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Interview: Zoe Scott – Bringing Back Romance in a Hook-up Culture

We caught up with Zoe Scott to discuss the seemingly waning notion of romance amid a hi-tech world gripped by perfunctory relationships and hasty physical hook-ups.

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Zoe Scott
Photo: Lance Staedler

Singer-songwriter and actress Zoe Scott began her career in music as a rock and roller, belting out songs like “Woman On Top” at L.A.’s Whiskey A Go-Go, but after a while she sensed something was missing.

Looking back, she shares, “I remember the hard edges of it all. I loved it at first — the angst, the power, the energy, but simultaneously, I recall how boxed in I felt.”

Probing into her inner self, she set off on voyage of self-discovery and healing and, in the end, found an appreciation for romance, as well as a new way to see and, receive love. Her answer arrived draped in the sensual textures of Bossa Nova music.

Once encountered, she knew she had to express the thrill of her quixotic feelings. So she recorded an album, Shades of Love, dropping October 2, articulating what she calls, “Feeling in.” The album fashions a sonic passageway returning listeners to the essential concepts of human connection, romance, and passionate love, evidenced in the music video for “Quiet Nights.”

The video for “Quiet Nights,” was directed by James Chressanthis, while the SteadiCam was operated by Jessica Lopez, one of the exceedingly rare female operators in the business.

Thrive Global caught up with Zoe Scott to discuss the seemingly waning notion of romance amid a hi-tech world gripped by perfunctory relationships, ersatz passion, and hasty physical hook-ups.

Video directed by James Chressanthis

What three things can’t you live without?

A Beautiful dress – for me, is an experience, it is a doorway to a new adventure! 

I also love wearing beautiful dresses while I’m singing romantic Bossa Nova music. Colors? Feelings and flow – all work together in creating enchantment.

I find I’m also exploring the magic of the feminine in the music, a special depth and lightness. And for me, certain dresses put me in a romantic mood. My happy feelings seem to rub off on others wherever I go, and that makes for some fun and enlivening conversations. 

Treat yourself like a “living treasure” and the world will treat you the same. Treasure your own uniqueness. When we enjoy our beautiful, lively selves, we are then having a love affair with our lives. Creating a ‘romantic’ self is a choice that attracts others to us that want that experience too. Music like Bosa Nova unites us through our feelings, too. 

In my fun Rock ‘n Roll singing years, I was in a more masculine world of my band and fans. I wore black leather and sang powerful music, I wrote, to speak out and showcase social issues. Music connects us – and I’m grateful that the LA Music Awards honored me for my latest album and original song. And I loved wearing a beautiful dress at the awards show. 

Each music genre has a certain attracting force – and yes, I did have some rock n roll hook-ups in those years. When I reflect back, they weren’t romantic or nourishing in the way that Bossa Nova is. It’s the difference between a classy romantic night dining out – and fast food, cheap, quick and easy. Many handsome men, even one or two famous creative artists – all good memories; and Ladies, like Gentlemen, never ‘kiss and tell.’   

In my experience, true Romance is nourishing to the soul. It’s all up to me: I must slow down, get in touch with my feelings and the feelings of the other person. Doesn’t everyone enjoy a slow seduction? It is one of the greatest art forms, and one that is often missing in a fast-paced life. The task is to seek quality, and not quantity! At this point in my life, I want my life to be romantic and loving, so I dress for that, and then magic happens. 

My Passport 

I’m a Free Spirit, and I love to travel and experience new cultures and people. There’s a great romance in the adventure of traveling and journeying into the unknown, not knowing what might happen and who you might meet. Of course, right now we can’t travel much. So, I use my imagination to travel! How? 

Anyone can create romance – in an ‘imaginary’ destination and ‘live it.’ I begin by inviting my boyfriend to join me on the adventure:  “I’m going to the Italian Riviera tonight –do you want to join me? We set a table – or go to the beach – over-looking the ocean. I order Italian food from a local restaurant, open a bottle of Prosecco, and put on a special fancy Italian dress, heels, and play loving Italian music. 

Romance IS an Italian tradition – I’ll say or sing: “Solo una a vita per viva la dolce vita” [there’s only one life – live the sweet life]. When I put my full imagination into being in Italy for the whole evening, he joins in, and we are both thrilled through enjoying each other in this creative, playful way. Try it! It’s so fun and very romantic. Romance takes a little energy and imagination. It’s fun and it’s creative, but it definitely requires more than a few texts! 

