The Girl Living Two Dreams
You may know Naomi Scott as the Pink Ranger in the new “Power Rangers” movie, or as the endearingly awkward character “Maddy” in the Steven Spielberg produced sci-fi series, “Terra Nova”. What many people don’t know about Naomi is that she was first and foremost a musician before acting came into the picture. At age fifteen, Naomi was discovered by her manager after he came across a YouTube video of Naomi singing the lead solo of SISTER ACT 2’s “Joyful, Joyful”. Soon afterwards, she starred as one of the main characters in Disney Channel’s original movie LEMONADE MOUTH where she played the bass player in the film’s fictitious rock band. However, she never lost her drive as a singer songwriter and she used her acting opportunities to make two of her dreams come true.
When Naomi’s not on set, she’s in the recording studio. She’s worked with Xenomania, a British pop music production team, where she was able to adapt songwriting techniques to apply to her own music. She records beautiful vocals, writes her own tracks, and uses non-traditional sound effects to create a unique world of layered sound in her songs. Her latest EP is called Promises and has made the rounds on iTunes and Spotify. In a turn of events, a love of acting became Naomi’s vehicle to independently and financially support the creation of her music.
Can you describe your music and your style?
I’m not a producer, but I really know how I want things to sound. I want to keep a rawness when I record. In old demos, you could hear this click of me hitting the space bar. Those were cool elements that I liked. So in some of my new music, we used a track of my original drums—and when I say drums, I mean me banging on a desk. I create my own tracks instead of writing a pop line over a track that someone else’s done. There’s obviously a place for that, but I think things begin to sound the same. So when I do write something, I just go with what I feel. I think there’s something to be said for that.
LEMONADE MOUTH is one of your first acting credits. Was it a natural transition to incorporate your music with your acting?
Weirdly enough, I see it as such a separate thing. As a vocalist, yeah. They used my vocals for songs that I love. It was so fun, but it’s definitely a completely different world. I love movies, I love orchestral music, and big sounds, so that’s something that’s reflected in my music. I’m always a bit dramatic and epic with it, because I like the idea that it could be like a big soundtrack. So that’s the connection I would see more to do with the music I make, as opposed to me singing as a character. Acting is just genuinely so random, the way it happened for me. It was always something that I loved in school. I remember watching the sketch show “Life Bites” and thinking “I could do that.” And then I ended up being on that show. I always thought I’d be in music, but they’re probably the two things I enjoy most.
Now you recently got cast as the Pink Ranger in “Power Rangers”. How do you plan to put your own spin on this iconic role?
When “Power Rangers” came along, I thought, where are they going with this? So I skyped with the director, Dean Israelite and he just laid it out. Afterward, I was like, ‘wow,’ I want to be a part of this! We don’t have ownership over the iconic elements of “Power Rangers”. But what we were able to do is just make a movie and our version of THE GOONIES, and genuinely start fresh with these characters. It’s really about the kids and what they’re going through. It’s definitely a reimagining. I think it’s really going to surprise people.
TEXT ZEE CHANG
PHOTOGRAPHY TOM SLOANE