By Steve Houk livingonmusic.com
Scott Kurt and I first met in 1997 while we were both working at DC’s FOX5 TV station. My focus was my then 12-year old burgeoning TV career and my first job in a top ten market, while Scott’s dream was to make some money banging out programming logs and figure out how to make playing music his life’s work. Whether it was playing darts on lunch breaks, or having a beer on a cool summer evening after work, we’d always talk about the music we loved and find commonalities. Music bonds people, and it did that for us.
23 years later, I’ve enjoyed a pretty successful TV career, winning three Emmys as a writer/producer, and being able to create dynamic content and manage large staffs for some of the biggest entertainment and business entities in the world. And Scott Kurt’s dream to make music has come true and then some, thanks to hard work and perseverance he has evolved into a well-known local singer/songwriter, headlining his own gigs and opening for some of music’s biggest names, while writing his own music and garnering a solid fan base.
Sure, as a musician in the incredibly competitive world of writing and recording music, Kurt has made a solid mark, more than many do. But like all of his peers, he yearns for more, and the sudden shutdown of his ability to tour and play live has dealt him and most of his colleagues in music a pretty hefty blow. But thanks to social media and his instinctively positive outlook, Kurt knows he will survive and eventually the tide will turn.
“What I always try to do is look for the best in everything, especially when you don’t have any control over it,” Kurt, 46, said from his music room in Ashburn. “You can either pick yourself up and move forward, or crawl in the hole and cry about it. So I thought, when the pandemic isn’t going on, it’s hard to reach people, they’re everywhere, listening to other bands, other music, out doing stuff. Then why not reach people right where they’re at?”
So like many of his musical peers, Kurt has found a way via social media to not only continue playing music, but also find a new and unexpected fan base that he may not have found in the world before this chaos.
“It’s basically the definition of a captive audience, so I started doing the (Facebook) Happy Hour thing on Thursdays in the late afternoon when people are still on their computers, not later in the evening when they’re doing what they would do anyway, like watch Netflix or whatever. And I’ve had alot of success reaching people and cultivating a new fan base. I had people from Tanzania on, a guy from Germany stopped in, and they wouldn’t have seen me playing in the Mid-Atlantic. It’s a chance for a lot of people who don’t know me to see me live, plus it’s reminding the people in the DC area to not forget about me.”
Once this virus gets under control, when life for people like Scott Kurt and other musicians gets back to normal, or likely a new normal for sure, his goals and aspirations as a working musician remain what they’ve always been, to make memorable music and fulfill that ongoing dream.
“Even after all this, my approach will continue to be two-pronged: the songwriter path and the artist path. You know, keep developing as a songwriter, and if other people record my songs, that’s great. And also moving forward as an artist, cultivating a fan base, and continuing to build a sort of grass-roots career.”
Join host Steve Houk and his special guest Scott Kurt for the debut ‘Z TV Living On Music’ episode this Monday evening at 7pm right here: https://www.facebook.com/TheZebraPress/videos/3021693414540135/