Artist Interview: Lys Scott on Deutschtown Music Festival

Mack Mendenhall

Lately, Lys Scott‘s been making her dreams come true. Along with her band Lys Scott Deluxe, the Pittsburgh rapper performed at her first-ever music festival on July 23. The 10th Annual Deutschtown Music Festival featured over 400 local artists and a variety of venues in Pittsburgh’s North Side area. Check out this exclusive interview on Lys’ experience at Deutschtown this year.

Trey Johnson

Q: What's special about Deutschtown Music Festival?

Lys: DMF is one of the biggest music festivals in Pittsburgh, with food, art vendors and over 400 bands! If you are looking for a good time with music, it’s the place to be. It stretches across the entire North Side. So needless to say, I was honored that Connor from Crafted Sounds reached out to us to play. I put it on my bucket list that this summer I was going to play a festival, and look at that! Dreams come true!

Q: What was it like playing your first festival?

Lys: Super surreal. It was very magical seeing how music is a major part of the Pittsburgh community and I was really proud that we could be part of that! We had a great turnout and packed the Government Center to the brim.

Trey Johnson

Q: How do you feel you and the band performed? Any pre-show rituals or traditions?

Lys: My band is seasoned so they are pretty social – just hanging out, vibing hard living their best lives, and I am all – okay I need to lay down, I need to meditate and ground myself … We always hold hands and say a prayer beforehand that includes gratefulness for being there together and manifesting a bitching, raging good time.

Q: You’re a self-proclaimed introvert - how do you turn on your “stage personality” for shows? Do you feel like you have another side of yourself onstage?

Lys: Oh, for sure; that’s why I meditate and lay down before [a show]. It’s like I’m transforming or letting “everyday me” exit and “stage me” enter – when I’m on stage I am a whole different beast. Normally I stick to myself and my family and small friend group, but when I go on stage something turns on and I just send it. That’s what is so fun because I’ll be super nervous beforehand, wigging out, and then the music starts and by the end, I’m bumping and grinding with the mic stand, feeling like y’all gotta drag me off with the hook like in cartoons. 

Trey Johnson

Q: What’s one of your favorite songs to perform live?

Lys: Definitely “highest form of power“! It honestly just makes me feel so sexy, and that in and of itself is super empowering – for me, for girls, women, femmes, etc. I just love being a strong female and that’s an anthem for that feeling. And then humbly “f l o w e r c h i l d” or “head to the sky” because I feel like the messages of those songs are important for me to express.

Q: Any big plans or performances you have coming up?

Lys: We do! You can catch Lys Scott Deluxe on August 13 at The Government Center, September 17 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, and September 30 at Whisper Nest. Come through and say hi; get weird and funky with me! 

Follow Lys Scott on Instagram @thelysscott and Tik Tok @thealyssascott. Stay connected with the band on Instagram @lysscottdeluxe.

Check out the music video for Lys Scott’s newest single, “turnaround.”