Rhode Island based artist Scout Lyons is an independent pop/punk singer with a stylish and colorful ambiance. She is a champion of the message to live fearlessly without worry of being judged or criticized. Scout Lyons’ music includes inspiring anthems with blasting, vibrant hooks, along with in-your-face lyrics to connect with anyone who has never quite fit in.
After suffering significant health issues while being raised in a musical household, Scout Lyons was destined to apply both aspects to a career in the music industry. As a rising star, she has successfully brought the pop/punk genre back to life after having massive popularity in the early 2000’s, but fading a bit with the rise of electronic pop later in the decade.
Her latest debut single “Do My Thang” is a reflection of her giddy and take on life, but also inspires others to be confident and self-accepting. That release was accompanied by a music video filled with vibrant production and energetic, groovy dance moves — a definition of her personality.
In her latest interview in Like A Boss Girls, Scout Lyons preaches the self-acceptance mentality, summarizes her interests outside of music (including acting and the film industry), and the empowering messages reflected in her lyrics.
Your name: Scout Lyons
Currently based in: Rhode Island
Originally from: Rhode Island
I’m an adrenaline junkie. I think my fearlessness and extremely impulsive nature has to lead me to do so many incredible (and sometimes dangerous) things; i.e., skydiving, dancing onstage with the GoGo’s, and sneaking onto a movie set and getting a job.
I think part of my fearlessness comes from the fact that I was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 11. I had surgeries and treatments. When you go through all that at such a young age, it gives you a real perspective on life, and it gives you a “don’t think, just do it” mentality.
Biggest pet peeve:
People chewing loudly. It’s cringe-worthy.
Favorite 90s jam?
“Wonderwall” by Oasis. I love any 90’s punk jam.
What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of music?
Acting and film-making, I’ve had the pleasure to work on a lot of films, both in front of the camera and behind. I love it — it’s another passion of mine.
Also, anything to do with animals. For as long as I can remember, animals always surrounded me. I volunteered at my local animal shelter. I traveled to Thailand a few years back to work with rescued elephants and tigers, too.
I also like surfing and just being at the beach. I have severe OCD and anxiety, so the beach is like my nirvana and I play in the sand like a little kid. Political activism has also been a big part of my life, especially with all the shit that’s going on now — it’s so important that people are speaking up and letting our voices be heard.
I really like skating (both roller and boarding). Fashion designing, too. I like weird stuff, so department stores aren’t my thing. I’ve always been into thrift store shopping and customizing. Hanging with my mommy, she’s the actual best, and I do everything with her.
Meditation is something that I got into when I was sick, and it truly helps me. You need that moment to just be and feel clarity.
If money wasn’t an issue, what would you love to splurge on?
A restored vintage Hippie Bus. I’ve always wanted to cruise to the beach with all my girlfriends in 70’s VW Bus. A Vibe!
What is a quote or piece of advice that you try to live by?
“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” — David Bowie
“Tubthumping” by Chumbawamba. For me, it’s relatable of because I get knocked down a lot, but I get up again. I generally believe no one’s going to keep me down.
If you could live anywhere else in the world right now, where would it be?
Palm Springs, CA is my favorite place in the universe. The desert gives me life, and I feel so free there. I love it. It’s such a creative atmosphere with so much inspiration.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
Yes, 100%. I was always putting on shows for my family and prancing around in costumes singing. One of my earliest memories is writing my first song “PB&J” about my favorite lunch at the time with my little sister. We were very proud of that one and still are.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is the perfect blend of pop and punk; kind of an early 2000’s vibe. My music is fun, but if you listen to the lyrics closely, it has something to say.
What are the main themes or topics in your songs?
Being different, missing the innocence of being a child, female empowerment, calling out others, and occasionally telling the world to “suck it.”
As a whole, what is the message you hope to put forth with your music?
Not fitting in is something I struggled with all my life. I honestly feel like an alien most of the time, and I want my music to speak to anyone who has been called a “freak” or “weirdo.” I try to connect and find sanctuary in my music. I want people to play my music, flip their fingers up to the world, and feel happy and free while doing so.
Who are some of your favorite artists/which artists are your greatest musical inspiration?
My parents raised me at concerts, and I have a super eclectic taste in music. I’m infatuated with the Flaming Lips, Wayne Coyne is such a genius, I love Queen, the J. Geils Band, The Go-Go’s, Pat Benatar, Kesha, The Spice Girls, Metro Station, Of Monsters and Men, Social Distortion, Jackson Browne, the Mighty Mighty Boston’s, Avril Lavigne, Amy Winehouse. Anything 90’s punk too — Simple Plan, Blink 182, Sum 41.
