featuring "Serena Dee" and Fox 2's Anchorman "Charles Pugh."

Photos

Bio


William Scott is a silky soul musician who
openly shares his experiences, views and hopes through his music. Drawing on various traditions of Prince, Donny Hathaway, Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye, William Scott creates a powerful, musical union of soul, love and concern. William’s silky voice has warmed the stage for R&B recording artists,”Monifah,” “Case,” “Dru Hill” and
“Gladys Knight.” William was also 1 of 2 featured vocalist chosen out of 2,000 Detroiter’s to perform at the grand opening of “The Detroit Lion’s Ford Field.” As a songwriter he is featured in the movie “Two Weeks Notice,” with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant. He has written for artists such as “Bell Biv Devoe,” “Monifah,” “Next” and worked with producers, The Buchanan's (Jay Z), Steve Pageot (Grammy Award Winner), Adeka “D” Stupart (3LW, Kelly Rowland), China Black, Red Head Kingpin, Keith Krouch (Brandy), Doug E. Fresh and many others.
In 2008 William was selected as a finalist on the most watched television show around the world, “American Idol.” He was 1 out of 29 chosen to go to Hollywood from Philadelphia where 20,000 people auditioned, the most to audition in any one city in the seven year history of the show. He went on to be selected as one of the “Top 50” out of 112,000 candidates that auditioned across the country that year.

To view a live performance from William Scott click this link or copy it to your browser:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii08DYI3V7Q