Scott Alan is recognized today as a talented young composer who has brought about a transformational change to musical theatre. He wasn’t a prodigy at the age of three but then again he wasn’t far behind either.
Alan’s introduction to the world of musical theatre was Oliver, the first show he ‘fell in love with' and one that till today has a special memories for him. “The entire score is so special but I remember falling in love with Where is Love’ as a kid and singing it until my grandparents had to tell me to stop!”
It’s a long way to come for the youngster from Long Island, New York who today has musical theatre fans applauding him across the world. But for the young Scott Alan on the verge of breaking into the industry it wasn’t always like that: “When Dreaming Wide Awake came out, everyone laughed at me for even trying to put myself out there but I believed that deep in my heart, my music was meant to be heard and I worked night and day to raise the funds to put that first album out”. And the hard work certainly has paid off with Alan rapidly rising to the ranks of one the music theatre world’s most talented young composers.
Through the success of his debut album, Dreaming Wide Awake and the classic hits Home, I’m Away and Never Neverland, Alan has transformed the last ten years of musical theatre repertoire with his masterpieces. His latest album Keys featuring the much loved song The Distance You Have Come has gained him fans across the globe, and not least in Australia.
Looking forward to the Broadway to Brisvegas concert proudly supported by the Harvest Rain Theatre company Alan is humbled by the appreciation of his Australian fans: “I know how incredibly lucky I am to have anyone in Australia know my work, so to meet that world ... it's amazing to me. That's what excites me most.”
While most fans will proclaim how joyous and uplifting Alan’s music is there is a depth to the songs that reflects how a talented artist channelled his own emotions to create something beautifully radiant, even if that was as far as possible from how he was feeling at the time. In particular Alan remembers his parent’s divorce: “That was the first defining moment the first time that I needed an outlet to speak about what I was feeling and used my words and voice to do so. There have really been so many other moments too: falling in love, falling out of love, yearning for love, feeling alone and isolated but also moments of depression and feeling unworthy.”
Unknown to many of his fans, Never Neverland, one of Alan’s most popular songs was actually written after a very low period of his life but perhaps it’s because of that he finds it “wonderful to discover how people find so much pleasure despite the history of how some of the music came to be”.
Young and inspirational, Scott Alan is an exemplar for other aspiring composers and his advice to them all is the same: “I always tell everyone to follow their heart. Believe in yourself and in your work. I often get letters asking me to listen to a song and tell them if it's good enough. The truth is, who am I? You don't need me. I didn't have anyone. At the end of the day, the only person you can really trust is yourself. Listen to your heart and follow what it tells you. Everything else will fall in to place.”
Scott Alan performs at the Brisbane Powerhouse, September 3, 2010. Details»