The Paper Plane
Getting to Know Scotty Dynamo
If you’re looking for a fresh local artist to check out look no further than Scotty Dynamo. With his beginnings sharing music back in the days of Myspace, and now a well-known Youtube personality that regularly covers and remixes artist like Ke$ha, Eminem, and even the Rugrats theme song, Scotty Dynamo is a rapper/singer-songwriter with wide appeal. His hit single Show Me Yours has close to 200,000 views on Youtube and his popularity as a DJ and original musician only appears to be getting bigger. For those unfamiliar with his music it could be best described as hip-hop mixed with pop, like if local synth pop diva Diamond Rings had made rapping his focus.
This week I had the chance to catch up with Scotty and find out some more about his creative process, influences, and personal life. What I found is a down-to-earth personable musician that doesn’t take himself or his art too seriously. Furthermore I found that Scotty’s sexual identity isn’t some big secret as I initially thought, and he has no qualms about sharing his fabulousness with curious onlookers. Always in the process of creating new music either for himself or helping others with their technique, his work ethic could only be described as tireless. He’s also dabbled in acting and is currently lending his likeness to a TV show or two, but that’s only skimming the surface of what this musical entrepreneur has hidden up his sleeve.
The best way to start talking about Scotty and his accomplishments would probably be to address the elephant in the room: yes Scotty Dynamo is gay. Lead single Show Me Yours is his self-professed coming out video, despite the appearance of females, and as Scotty puts it, his content is “relatable to most people regardless of their sexual orientation.” He goes on to say, “if someone has an issue with me holding hands with a guy in a music video, they aren’t the kind of person I care to have hanging around anyway.” Touché Scotty, as these words echo the sentiments of my favorite lead singer, despite coming from an entirely different genre.
The video which Scotty describes as a “colorful 90’s workout tape” features attractive girls and boys in equal numbers, and in the end sees Scotty forgoing the girls and the guys clothed in pride prepped attire for a geeky twinkish boy. In lesser hands this coming out video might have seemed contrived and exclusionary, but Scotty handles the grey areas with a sexual ambiguity that may leave even the most hardline straight person questioning their sexuality. Pretty impressive for someone who admittedly doesn’t “overthink anything during the creative process.”
When discussing influences, I had a chance to ask if Seattle hip-hop and it’s host of pop friendly rappers had any bearing on his musical output, and while he didn’t claim to have any extended influence from that scene, he did sing praise for Macklemore, his live performances, and his “ability to laugh at himself and [not] take himself too seriously.” Some critics have been dismissive of Macklemore having received a Grammy for a song about being gay whilst not being a member of the community, but talent is talent and it’s good to see Scotty falls in the latter camp of people who see that. I guess it doesn’t hurt either that he has a song called thrift store, when Scotty’s style influences include “80’s and early 90’s fashion”, so there that’s as well.
I also asked if pop punk had any bearing on his music, particularly the Pop Goes Punk compilations which are essentially what Scotty does with remixing hip-hop to pop songs, but he hadn’t heard of them, though he “used to love” Blink-182. In addition he says that “Sir-Mix-a-Lot is pretty iconic”, and his influence from both these artists can be seen plainly in the way Dynamo infuses his content with youthful and boastful sexuality in the time-honored tradition of radio-friendly pop music.
When asked about his progression as an artist, Scotty cites his experience as a DJ as having “definitely helped [him] with the creative process”. Not just a side-gig that Dynamo does for the money, Scotty sees DJing as an opportunity to read crowds, and see “how they react to specific songs [and] sounds”. This factors into the remixing aspect of his career, as Scotty says “there are definitely times where I’ve remixed songs that wasn’t necessarily crazy about but seemed to be doing really well”. He continues on to say that he “always [tries] to add [his] own twist to it”, and to find a balance between mainstream appeal and personal interest.
When he isn’t at home working on music, Scotty frequents Los Angeles where he does DJ sets and works with out of town talent to hone his craft. “It’s always a wild adventure” he says in regards to visiting LA, a city that will no doubt shape him into a celebrity if he continues to carve a niche there. When not recording music Scotty also spends a lot of time vlogging his escapades, such as when he started a dance party in the Toronto subway “on the hottest day of the year”, or more recently his “DIRTIEST SNAPCHAT EVER!” Q&A which culminates with a pie in the face.
Having started making music in the 2nd grade, and sharing it with his friends in the schoolyard via Ipod shortly after, Scotty Dynamo has come along way to the multimedia artist that commands presence on the stage or in videos today. Though the band he started in elementary school and that broke up at lunchtime didn’t become the next One Direction, his musical roots have blossomed into a solo artist with potential greater than any pop group that comes to mind. If he can continue to successfully bridge rapping with pop, Scotty Dynamo is well on his way to becoming a world renowned self-made pop figure that bridges the gap between genres like none before. I look forward to what the future holds from this bright young star, hopefully he’s only getting started.
He’s currently shooting a music video for his new single, “Not Like You”, as well as a pilot episode for the series “My Gay Roommate”, and is recording more new music in the near future.
Connect With Scotty Dynamo:
Instagram: www.instagram.com/scottydynamo Snapchat: scotty.dynamo.
About the Author
Dylan Kulcher is an avid skateboarder, gamer, music fan, and aspiring journalist from the small airport town of Mount Hope, Hamilton. Always looking for a reason to visit the big city and network outside his comfort zone, Dylan vies to bring communities together with his writing. A member of many LGBTQ groups and participator in his local Pride rallies, he strives for transparency in his life and doesn’t feel like anyone should have to hide in the closet!.