With the recent release of debut E.P Play Nice, Skotty Fairclough – better known as Hey Skotty – has seen his musical career and psyche come full circle with the focus more on wholesome family entertainment rather than self-gratification.
After covering almost every musical genre throughout a lifelong career it was almost by accident that Skotty eventually found his calling.
“Originally we released the first single back in 2018 called ‘Wonderful Morning’, just to test if people were going to appreciate it,” he said.
“The song had this kooky dance clip and it was a surprise hit to the point we started getting all these parodies of people that were doing the Hey Skotty dance to that song – sending it to me by text or uploading them on social media – and the song became popular enough that a couple of primary schools have been using it as a medium for dance routines in competitions and things like that. Then having children was a bit overwhelming, so I took a year to compress and plan the next two film clips and that took about eighteen months, so there was a big gestation period.”
Once the juggernaut started rolling, Skotty decided the best course of action was to run with it, to the extent that he didn’t have any set goals going into writing the E.P other than an overwhelming desire to spread joy through music.
“To be honest the goal, the thing I reflect on when I wrote this down, was I wanted to see if I could make people happy,” he smiled.
“My background is in hard rock – and I love it – but with Hey Skotty and just the time and period it was of my life I almost felt like happiness is a circle. You have to make yourself happy and generate that and expand on the circle so I wanted to create music that whether you liked it or you didn’t, it would at least make you smile.”
Another contributing factor in this changing of musical direction was the onset of fatherhood. In 2014 Skotty became a father for the first time and although he admits there wasn’t any form of spiritual awareness that descended over him, the inherent responsibilities that come with it were a catalyst to a more relaxed approach.
“I don’t think becoming a Dad changed my personality,” he measured. “The album title is called ‘Play Nice’ and the reason being is – not saying I didn’t play nice – but there was always an aggressive element to the projects I used to create. There was always that shock value and I did think about that when my children came along. At the time I was playing hard rock with a band and I would be playing at 2am and I knew my kids would never be able to come and watch me on stage. I started watching more kids’ stuff and I was curious how it was put together and how they made it and the idea was to make people happy with positive messaging and that influenced me.”
Moving into family music provided a fresh challenge, offering Skotty a unique opportunity to put his full broad musical capabilities into action as a writer and composer. As with most of his previous projects, Skotty oversees every step of the creative process, making both the art and the music which allows greater scope to fully realise his vision. This is no more evident than with the animated film clip for ‘Sunshine’ which he wrote, illustrated, animated, edited and produced. Combine that with writing and performing all the music and it’s one singular product from one headspace.
Throughout his professional career, Skotty has refused to limit his creative output. Since first coming to prominence in the mid-2000s as an avant-garde rocker, visual artist and ambassador for surf/skate culture on the Australian Gold Coast he also spent time fronting bands, repping brands and exhibiting his works all over southern Queensland, but now entering the prime of his life he looks back and sums it up simply.
“I like having fun,” he laughed. “I still think and feel like I’m 17 years old. All of my 20s and early 30s was this life of adventure and I was touring to go surfing and touring to go skating. I would just look on the map and decide to do a run down say the West Coast so I would contact every pub and see if I could hook up gigs so sometimes I have had to play Aussie Rock in certain venues and then play in daycare centres, schools, nursing homes and food festivals, so I have had to be different things to different audiences.
“I’m now 40years old and I’ve made all this music. I’m not known for one thing or the other but in my own way I’m still 17 years old doing what I want to do at that particular time and the music that I make might not be conjoined but that’s okay because that’s what I am and that’s what I like to do.”
‘Play Nice’ was released 6 December and is available on all platforms. Physical copies and additional information can be accessed through heyskotty.com. You can catch Hey Skotty at Eddie’s Grubhouse on 22 December as part of Eddie’s Satanic Xmas Ritual Event. We think it’s probably not what it sounds like 🙂