I was raised on Tom Petty’s music— my family and I would rock out to Petty every summer since I can remember. I’ve been really into Macklemore lately, and have had a girl crush on Miley Cyrus for forever because she is a queen. David Bowie is my biggest inspiration. He’s always spoken to me, and I was able to connect with him. “Space Oddity” was my anthem during my treatment days, every day venturing into something scary, but I always knew I’d be alright listening to Major Tom’s journey.
Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with in the future?
It would be a dream to write a song with Miley Cyrus; I think she is a true songwriting genius.
How do you feel your music evolved since you first started as a group or solo artist?
I only just started in the studio, so the most significant evolution for me is actually having production added to lyrics. I’m learning about all the aspects and technical points of a song.
Do you play any instruments, and if so, which ones?
Yes! I’m a drummer. I haven’t played in a bit because it been all about my vocals, but I love to play!
Who writes your songs?
I’ve been lucky in the sense that I’ve gotten to work with some incredibly talented songwriters. “Do My Thang,” I co-wrote with two gifted songwriters/musicians; Shaun Lichtenstein and Mark Roberge, who produced it as well. I’ve also got some musically talented friends that I’ve written with. We do jam sessions!
What do you do or where do you go when you need to find inspiration for your music?
I reflect on experiences, both good and bad, from my past. I have a billion notes on my phone because sometimes you’re just walking in the grocery store then a random burst of creativity happens and you’ve got a cool lyric you need to get down right then and there. Sometimes I lock myself in my room and just free write, anything and everything, relevant to what I intended to write or not. I can usually make something of it.
Where do you see yourself 30 years from now?
My heart is really in Los Angeles, so hopefully I’m there with a lot more music released and maybe a Grammy or two. Also, singing and acting. Living with lots of dogs and my family. Either that, or I’m a bum living on the beach begging for change. I vary between the two.
What is a project you’re currently working on that you are most excited about?
Right now I’m actually on a band hunt which is fun and exhausting. It’s exciting because I’ve never had a band and once I’ve got one together I’ll begin touring regionally. My favorite thing is performing live and interacting with audiences, so I’m stoked.
What has been one of your favorite performances of all time?
I just recently had my first headlining show, and it was just perfect. I played at Fete Music Hall, and the crowd was epic. I felt so good — my vocals were on fleek, and every note felt fantastic. People were singing along, and it was pure magic! I even had the DJ, who was “Mister Bear” in the “Do My Thang” music video, put on the bear suit and dance around in the crowd.
What stands out as one of your worst/most horrifying performances of all time?
I’ve been fortunate that nothing too horrifying has happened. That being said, I’m still early on in my career.
What is one thing that you have accomplished as a musician that you’re most proud of?
I’m so proud of my single “Do My Thang.” I worked so hard on it. Having my real words available to anyone willing to listen across the globe is just surreal. I think it’s an empowering anthem and I’m proud of how my vision came to life.
Share a story of a time you screwed up in your musical career and how you recovered.
I screwed up very recently. I dropped my video before it was supposed to be released. I checked my YouTube and saw the video was uploaded, and I didn’t read that it was unlisted. So, before talking to the studio, I started promoting it like crazy. I was completely unaware that we weren’t supposed to release it until the day after. It all turned out perfectly fine though. We just rolled with the punches.
What do you see as one of the most significant challenges facing your industry today?
I think media is an asset and a hindrance to creative people. You can showcase your work quicker; however, you’re subjected to so much backlash and so many beauty and life standards earlier than ever before. It can affect you negatively when you’re always comparing and being compared to others.
Are there any resources you have discovered that have been an asset to you as a musician that you’d like to share?
Steereo has been an incredible asset to me, being a new independent artist. It’s helped me reach people that typically wouldn’t have even heard of me. I think the internet, in general, is a big help. As an artist, you can upload a video to Instagram, Twitter, etc. and with the right hashtags, millions of people could see it. It’s wild.
Were there any other band/performer names that you almost chose instead?
I’m lucky in that I’ve already got a pretty radical birth name! Scout Lyons is my real given birth name (my parents are fans of “To Kill A Mockingbird”), so there was no need for a stage name.
If you weren’t a musician, what do you think you’d be doing (job/career)?
That’s a tough one because I don’t envision myself doing anything but this. I guess I’d be diving more in-depth into the film industry, possibly doing more screenwriting or maybe college.
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