In 2008, David Archuleta rose to second place on American Idol as sixth- grader Scott Fiedel, who did not like his viola, watched. Archuleta inspired Fiedel. Shortly after, Fiedel abandoned the viola.
Without the viola, Fiedel, of Tooele, still surrounded himself with music, with marching band, drumline, jazz band and concert band. But during the final semester of his senior year, he decided to sing and enrolled in choir.
“I was like, ‘I really like singing. Maybe I could do something with it.’ So, I took the class,” Fiedel said.
Fiedel claims music is not a natural gift for him. But when he tells his story, his gift for music is obvious. His father played the French horn and his grandfather played piano. He even understands music theory.
He recalls story after story — random moments from an early age — of going to the piano, the guitar, or the drums. He finally confides that his father’s family is very musical.
“My mother’s family not so much,” he said.
Even though in Fiedel’s mind his mother, Teresa Corona, did not think his voice was special, he said his passion for singing must have intrigued her. She would record him from outside the bathroom when he was singing in the shower as he was growing up.
“I would get mad at her. I think she just liked hearing my voice and she just wanted the videos,” Fiedel said.
His friends shunned country music in high school, so Fiedel mainly listened to Top 40 with them. Secretly, however, he always loved the musical tone and the storytelling of country music — in spite of his friends.
After graduation, he started singing covers of pop vocals and posted them on Youtube. This garnered him a small following of around 500.
At work, a friend of Fiedel’s would listen to country music. So Fiedel started listening, too. As a result, he gained insight into what was popular in the country genre.
In 2015, he began in earnest to post online covers of popular country songs. His response improved. He found that the country style fit his voice. He worked at developing it by reading about how to increase range and how to control sound.
“I never had a teacher who told me, so I had to teach myself how to do it all,” Fiedel said.
About the same time he started posting country songs, he found a new online channel.
“A friend told me about a website that kind of changed my life. It’s called Younow.com,” Fiedel said.
Younow is only live stream, which meant Fidel sang unedited. Though it felt intimidating, he kept at it. Within the year, he had 25,000 followers.
Fiedel said getting over his fears was worth it because he started making money from his online fan base. It also paid off in the number of fans. Currently, Fiedel has over 100,000 online followers on his various channels, which include Younow, Youtube, Facebook and Instagram.
“I never thought in my life that I could sing and make a career out of it,” Fiedel said.
The popularity of his online presence took Fiedel to the stage at Playlist Live and Vidcon for both 2016 and 2017. They are events for producers of video content. Then, last August, both American Idol and The Voice reached out to him to audition.
Fiedel chose The Voice over American Idol, and he auditioned in February for Season 15, which premiers Sept. 10.
He cannot say whether or not he actually appears because of his confidentiality contract.
However, he did say, “I’m glad I got to experience this.”
Though Fiedel has not performed much in front of an audience, he said he does have an on-stage style. He describes it as casual.
“Maybe a nice button up. Nothing too crazy,” he said. “Maybe I’ll take a little more time into making sure I match or whatever.”
He said his mother likes to make her own suggestions. When it comes to his hair, he said, she thinks it’s too long.
“My mother sometimes says ‘You know you should cut it shorter or do this,’ but I think she has bad style,” Fiedel said.
He claims that choreography is the most awkward part for performing. So far, he simplifies his choreography by playing his guitar — there’s no need for dancing much with a guitar.
“If I don’t have the guitar, I have no clue what to do with my hands,” Fiedel said.
He feels his performing skills are a work in progress.
Fiedel’s life experience has been about evolving and so he will continue to adapt. In fact, he was born in San Diego and moved to Utah as a baby. He eventually ended up in Tooele, when he was 12.
Fiedel thinks living in Tooele works to his advantage. In Nashville, he feels like he would drown in the sea of aspiring musicians.
“I feel like where I’m farther away from that, I stand out a little more,” he said.
Within Tooele County, Fiedel is finally getting noticed. Someone shared one of his posts on Tooele 411, he said, so locals have been messaging him lately. They ask him to sing at weddings.
But he has only committed to one wedding, — his mother’s.
Now when he is at the Tooele Walmart, strangers reach out to him — a sure sign he is starting to be recognized.
“People say like, ‘I saw you on Facebook,’” he said.
Though he receives local requests to perform, for the time being Fiedel wants to keep his focus on honing his skills and composing, since his big dream is to be both a writer and performer.
“Right now, I’m in the process of writing a lot of songs, and wanting to get music out to the public before I start playing live,” he said.
Big management companies have contacted the young performer, which would help him get into shows and collaboration. They tell him “to keep writing, keep writing, keep writing,” he said. He is hopeful other artists will also pick up some of his original music to get more exposure.
For now, Fiedel supports his music career by working at Purple mattress manufacturing plant three days a week.
“It’s 12 hours. I’m kind of tired after I come home and I just kind of relax. On my days off, I go live every day,” Fiedel said.
The other four days are for music. He makes sure he posts one video every week. When he goes live on Younow, it is around 4 p.m. He tries to be consistent for his fan base.
Fiedel focuses the rest of the time on song writing.
“When I’m driving that’s when I get the most ideas for songs,” he said. “The thing that I like about country music is that it’s very storytelling,”
Currently, he collaborates with Bryan Morgan, a friend he met on Younow.
“It’s always good to get a second on when you’re writing, so it’s like ‘That’s cool. Have you tried doing the end like this?’” Fiedel said.
For now, he posts covers so he can “grow” his audience, but he plans to make his Youtube channel for his original work only.
Currently, his only original song that he has put out is “Sixteen Windows,” which he recorded in Nashville with Morgan.
“What it’s about is growing up with your family and everyone kind of moves away,” Fiedel said. “The main lyric we wrote around was, ‘why do hallways always turn to highways?’ — meaning you used to be a hallway away, now you’re a highway away from your family.”
“Sixteen Windows” is currently on Itunes, Google Play, Spotify, Youtube or Amazon.
Next month, Fiedel plans to record new originals in Nashville. He wants to put out an Extended Playlist soon to release several songs at once.
“[The pinnacle] for me, it’s like to fully support myself doing my music, and being able to invest 100 percent of my time into it,” Fiedel said.
For now, people message him and tell him that he brightened their day and that they look forward to seeing him perform online. For a performer, this drives him to keep going.
“It’s really cool. You never really think while you’re doing it that you’re going to inspire people like that,” he said. “It’s really cool that you can make someone feel like that.”
What would be even cooler for Fiedel is that sometime this year, some sixth-grader hears his music and a fleeting thought enters their mind that maybe someday they could do this, too.
It’s all part of his musical dream — to touch others with his songs.