In the dynamic realm of diversity, equity, and inclusion, where the echo of traditional chords meets the resonance of modern beats, the narrative of Scott Smith unfolds — an artist who marries the soul of Appalachia with the rhythms of the contemporary world. Kevin Hooks, host of “Equity in Focus,” dives deep into the musical ethos of Scott T. Smith, uncovering a journey that transcends musical genres and taps into the pulse of cultural integration.

Born from the diverse and rich heritage of West Virginia, Scott Smith emerges as a multifaceted artist whose roots dig deep into the backwoods and wide across the expansive fields of American music. In a candid conversation, Scott describes himself as a mix of country-loving, bourbon-sipping, and soul-writing elements that define his unique style. This blend is as eclectic as the landscapes of his upbringing.

Scott’s approach to music is deeply influenced by the dual existence he has navigated through much of his life. This duality is a feature of his identity and a cornerstone of his music. He eloquently shares how his childhood was a dance between different worlds—from the banjo twangs resonating from his friend’s house to the soulful melodies of Luther Vandross that played at home. This blend of experiences shaped his musical direction, making him a bridge between the traditional sounds of folk and the soulful depths of rhythm and blues.

Musical inspirations and aspirations

Delving deeper, Scott opens up about the influences that have sculpted his musical career. Icons like Sam Cooke, who shaped the sound of an era and the business acumen of artists, are a significant inspiration. Scott admires Cooke not just for his vocal prowess but also for his vision to empower artists within the industry. This reverence for Cooke’s dual legacy as a musician and a visionary echoes throughout Scott’s aspirations and his music.

The conversation takes a reflective turn as Scott discusses the challenges of living in Appalachia, where being one of the few black families shaped his perspectives and fueled his mission. His music becomes a platform not just for artistic expression but also for societal commentary and cultural connection. Scott’s goal is not merely to produce music but to forge bonds, heal divisions, and celebrate the shared human experience through his art.

Kevin and Scott also explore the intricacies of musical genres, discussing how instruments traditionally tied to certain styles of music, like the acoustic guitar to folk, can transcend boundaries and adapt to different sounds. Scott’s experimental nature is evident as he talks about blending genres, creating a sound that is uniquely his while staying true to the roots of each style.

The transformative power of music

As the interview unfolds, Scott’s narrative is a powerful reminder of the transformative power of music. It is not just an art form but a medium through which personal histories, cultural identities, and collective memories are preserved and celebrated. His music is a dialogue between the past and the present, a melody that carries the stories of generations and the aspirations of a new era.

In conclusion, Scott Smith’s journey through the realms of music and identity is a compelling saga of blending the traditional with the modern. His life’s work is dedicated to creating a symphony of sounds that not only entertains but enlightens bridges gaps, and builds a more inclusive and harmonious world. Through his tunes, he invites listeners to explore the rich landscapes of human emotion and cultural heritage, making every chord a call to unity and every lyric a verse of change. In this ever-evolving narrative of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Scott stands out as a beacon of hope and harmony, playing the soundtrack of a more equitable future.

AI assisted in summarizing this episode of Equity in Focus.

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