Scotty Hasting Talks Overcoming the Impossible in ‘Runnin’ and ‘I’m America’ EP [EXCLUSIVE]

Scotty Hasting had an entirely different career path planned for himself, one that was forever changed when he was shot ten times while serving in Afghanistan. Once planning on a career in the military, the incident left Hasting with severe nerve damage in his right hand, and forced him to adapt to a new normal.

The journey from the life-altering injuries to finding himself again is evident in all of the songs on Hasting’s new, six-song EP, I’m America, out on May 3 on Black River Entertainment.

“This EP is amazing, because every single song, every single line of every single song in this EP is me,” Hasting tells Everything Nash. “It’s a part of my heart, and my soul, and what makes me who I am. It was really important for me, being new, and being who I am, and what I’m trying to do with my music, it was very important for me to show everyone who I was initially, just throw it out there.

“‘Here’s who I am. This is what you get,'” he adds. “And I love it. I love the fact that I have been embraced by Black River Entertainment, and I love the fact that they gave me the freedom to be open and honest and vulnerable, and just be able to throw my heart out there like this.”

Overcoming the Impossible on Runnin’

Included on I’m America is “Runnin’,” a song that is pivotal to Hasting for much more than its powerful message. Hasting wrote the song with his friend, and fellow veteran, Shannon Book, and hit songwriter, Doug Johnson.

“That song is the first song I ever learned how to finger-pick. I was just playing around. I have nerve damage in my right hand,” Hasting says, sharing that he can only move his thumb and index finger.

“I have no feeling in my hand whatsoever,” he explains. “Finger-picking was something I thought I would never be able to do. I thought that that was an impossible thing because of the nerve damage, and the limited mobility in my hand. I was just messing around, and I started finger-picking this song.”

Hasting, miraculously, taught himself how to do the intricate finger-picking that is heard in “Runnin’,” which in many ways felt like one of the biggest hurdles Hasting had ever overcome.

“I was doing something in the moment that I thought was impossible, that I thought I’d never be able to do,” Hasting reveals. “So now, that song, although it’s not about this, it represents victory for me, because it’s something that I never thought in a million years I’d be able to do. I love it, and I try to play it as much as possible, because it’s such a challenge, but also, it’s just incredible how it makes me feel.”

Finding Healing

Ironically, it was music that helped Hasting find healing, more than a decade after his traumatic injuries.

“I should have died,” Hasting reflects. “And for the longest time, I fought with, ‘Why am I here? What reason do I have to be here? How is it that I made it here, and other people didn’t?’ I was trying to find something. As soon as you get injured in the military, you lose the competitive drive and the competitive nature that you thrived on in the military. I was looking for something.”

After being medically discharged, Hasting began competing in archery for the US Paralympics team, something that still gave him the competitive high he was missing from serving in the military. But when the global coronavirus pandemic hit, bringing an end to his ability to compete, Hasting hit a new low.

“My therapy was gone, was pulled from me,” Hasting recounts. “And when it gets quiet is when the demons knock the loudest, and COVID was real quiet. I needed something. I needed something to get out of my head. I needed something to escape into. I had a guitar in the corner of my room, and one day I was looking at it, and I was like, ‘I’m gonna learn how to play this thing. My cup is about to overflow, and I need to just let it out. I need to find something that can pull me away from all of the crap that I’m dealing with it.”

Hasting committed himself fully to learn how to play guitar, which might seem like an unlikely choice for someone who had a damaged dominant hand. For Hasting, it was his saving grace. He also found therapy in learning how to write songs, and began performing at open mic nights in and around Nashville.

Discovering a Love for Performing

When he learned that he could play music on Broadway in Music City, for three to four hours at a time, he was hooked.

“At one point in time, I was playing four to five nights a week, because I lived for those three to four hours a day where I could have nothing but peace, and I could be in a moment. For someone who suffers from PTSD and depression and anxiety, it’s so hard to be in a moment, because you’re everywhere else. With my PTSD, I’m always over there. To be able to find something that can bring you back to one moment, just to be in that moment and enjoy that moment, it was such an incredible feeling, and such a therapy for me, that I wanted to do it all the time.”

Getting a Record Deal

In a bizarre and wonderful twist of fate, Hasting met Michael Kerr, the son of Black River Entertainment CEO, Gordon Kerr, which led to Hasting getting his first record deal.

“I’m so blessed that now, not only do I get to have that escape and that peace by being on stage like I was, but now I’m able to do it on such a larger scale,” Hasting shares. “I’m able to affect other people, and show them that there are things that you can do to help yourself. That has kind of become my new purpose, to help people and to try to show them that you can be broken, like I am, and still be successful. You can still struggle, and still go out there and do things that you love. You can dream and you can go out there and live your dreams. it’s been such an amazing experience.”

I’m America will be released on May 3. Download or stream “Runnin’,” and find al of Hasting’s music and upcoming shows at

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