Aoife Scott: 'Making an Album Is Like Marrying Somebody'

Aug 17, 2017

You might not recognize the name Aoife Scott immediately, but if you know anything about the Irish musical tradition of the past 30 years, you might recognize something about her voice. Scott is the daughter of Frances Black and niece of Mary Black - both internationally known singers.

But despite growing up in a family of musical royalty, the Dublin-born Scott did not always think music was the career for her.  "I felt like I was trying the be the black sheep of the family," Scott says, laughing.  That meant that - instead of music, she went to college to study... digital media and fine art film.  That led to a career, first as a television editor and then a production manager.  But she still felt a pull to her musical roots.

"I was very highfalutin, and had a lot of people working underneath me," she recalls, "and I was kind of looking out my window one day and I was like, 'this is the rest of my life - and I don't think I want to do this for the rest of my life. I'd like to sing.'"

Aoife Scott sports a hat that almost - but not quite - fits under the headphones in the Lake Effect performance studio.
Credit Mitch Teich

That doesn't mean it was easy - even with her family roots in music.  "It took an awful long time to get the courage to leave," Scott says. 

It took still longer to assemble a band and produce her first album, Carry the Day.  She toured with the Canadian-Irish band, The Outside Track for a time, but it was a full two years after leaving her television career before she finally made it into the studio.

"I was very fearful," Scott admits. "I still had to commit to it.  I feel like making an album is kind of like marrying somebody - you're stuck for life.  And I wasn't confident enough to say, 'This is the sound I want to make.'"

As it happened, the sound she ended making attracted a large audience - the first single, released several months before the album came out, reached #1 on the iTunes charts in Ireland.  "All Along the Wild Atlantic Way" still gets a lot of airplay in Ireland.  And that still surprises - and delights - Aoife Scott.

"The first time I ever heard it on the radio, I was crying and dancing around the place," she says, "and even still that I've heard it like ten times, I still jump around in my pajamas."

  The Aoife Scott Band was in Milwaukee for performances at Tosa Tonight and Milwaukee Irish Fest.