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Signing Story: Scout Durwood

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New-York-to-Los Angeles transplant Scout Durwood embarked on her music career with the exploration of several inconspicuous channels: standup comedy, cabaret singing and burlesque. When a Los Angeles label recognized her vocal talents, a new phase of her career was spawned.

“When I came to L.A., my burlesque and cabaret singing transitioned into straight standup,” Durwood recalls of her evolution. “[Fellow performer] Sabrina Chap visited from New York and suggested that we put up a music show at Hotel Café. It’s then that I realized I wanted to concentrate on singing.”

Several weeks passed and she was cast in the biographical musical Original. “It’s based on blues musician Janiva Magness,” the singer explains. “Her label Blue Élan came to the show. Afterwards they approached me, asked what I did and I told them I was a comedian. They said, ‘Well, you can clearly sing.’” A two-record deal was soon locked in.

“They’re an artist-forward label,” Durwood observes. “The music industry has gotten very big. Blue Élan makes it so that you can be a working artist and still put forth an album.”

When the label made its offer, Durwood was in the midst of a career transition. “Standup was a lot of fun, but it was always a bit of a mismatch,” she says. “Blue Élan gave me an opportunity to do a record that’s comedy, but the music has a lot of integrity. There hasn’t been much of that—if any at all—in comedy. As a comedian, you get excited when you find time to be serious. That’s what this record is for me. It’s like a one-woman show on an album. The songs themselves aren’t jokes, but they’re cheeky.”

"[This label] makes it so that you can be a working artist and still put forth an album."

Durwood will star in an upcoming MTV show, to which she’s been able to contribute at least one song. She was also featured in Oxygen network’s Funny Girls.

Her Take One Thing Off (the title’s an homage to legendary designer Coco Chanel) is targeted for a June release, which coincides with the MTV show premiere. Videos are also being shot.

Blue Élan welcomes original demos. Artists may contact them at [email protected].

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