Aaron Scott on The Voice
OnFocus – Wilton, Wisconsin native Aaron Scott (stage name for Aaron Anderson) recently performed in a blind audition on NBC’s 19th season of The Voice and has quickly become a fan favorite. From growing up in a town of approximately 500 people to now performing in front of millions nationally, music has always been a part of Scott’s life.
“My mom played piano and sang. That really sparked my interest young,” said Scott, whose mom encouraged him to play piano at age six. “We had this tiny little toy keyboard. I just started writing my own songs. I’d do like three notes on the piano and sing with it. She was very supportive. She showered that praise and love into what I was doing. That early on made me love music.”
In junior high and high school, Scott was involved in choir, madrigals, and other music, but it wasn’t until college at UW-La Crosse, while studying to become a teacher, that he began to take his musical talents to the next level.
“I had some buddies that taught me how to play guitar. It was just for fun, nothing serious. Then towards the end of college I realized ‘I really love this!'” he said, adding that music also helped him during a rough battle with depression.
After college, Scott helped with church worship music, which evolved into the band he plays with today: One Way North. Formed in 2014, the band consisting of Mark Gnewikow, Cody Leis, Francisco Reyes and Matt Callaway made their first public performance at The Warehouse in La Crosse. They released their first album “To Light” in May, with Scott on lead vocals.
While working his full-time job as a special education teacher at Tomah Middle School, principal Michael Chapes saw Scott perform in New Lisbon and encouraged him to try out for The Voice.
“I didn’t think I was ready, didn’t think I was good enough. I talked myself out of it,” said Scott.
Then, while watching fall auditions, he thought, “I could give this a shot and do this.” He visited NBC’s website and created an artist account, which is the first step towards The Voice audition process – but after seeing which cities he could live-audition in, he got nervous and walked away from the process.
Then, while working his weekend job at a fitness center in New Lisbon, Scott’s boss mentioned he should audition for The Voice.
“My boss walks in randomly not knowing that I had made an artist account,” said Scott. “It seemed like more than coincidence. I had the support from both jobs. I thought this is the time to give it a shot. I went to Nashville in January and it took off from there.”
After his tryouts in Nashville, Scott was invited to Blind Audition in front of the four judges: Kelly Clarkson, Gwen Stefani, John Legend, and Blake Shelton.
“I’m 2,000 miles from home, a Wilton kid who had never been anywhere close to LA. It was a whirlwind of emotion,” said Scott. “You want to be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best.”
The morning of his live audition, Scott called his aunt in Mauston, WI who is battling cancer.
“She really just gave me great advice,” he said. “I thought, ‘What am I worrying about, when my aunt is battling what she’s going through? That gave me great perspective.”
Shortly into his performance of Fuels’ “Hemorrhage (In My Hands),” Legend turned around indicating he wanted Scott on his team.
“That shocked me,” said Scott. “I was really floored.”
Then, Shelton turned around, providing Scott with the choice between the two coaches. Scott ultimately choose Team Blake.
“I felt Blake was a great fit. It felt like I was talking to a hunting buddy, and being from Wisconsin that’s important,” he said, adding that it was a tough choice between two amazing musicians.
“It’s a crazy thing,” he said. “It’s just surreal. I’m still trying to figure it out. It’s still just so crazy.”
Scott is especially grateful to his wife, Lorraine, for her unwavering support.
“It’s kind of funny for me to be called the rock star, because she’s really the rock star,” he said. “That whole time I’m gone, she’s here at home and she took on everything. She’s been solid, supportive, positive. She was completely 100% with me every step of the way and continues to be.”
“My first priority is as a husband and a father, and The Voice doesn’t change that,” he added.
Scott added that his mom, as the one who first introduced him to music, is “floored.”
“She’s pretty thrilled and excited. She’s a lot like me. We’re very emotional people and we love our music. She has moments that she kind of kicks herself that she didn’t do more and take more risks herself,” he said. “That played into me trying out for The Voice. I didn’t want to look back and have any regrets.”
His bandmates have also been supportive.
“The guys are behind it all the way,” he said. “We’re still a group, still friends, buddies, brothers. They make fun of me all the time. They have clips of me being ridiculous. They keep me humble for sure. We’re still talking about what we want to do going forward.”
Past students from his teaching years in New Lisbon and now in Tomah, have also been showering Scott with positivity.
“It’s so cool to see the kids coming alive. They are my fan club,” he said. “There is a general down-ness that has been there this year due to COVID and to see what all this has done to give everybody a boost – not just in Tomah, but all over – it’s really fun. That’s the biggest blessing I could possibly ask to take out of this.”
Along with those close to home, Scott also is appreciative of those at NBC who have made his experience the best it could be.
“With COVID this year, I’ll say that my experience with the tryouts and the Blind Auditions were very unique,” said Scott, describing the many protocols in place to keep everyone safe. “I can’t say enough about the kind people that work on the show. There are so many names and people you will never know and see but they are workaholics that make sure you have as pleasant of an experience as you can.”
Scott is thankful to be bringing joy to so many people during a particularly rough time – in Wisconsin, and beyond.
“Without a doubt, my favorite part is the positivity that this has brought to a lot of people and our community,” he said. “There are so many people that after the audition aired told me ‘this is the best thing that’s happened all year for me.’ It’s very humbling, really cool to hear that. I want to be genuine, real, and show as much love and support to people as I can. It seems like people have seen that and it’s done something to help other people.”
With a particular passion to help people with mental illness, depression, and anxiety, Scott is especially grateful to bring his message to a larger audience.
“If you can do one little thing to cause positivity to anybody, that makes it all worth it,” he said.
As he continues to make his way through the stages of The Voice, Scott hopes his story continues to inspire and uplift others. Having battled depression himself, he encourages everyone to reach out and seek help.
“Reach out to somebody in your moments of need,” he said. “I’ve been there. Don’t give up. Don’t just look at the moment right now. Stay positive, because you never know – on the other side you could be the next person on The Voice and if you let the moment get to be too much, you might lose that. You don’t want to lose the positive. Keep fighting.”
Scott’s next appearance on The Voice will be during the show’s “Battle Rounds.” Follow OnFocus for updates.
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