Dred Scott may be homeless, but he's also got a real gift, a gift for performing R&B covers as if he were Marvin Gaye himself. The guy has chops, and thank GodTyler Ward
, a Denver pop/rock artist, found him on 16th Street one day and chose to feature him on his Tyler Ward Featured Artist series on YouTube.
"I was walking down the street, heard his voice and was like, 'This cat is good.' So I listened to him for half an hour, went to the 7-Eleven and got some food, then came back a week later and recorded him," recalls Ward.
Now, thanks to Ward, Scott's music is on iTunes. He's got an EP out, called Live From 16th Street Mall, that was released on Tuesday, July 12. Proceeds from the EP go toward purchasing food and clothing for Scott; he is not paid in cash.
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"It's cool. I'm new to a lot of this stuff, but it's all cool to me," says Scott of his music now on iTunes and playing in front of people. When he's performing on 16th Street, Scott said he usually tries to block out most of the surrounding buzz so he can hear what he's doing and showcase his talents.
Just this morning Dred Scott showcased his talent once again by playing a cover of Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" for all the passersby on the 16th Street Mall, near the intersection of 16th and California streets. Ward was there, too, but he was careful not to make the performance about him. Instead, he let Scott take the reins, answer some questions people had and then play a few songs.
"He's cool. He doesn't need any help," Ward says.