Our Scotty

Wherever he travels, and no matter how his fame grows, he’ll always be “our” Scotty.

Now 20, Garner’s country-singing hometown hero is growing up and branching out, but took time to share an update with his original fan base.

Scotty’s life today encompasses college, a buddy bachelor pad, and the launch of his second headlining tour in 2014, with his latest chart-topping album, See You Tonight.

Wow. It’s no wonder “crazy” is his most oft-used word.

On fans fainting at the sight of him: Pretty weird! Crazy, but flattering.

Best part of fame: Getting to tour, travel, meet the fans. The coolest part of all this is having different opportunities, and broadening my horizons.

Flip side: It’s harder to make true friends. People want to be your friend, but not always for the right reasons, so you learn to be a little more cautious. But maintaining old friendships is no problem — they’re my biggest supporters and my biggest crack-ers, always cracking on me!  

After American Idol, you said success wouldn’t change you; still true? Being on the road is a different life. But I enjoyed life before all this, so I don’t want to leave it behind. Family is still important, and values. I think I’ve accomplished the goal of being true to myself.

You major in communications at N.C. State? Yes. I have my career already, I hope! So this will give me a broader understanding. A career in the music industry is media driven; the media get the music out there, and let the fans know about show dates. That’s vital. So understanding as much as I can is pretty important.  

Youngest man in history: To have first album debut atop the all-genre Billboard Top 200 chart

Does the Scotty buzz follow you around campus? Mostly I’m a regular student. I try to be as normal as I can, go to football and basketball games. But there’s an obvious buzz there, people stopping me for the occasional autograph or photo.

What’s life like with 3 roommates? Well, I woke up today and have been doing laundry, and I took down the Christmas tree all by myself. They don’t cut me any slack; I have to do my part.

Are you dating? Ha! I keep that stuff to myself. I tell folks it’s tough trying to maintain a relationship with all the travel, but it IS possible.  

What’s the perfect Valentine’s Day? The roses are important, and dinner — not fast food. You take her somewhere that feels special and spend quality time, let her know she’s important to you.  

On faith: I still walk day by day, and make decisions through my faith and beliefs. I don’t get to church as often as I’d like due to the travel, but my band members are Christians, and we have Bible study together. It’s important.  

Where does the music come from? College opens your eyes; you see a lot. It’s definitely a more grown-up sound, and part of where I am in my own life. That will be the cool thing about my music — you can go back and listen and say ‘There’s Scotty at 17, at 20, at 23.’ The music will grow up with me.

Your dance moves have evolved since Idol; what else? We take more time making a record now, and look more at the long term. It’s a crazy business, so many moving parts. As an artist you want to sing and write and perform. But there’s business management, marketing, legal, a lot behind the scenes. You can’t catch your breath between shows.

You’ve won quite a few industry awards: That’s awesome, it really is. The first (New Artist of the Year, 2011) was surreal, but with each one I feel thankful and blessed. We have the best fans in the world, and the awards are as much about them as me. It keeps me wanting to work hard.  

You toured with Brad Paisley; isn’t he a prankster? Yes! He liked to Photoshop my head onto an old man’s body and project it on the screens behind the band. But Brad’s been a big influence on my growing up, and the chance to tour with him, well, I couldn’t ask for a better opportunity.

Do you have any down time? You have to make time or go crazy. We keep a pretty good schedule, pack a lot into a short time then relax and refuel. The couch is my favorite vacation, or watching TV, playing ball.

Any message for the people of Garner? Thank y’all for sticking with me! You’ve really done a lot for me. Thanks for giving me a strong home base to come back to, and for letting me be normal and live the life I want to live. That’s really cool.  

5: Number of songs he wrote on See You Tonight

Favorite song on See You Tonight: Carolina Moon, recorded with Alison Krauss

13 weeks: How long it took for debut album Clear As Day to go platinum

No. 1: See You Tonight’s debut ranking last fall on Billboard Country Albums chart

Fans: 2.4 million followers combined on Facebook and Twitter

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