I experienced Italian romance in Italy, living in a palace in Rome in my early 20’s with one of my first loves. Italians are good at expressing feelings, good food, loving life, and romance. I always say: “best to learn from the best!” 

My Spiritual Connection: Circle or Hoop of Life and my 4 Direction Stones 

There are many practices that enrich and heal our lives, helping us to find balance and our own Life Path. I use many of them, from Yoga to meditation, to songs, dance and chants. There are also many ancient practices uniting us with our Inner Realms and Nature – like ‘grounding or earthing’ and Ocean Blessings.

My personal favorite – and one I use often, is the Healing Wheel or Hoop of Life. Science calls it the Unified Field, and some say it’s the Knowing Field. It’s also a practice to create a map to find the present moment or the Now. It is Silent and healing. The practice is “listening.” Tuning in and aligning with our most authentic self. A space for hearing our Soul messages.

The Sacred Circle is in most cultures and in many different traditions. The Healing Hoop holds the 4 directions, often using 4 medicine stones, for the North, East, South, and West. 

In silence, in the Circle, we find the powers present in life. Every question has an answer and every problem, a solution. The practice creates a map to find anything we seek. 

I’m a very passionate spiritual student and am constantly exploring new wisdom and creative possibilities. I learned about the four directions, and how to create the ‘map’ of discovery, from many spiritual teachers. 

I use this routine: I sit in the garden in the morning with my rattle and call in the four directions’ wisdom and powers – creating the Medicine Wheel or Hoop of Life. I’m opening to the universe and inspiration for all that’s possible today. Being a spiritual seeker is a romantic pursuit. you get to know your soul in a very personal and deeper way. 

I found my rattle in South America on a fabulous adventure visiting the ancient Mayan ruins in Guatemala. I use it to call in the four directions, creating my Sacred Circle. In my ocean blessing ceremonies, I use it to call in the four direction wisdoms. Then I feel open to the journey of all Mama ocean reveals.  

And most important? My sweet, loving, standard poodle, Fred.

He’s not counted as a thing “I can’t live without” because he’s not a “thing,” but a loving being. I can’t imagine living without him. I call him my Guru! He’s the very essence of love and romance, as he completely adores me – and I him.  We go on little dates together, always meet interesting people and go to interesting places. I consider a walk on the beach “romantic” even with Fred, as I get in touch with the beauty and love in nature.

How did you get started in music? What’s the back-story there?

In my 20s, I was an actress in Europe. I enjoyed it, but auditioning is grueling! At one point I ended up sitting with my sister Victoria in the mountains of Spain trying to pen a movie script! I was listening to the Doors music and reading Joseph Campbell. My sister and I had a big discussion about what we should do with our lives! We decided the most adventurous thing to do was to go live in California and make music like the Doors.

We immigrated, began a big adventure including living in a cave in the Mojave Desert and then we lived in a van outside Jim Morrison’s house. Next, we met the person who became my executive producer and put up the money for my rock albums: Beautiful To Be Alive, and Woman On Top. Won awards, but discovered I wanted more in my life and retreated to nature in Malibu near the beach. Spent time with other seekers on a variety of spiritual paths. 

Loved singing and performing Jazz – but it was Bossa Nova performances that rang most true to me. And people loved it.

Shades Of Love is a fresh new start in music, and a whole new direction.

What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?

My hope is that it opens their hearts and soothes them, that it gives them a feeling of well-being in these troubled times. Perhaps that it inspires some and reminds others of loving feelings and happy moments. I’d love it to be a vacation from ordinary life and into magic. 

When people listen to my album at our home, I see their spirits lift, I’ve seen depressed people get up and dance! That makes me happy. 

The songs are full of love and heart! Brazilian, American, British Heart, and a world heart. 

What inspired your new album, Shades of Love?

The Romance in the album comes from the romance in my life. I fell in love. I also fell in love with my life again. 

