It all starts with a confession.
“To me, growing up is... scary,” admits 17-year-old JoJo Scott.
She launches her EP with a spoken-word section overlaid onto a hummed mashup featuring each song on the collection. The diary-style confessional recorded on her iPhone in her backyard sets the tone for the album. It is an incredibly relatable moment from a teen who has made herself an open book through her art.
Scott, who will enter her senior year of high school this fall, expresses living with a constant mixture of fear and excitement as she wraps up her junior year. After all, she is on the brink of the first major shift in her young life.
Introspective by nature, Scott uses her uncertainty to examine herself at this juncture.
“I credit my success to my youth,” she adds. “But I also blame my youth for my failure as well. So, once I take my youth away, there’s nothing to blame it on. I just have to deal with it.”
It is one of the strange dichotomies of a society that simultaneously worships youthfulness while dismissing those who are young as naive; however, Scott’s ability for self-reflection is admirable. Her readiness to own the highs and lows of her life signals that it all might turn out okay for this plucky artist.
In the midst of this tumultuous time of discovery, Scott’s debut EP has been two years in the making, allowing her to hone in on an acoustic pop sound that feels familiar and fun.
Drawing inspiration from Ed Sheeran and Daniel Caesar and working with Luke Neill, Jacob Westfall and Matt Greco to bring the EP to life, she writes about striving to meet the expectations of others on the track “Smile,” while constantly dealing with those who would fault her for trying in the first place on “Famous.”
In the final song, “Never Regret It,” Scott looks forward to “growing up and leaving my home to go and pursue music,” while reflecting on what it means to leave the safety and support of her family.
In a confessional that marks the end of her album, Scott acknowledges with trepidation, “obviously, you can’t stop growing up. It’s gonna happen, it has to happen.” The uncertainty in her voice rings out as a pure, honest snapshot of a young artist's life as she ends with: “So, so here’s to growing up... I guess.”