Long before he made a name for himself by traveling the world as a reggae singer, Scott Paynter got his start in music with a homemade toy guitar he built out of plywood and yarn. Growing up with four older brothers and parents who listened to a wide variety of tunes, Scott fell in love with music as a kid in the late 1970s and has been singing songs ever since.
Singing for other people and writing songs became a reality in 1991, when Scott and a few friends traveled to Belgium for a study abroad program in college. He and the guys began jamming, sometimes even skipping classes to jump on a train and play on the streets in cities throughout Europe.
In 1993, Scott founded the group Jah Works with those same friends, and began writing and recording original reggae music in Baltimore, Maryland. Jah Works has produced nine original albums, with more than 100,000 copies sold on their own independent Riddim House Productions label. The group has been touring the U.S. ever since and even traveled the world. Jah Works worked with Armed Forces Entertainment to perform for U.S. servicemen and women from Japan to Saudia Arabia, from Greenland to Diego Garcia. They even brought their reggae music back to its roots, with several highly successful tours of Jamaica. After 21 years, Jah Works is stronger than ever before, and a new album is in the works for 2015.
In 2007, Scott moved to Philadelphia, where he became involved with Three The Hard Way, a band composed of his oldest brother Will Paynter and some other well-known Philadelphia musicians. They recorded two albums together and enjoyed area success, playing notable venues in and around Philadelphia.
In 2012, Scott decided it was time to make his first solo album. Along with producer Chris Bradley, he released “Draw Your Brakes” independently. The effort yielded songs that were very different from his focus with Jah Works. Scott was able to explore some of the other styles and genres that he loved, including acoustic blues, soul, traditional country and rock.
Now back in Baltimore, Scott has been busy, once again fronting Jah Works at packed clubs and music theaters and playing solo shows to support “Draw Your Brakes”. He has also been working with house music legends like Louie Vega and Masters at Work, Mr. V and Sole Channel Records, N’Dinga Gaba of Global Diplomacy, Thor, and most recently Lou Gorbea and Omi Tutu Productions. The songs “Queen” and “What Is Real” have enjoyed considerable success in the house music scene, both charting in the Top Ten Soulful House category on Traxsource.com. Scott has performed these songs live in New York City several times over the last few years.
While he has retired the plywood and yarn guitar, music is still life to Scott Paynter. And with an ability to sing in just about any style, he is looking forward to the future.