Lauren Scales

NYU Steinhardt Songwriting Scholar Award, 2017

Lauren Scales, a candidate for the Masters of Music in Songwriting, has been named the 2017 NYU Songwriting Scholar.

A Detroit native, Lauren is the daughter of internationally-acclaimed jazz artists Charles and Gwen Scales. She began playing piano at 4. By 12, she was singing with the celebrated Mosaic Youth Theatre. By high school she was a featured soloist with the respected Renaissance High School Jazz band and began to sing professionally with her parents.

She earned a Bachelor's of Musical Arts in Jazz Studies from the University of Michigan, where she studied with such giants as Robert Hurst, Marian Hayden, Geri Allen, Ellen Rowe, Benny Greene, Sunny Wilkinson, Dennis Wilson, and Vincent Chandler.

Lauren claimed Second Runner Up in NJPAC’s 2016 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, judged by jazz icons like Christian McBride and Dianne Reeves. She received national recognition for her compositions during the Kennedy Center’s 2016 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program.

Lauren’s aim is "To create a song that is all at once uplifting, poetic and emotionally honest, and that is accessible across genres and generations," an aim reflected in writing that crosses musical boundaries, creating a distinct voice from a flurry of influences from all over the musical spectrum.