Scout Durwood is a Los Angeles–based comedian, actress, and cabaret singer who released her debut studio album, Take One Thing Off, with Blue Élan Records in 2017. Based on the original music, Take One Thing Off developed into a digital series combining music videos and narrative sketches, recounting the story of Scout’s life as the existential odyssey that it is. On September 29, Durwood released the first of a two-part series of EPs called Comedy Electronica, and the first four videos are now on YouTube. Here’s what she had to say about being a creator.
How long have you been creating your art?
I started in NYC as a cabaret singer and have gone through a couple of iterations of “creating my art” since. This is my second music and visual album with Blue Élan as well, so I would say I’ve been creating this particular iteration of art since about 2016.
Where are you from? How does that influence your art?
I grew up in Kansas City and had a pretty badass childhood. Lots of sleepovers and soccer games and jumping on trampolines and such. My mom has been an enormous influence, mostly because she is an incredible human being who reminds me to be a good person and never stop making things.
What projects are you currently working on? Do you have any upcoming releases?
I have a comedy pilot in development with Freeform, and the first of a two-part series of EPs called Comedy Electronica comes out September 29.. We had a couple of COVID-related flags on the play for the second EP, so I’m still working on finishing some of the visuals before we set a release date on Volume II. The first four videos are out now on YouTube.
What is your inspiration? And why?
I have a hard time accepting a lot of the way our world is organized, so storytelling is my way of being the change I wish to see in the world. It’s easy to spin out if you think too hard about climate change or social oppression or politics. Art is my way of vocalizing an alternate perspective to the status quo without burning out on feelings of hopelessness.
Why is music important to the queer community?
Because I was taught as a little baby activist in college that I should “always fear a revolution that comes in singing.” Music is a way of articulating what words cannot. It’s howling at the moon. It’s moving your body. It’s sex. And if it’s one thing the queer community cares about, it’s howling at the moon. Also sex.
What do you hope to achieve as an artist?
I don’t know, really. I want to keep making things. That’s it. I just want to keep making things. Forever.
Who are your top 3 major influences?
Michael Blieden, Lady Rizo, and Meow Meow. Blieden directed the pilot of MARY + JANE and has become a major mentor in my life as a director and now as a friend. I don’t know that I would have made the leap to directing without him, and I’m really grateful for that. Rizo is technically flawless and totally fearless. Her live shows are absolutely everything. I used to see her when I was just starting out and it was the first time I was like, “Yup. That’s what I want to do. That.” Meow Meow changed my life when I saw her in Edinburgh many years ago. I don’t know how else to describe it other than she makes me feel all the things all at once, and getting to share the experience of “feeling everything all at once” with a group of strangers in an audience has been pretty pivotal in my life.
How can we all support your work and talent?
My first visual album, a 22-episode digital series called Take the One Thing Off is up on YouTube as well as the first four videos off the new project, Comedy Electronica. You can stream my music wherever music is streamed, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for updates. Or, hell, just find me on the internet and say hi. I always appreciate a friendly hello.