American Idol 2009 - Scott MacIntyre
'A Clear Vision of a Bright Future'
Scott MacIntyre is a greatly skilled musician. MacIntyre was born on June 22nd 1985. He began playing the piano when he was young. Scott was instructed by a neighboorhood piano instructor. At six years old he began training in classical music. At ten years of age him and his family relocated to Toronto, Canada.
While in Canada he studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music. His career started when he was just 11 years old and produced his first CD. Since then, he has created several more CDs.
At age fifteen he made his debut in orchestra, playing as a guest piano soloist with the Pheonix Symphony. Around this time MacIntyre was diagnosed with kidney disease. This created a need for frequent dialysis which interfered with his traveling and performances.
MacIntyre auditioned for the eighth season of American Idol in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the first visually-impaired finalist on the show. MacIntyre was eliminated on April 8, 2009 and came in eighth place.
Exclusive Magazine had the recent pleasure of speaking with Scott about his ailment, his previous work, ... and, of course, his upcoming new CD!
Is it true that you were in London, England when you watched the American Idol show before thinking that that was what you wanted to done, and where you wanted to be? “Yes, it is. But I was actually back in … I’ll give you the chronology … and it’s kind of a lot to squeeze in, but I graduated at 19 years old from my Under Grad in Arizona. At that time I had been offered a Full Grad Scholarship to go over to the UK. So, I went over and did my Masters. I think that I had gotten into American Idol a little by that point, but I actually did not have a TV for the full year I was in London.”
“And I was surprised at how much I didn’t actually miss it because the city is so amazing. So I did my Masters Degree over there and I was accepted to Cambridge to go on for further graduate study for another degree that could have turned into a PHD,. Which means I could have ended up going full time into academia or teaching or who knows. But, I kept doing research and through a number of circumstances, one of which was my kidney failure, I was brought back to the US.”
“I came back to do some concerts over the summer and got my blood tested and found out that it gotten a lot worse. So, there was kind of this cloud hanging over me a little bit the whole time I was in London, but it was stable enough that I could do the one Degree. But when I came back I had to start emergency dialosis that Fall.”
“So, I watched American Idol again that Spring and that’s when I started really following the show … and obviously they brought the piano out eventually. And it was just such perfect timing because eventually I had the successful transplant and last year was the perfect time to audition. I was able to travel and I really had my life back. And it was the first year they came to Arizona so it was perfect. Every time I step on that stage there is so much more in the back of my mind. It was so meaningful to me because I knew where I was just a year earlier. So, this tour is really such a huge blessing.”
But are you finding that due to this new found level of fame, and your ailment therein, that people are overly-fussing around you each day/night? “You know, it hasn’t gotten to that point, but there’s definitely a fine line there that’s hard to find at times. But, I would rather tell people thank you, but I don’t need that, rather than have people wonder if they should step in. I’ve always been about breaking barriers, about breaking old paradimes. I don’t do the whole dark glasses thing. I’m not ashamed to walk on stage with a cane. I’ve done that in symphony concerts, where it’s a little less pop and not all the fancy lighting and stuff.”
“I really don’t mind showing myself like that. I think the parallel of someone in a wheelchair is would you actually take the lights down, wheel them up, stick them on a couch and then bring the lights up? ‘Cause you see a lot of people like Andrea Bocelli and Stevie Wonder and they appear on stage and you never know who helped them or even how they got there,” we both laugh.
“And there’s nothing wrong with that, but I think a lot of times if I can open my world up to people they feel more comfortable and it helps bridge the gap between where they are and what they can do to help me.”
Your favorite quote is: ‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.’ That is one mighty Johann Wolfgang von Goethe quote, my friend … but what does it mean to you yourself right now as we chat? “It’s a very deep and powerful quote … and that quote has been with me for a long while now. I gave the Commencement Address when I graduated from Arizona State and that was kind of my jumping off point. There have been so many times in my life where I could have give up so easy, where I could have settled for less. I could have lowered the goals I was reaching for and taken a different route and given up on some of these dreams. But whenever a door has been closed I’ve always searched for another door. And I know many people out there are in a position - whether they have a physical challenge or not, as there’s all kinds of challenges in life - and they may be in the position where they have given up or are thinking about giving up/”
“And for me, I really hope people look at my journey on the show and my journey in life, more importantly, and are able to take something away from it. Because in my life, my American Idol journey is just another example of any examples when persistence paid off for me. When I didn’t give up when it would have been easier to. And now I’m on the other side and it’s so amazing to be here.”
So, when can we expect your upcoming CD … and how is it coming along? “It will be coming out before Christmas … but how it works with 19 Entertainment/RCA, is that they signed 3 of the 10 - which was Allison, Adam and Chris - and they don’t really have the man power to take the rest of us on. So, August 20th was actually the day we were all released from our 19 Entertainment contracts. So, this entire time I’ve obviously not been able to sign anything, but I’ve been talking to labels. I’ve also been getting a lot of interest from music publishers and they’ve been very interested in representing me in writing for other artists and other bands.”
“Because songwriting has been such a part of my past … and my new CD coming up I’ve written all originals kind of in the Gavin MCGraw genre of pop/singer songwriter. I’ve written punk, I’ve written country, and I’m very good at keeping them all separate. So, it’s something that I’m definitely looking into and I’m receiving some strong interest from several companies to represent me in doing that. So that will definitely be a part of it … and I also would like to mention that I’ve been approached to write a book.”
Please, tell me more “Well, I have a lot of work cut out for me. The book will be about my life … an autobiography … and I’m still young so I’m sure they’ll be more books to write,” he laughs. “I’ve wanted to do this for a while but never quite found the right time. And so it seems like a great time right now. I received so many emails from around the world from people who have been inspired by the little bits of my story they’ve seen on the program. It’s meant so much to them in their own life and so they’ve told me some amazing stories. And so I think if people were able to read my full story then it would really be something worthwhile to do.”
Interview: Russell A. Trunk
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