Scott Alan: Behind the Song

BY Advocate Contributors

December 19 2010 5:00 PM ET

The past year has had its ups and downs. I had the incredible opportunity to do concerts in exciting places like London and Australia, but I also learned how lonely life on the road can be — and how returning home is even lonelier when there's nobody to return to.

Two years ago when I turned 30, my heart found itself in a place it wasn’t expecting to go. It was, for the first time, ready to start a family. In the song "Nothing More," sung on What I Wanna Be When I Grow Up by the wonderful Christopher Sieber, I wrote about my yearning to leave more than a song behind as my legacy. I knew there was something major missing from my life, and I knew exactly what it was: a child.

After giving everything I had to a relationship that fell apart only a year later, the question became, How much more of myself did I really have left to give? When the relationship ended despite my best efforts, I felt numb to everything around me and completely exhausted. But more than that, I found that the one constant in my life, writing, was suddenly not happening. It was like I'd been put on pause. I couldn’t find words; I couldn’t hear melody. I felt trapped. Though I had so much to say, I couldn’t find the right words with which to say it. I’d sit at the piano and nothing matched the emotions I felt in that moment. They were just words and notes. Words and notes without any meaning to them.

Here I was at a crossroads; I wanted a family, yet the family that I'd been building with my partner was now nothing more then crumpled pieces of unusable lyrics filling up my floor. I was no longer in control of anything.

To understand me is to understand one important thing — I write about my life and all that comes with it. To say that my music and lyrics define me is an understatement. I put every element of myself into song. All of my secrets, inner turmoil, and celebrations are musicalized. It’s my therapy.

Day after day, I kept sitting down at the piano, hoping that some sort of genius idea would present itself. Then one day I started slowly writing again — When the life you had planned / Slowly slips through your hands / When it feels like you just slept through all the best years of your life / When the heart's beyond repair / When you wake and no one’s there / When your home consists of only you / Is there anything worth holding on to?

Tags: Music