Scott Avery Releases Debut Vinyl EP “Child Self”
Detroit-based musician Scott Avery has dropped his debut project, Child Self, a four-track EP that interprets “dance” music from a place of wanderlust, play, experimentation, and unencumbered curiosity today. An homage to innocence and the source of his creative expression, “Child Self represents a juncture in my personal history, a moment of reflection as I consider the roads which have led me to the present.”
What inspired you to start making music?
Believe it or not, I started making music in early 2018, when my father passed away. A few months later, stuck on an airport tarmac, I came across a music-making app. I opened it and just started playing around. Having made something I liked, I played it for my partner, Aleiya, who has a very discerning musical perspective, when I saw her that night. She was encouraging but not moved, per se, which sent me on a mission to improve to gain her admiration. Later that summer, after the inaugural edition of Detroit Art Week ended, I got serious. In January 2019, I bought my first synth, a Korg Volca Drum.
What is the first memory of music – as a child- you have?
I grew up in North Philly in the early 80s, so music was everywhere. As my dad was also a DJ, I used to watch him perform at cookouts, birthday parties, and other community events. His record collection was vast, and he always had the latest gear.
In addition, I would run errands with my grandmother (on my dad’s side), and she would ask me to name the instruments in the songs that played during our long drives. Honestly, I cannot remember a moment as a child when music was not playing.
What are the challenges or obstacles you’ve overcome to release this project?
This journey has been a long one. To begin with, I am not familiar with music theory. I sent the first version of Child Self to my engineers for mixing and mastering (who I had never worked with before), and they sent it back to me saying, “dude, everything is in the wrong key, and there is no sub-bass; we can’t work on this.” Devastated, I pleaded with them to work on one song, and that song became “Child Self,” the title track.
I always intended to release the EP on vinyl; I felt digital wouldn’t be enough after enduring so much. The problem was pressing plants either refused to take on new clients or had an insane waiting list. As luck would have it, I developed a friendship with Selwa Abd, aka Bergsonist, and she put me in touch with Dietrich Schoenemann, who made the vinyl EP possible through Archer Records. My vinyl record would not exist without Selwa’s enthusiasm and support.
Who are inspiring musicians or DJs that have impacted you?
DJs were an integral part of my childhood. When I was in high school, I was the guy who carried records up and down the stairs. My dad inspired me, as did my friend DJ Statik (aka Mr. Sonny James), DJ Cash Money, Rich Medina, King Britt, and in New York, DJ Spinna. In terms of musicians, there are too many to mention, but Mad Mike Banks comes to mind.
Has living in Detroit influenced you?
Absolutely. Everyone knows how much I love Detroit. I am honored to be considered a “Detroit-based” anything. Philly is a great city, but growing up there was rough. New York satisfied my Type-A, hustla supreme mentality. Detroit is where I can express myself creatively.
Has this always been something you’ve dreamed about?
Not at all. Until about five years ago, I was still trying to figure out how I would support my family. The ability to make music is a privilege.
Did you ever think based on your career to date that you would release a sound project?
Absolutely not. I never imagined that I would make music. When I was young, I danced at parties; I was a B-boy for a while, and I enjoyed listening to great music. At that time, I never envisioned I would make music. So whatever prompted me to download that music-making app was spiritual. Mike Banks refers to this as ancestral DNA.
What’s your favorite part of this project so far?
I enjoy sharing the music with people I respect and seeing their reactions. The tracks are all different, but they somehow make sense together as a body of work. Last but not least, I appreciate the message it sends that we can learn new things no matter our age.
If you could open up for anyone, who would it be?
Do you have plans for live sessions or DJ sets/ performances in the near future?
I do. Live performances, though. DJing is not in my plans. Because there are so many incredible DJs out there, and because I come from that world, I know what it takes to be exceptional. I prefer to go to my studio and turn knobs.