Darius Scott — a Team Pharrell competitor from season nine of NBC’s The Voice — discovered his passion for music by keeping his father, a Baptist minister and harmonicist, company in the front seat on their frequent road trips.
Those sacred moments listening to hours of soul and gospel music with his dad led to Scott releasing “Big Brave Man,” his gospel-flavored major debut single that pays homage to his dad, on Father’s Day. Accompanied only by a piano, the singer, songwriter and musician delivers a tender, breathy (at times falsetto) vocal performance paying homage to his father that matches the essence of both Stevie Wonder and Philip Bailey.
It took a year for “Big Brave Man” to take shape.
“I was getting to a good place on my project, and this song just interrupted me,” the 28-year-old raspy-voiced entertainer said. “I thought about what perspective would be most impactful, and it’s a story about my father from various points in my life. I really hope ‘Big Brave Man’ touches people like it touched me, and I hope it gives people a therapeutic moment that they might need.”
Scott originally planned to drop “Big Brave Man” via Instagram to commemorate Father’s Day. He was urged to release it as a single. “I just wanted to write an honest song,” he said, “and there aren’t a lot of songs about dads in my immediate memory. I probably will never see Father’s Day the same or at least until I become a father and have people celebrating me, so I felt my first offering should be in his honor.”
Now based in Chicago, Scott returned to his hometown, Atlanta, to make his directorial debut for the music video to “Big Brave Man.” Shot at his mother’s home, the multi-talented creative staffed an all-black production crew. He cast his younger cousin to portray him and one of his uncles to play his dad.
“It was beautiful to be there,” says Scott, whose grandfather was a director of photography for Paramount Pictures. “My family has seen how I’ve grown, developed, and in some ways, struggled to become a professional musician, so it was important for them to be there. I felt really good about it; it feels really honest.”
The independent artist behind his 2014 self-produced gospel set Masterpiece and its 2018 electro-R&B follow-up YOUNG always knew he had it in him to pursue a career in music. When Scott was a teenager, his dad built him a recording studio in their basement. Landing a corporate gig with Neiman Marcus prior to appearing on The Voice, Scott luckily conjured up enough support from his employers over the years to chase his musical aspirations.
“I’ve been let go from jobs, but it’s been so I could go and pursue something larger,” he recalls. “I’ve had great bosses that have let me go from things so that I could go audition for Broadway. I had to tap in and figure out how I was going to do it. Every professional job I had, I’d have to leave because musicianship was calling me or I was let go because I’d be trying to pursue something musically on the side.
“Support was always there, and I always knew I’d end up here,” adds Scott. “I took a lot of detours. My father, in particular, knew before anyone that I would end up being a professional musician and pursue my passion. He had the faith and believed it would happen for me.”
Scott has landed writing and production credits with Pharrell, Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Nicki Minaj, YEBBA, Randy Newman, Mark Ronson, Kirk Franklin, Kim Burrell, BOSCO and Peter CottonTale. Since he signed to a music boutique last November, Scott has been hard at work on his EP and even landed a big film placement he’s tight-lipped about.
“I feel like I have the humility down,” he said. “I didn’t always have the confidence to be my true authentic self. Being around all of them revealed that there could be this type of balance.”
“Big Brave Man” will hopefully be one of the launching pads for Scott to become a household name past his growing list of writing credits and time on a talent competition series. Going forward, Scott hopes he can share the same support his dad gave him to help the next generation of artists.
“Hopefully, when I’m 40-years-old, I’ll be an executive in this business, and I’ll be able to help people who have big visions and dreams bring those things to reality,” Scott said. “I feel like I’m part of a generation of future music executives and executive producers. It’s taking that next step. I still have dreams of a corporate office where I can help people create things. I appreciate them taking a chance on me and hope that I don’t disappoint.”