Bossa Nova was a totally creative rebirth for me. I fell in love with Bossa Nova and the romantic songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim. My reflections on the past? I’ve lived hip, I’ve lived cool, I’ve blown a million on rock n’ roll, and left it all behind. I wanted a greater authenticity and deeper connection in my life. I wanted to fall in love and explore the magic of the feminine, I wanted deep experiences that nourished my soul. So, I said to myself: “… if I’m going to record a Bossa Nova album it has to be a deeply romantic loving experience.” 

That’s what I was calling into my life – and I want to live it every day. I told that to my Producer, Moogie Canazio. I said, “I want to explore all the shades of love.” So, we began listening to all kinds of love songs and then reimagining them as Bossa Nova love songs 

There’s a palpable romantic feel to the album. Do you think romance is viable in today’s hi-tech world? 

It’s not only viable, it’s essential. We are human beings, we are alive, we are living organisms. We live in an environment that reflects us. Love and connection are in our DNA: Hear the birds sing to each other, or the bees tasting every flower, and every creature seeks love and connection. Nature is romantic. It’s a harmony all people experience and know instinctively. 

Life is very mechanical and boring without romance. We all crave connection: It’s in our nature. A solely hi-tech world becomes a life existing only in our own mind. Without an infusion of love and beauty, the hi-tech world becomes isolated, lonely, and very draining.

Romance and nature lift our spirits, connect us to something bigger, and unite us to each other. Our Life Force ignites our passions – our love and desire for connections. When I feel bored or tired of this constant tech world, phone, computer, social media, etc., I take some time out and get back in touch with what feels really authentic to me. For me, singing, music, conversation, beautiful clothes, art, love, nature – and Fred, are quick pick-me-ups.

The question really is, is life viable without romance? 

What is life without romance? I don’t mean flowers, cards or dating! I mean intimacy with your own spirit and quiet time for self-reflection. Bossa Nova is that. It opens up the time and space to relax and get in touch and self-reflect and celebrate life! If you’ve lost touch with that all essential romance, listen to my album. As my producer said, “If you’re lonely and you need love in your life, listen to this album, you’ll be one step closer.” 

In your personal life, how do you avoid the trap of what’s called ‘the transactional relationship” – where both parties seem to keep a running score? 

Don’t keep a score. ‘Scoring’ is judgmental and invites the game where no one wins. Give as much as you can, without violating your own self and boundaries. If the relationship isn’t loving and nourishing – move on. Find another that enjoys giving back and both find it really nourishing! If you enjoy giving and being grateful and so do others you are with, then life becomes fun and fluid. 

Those that keep a running score are feeling ‘not enough’ is returned. That’s the opposite of grateful. No romance with that attitude, right? In other words, the way to heal any relationship is gratitude, don’t focus on what you don’t like about someone, focus on what you love about them and then they feel love, and can give it in return. If not, find someone who will. 

According to some experts, people are more connected than ever because of digital devices, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Yet when I go out to dinner, the other couples in the restaurant rarely talk to each other because they’re too focused on their phones. Have we lost the ability to converse with another person and get to know them?

If ‘yes’ is your truth, and experience of others, then people are lost in the tech maze. We need to really reconnect again with each other. 

What first attracted you to the Bossa Nova sound? 

I love to be happy, too feel good. Bossa Nova connects to Romance, to a special charm in the melodies and rhythms. I fell in love with the songs of Antonio Carlos Jobim. They matched my spirit and the lifestyle I love. 

Cynicism and sarcasm seem to dominate Millennial verbal exchanges, as well as Boomer chats. What, in your opinion, is the secret to intimacy? 

First is wanting a happy connection with others. It begins with being happy and content with ourselves. Then we have it to give and expect it in return. Then we find those others. Then it’s possible to trust others. Now we can be comfortable with our own vulnerability. 

It begins with being happy – and willing to give and to receive. Intimacy begins when we express ourselves and listen to another. Really listen and hear them. Real love and intimacy mean we are grateful for another, and we are seeing the beauty in another. It is also accepting another appreciating us in return. It’s always possible to find something to love about another. But ‘intimacy’ is an exchange with another in harmony with their, and your, well-being. 

Why do you make music?

Music heals my soul, and it is a loving connection with the people around me. Music is a magical journey with others and when I sing, others enjoy it too.

People become very happy through my music, and I love to see people happy and uplifted. I just want to spread some joy and enjoy it too!   

Pre-save Shades of Love.

Follow Zoe Scott Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Spotify

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