From poetry to producing, Scott Griffith (aka Optamus) is an Independent Spirit, rapper and professional hip-hop artist who belongs to Perth-based groups Downsyde and Syllabolix Crew. He’s a skilled MC and producer, having produced for Australian acts like Hunter, Drapht and Bias B. He’s also dedicated to helping troubled teens in the West Australian community and prison systems, running workshops to help them to turn their energy into creativity through music therapy. Oh, and did we mention he also runs his own local independent label, Opt Shop Records?
“I use my skills as a musician and my platform to help young people find their voice and feel inspired every day of their life. I walk my own path and have never feared failure; my own experiences inspire me. I love living in one of the most remote cities on earth, connecting people to our land and the amazing cultures that thrive and live within our society.”
WA is diverse and full of culture and that’s why you’ll notice here at Liquor Barons that none of our stores stock an identical range of products. We cater for different people from all walks of life, with classic and contemporary tastebuds alike.
Q & A with Optamus
How did you get into hip-hop?
I’ve been a pro hip-hop artist for close to 20 years. I started out in WA at a time when hip-hop wasn’t a popular genre, so we had to kick in a lot of doors. Before hip-hop I wrote poetry. My Nan was a bush poet and I was a troubled teen with a negative experience in school and displaced energy, and found a conduit with poetry. Poetry with my Nan was a way to bridge the gap between music. I’ve since signed with major labels and toured the world.
What makes you an Independent Spirit?
I’ve been fortunate to do what I love and have a long career out of it. I’ve toured major festivals in the country and the world, as well as worked with major artists that I grew up listening to. I use my skills as a musician and platform to help the community, young people and troubled teens to have a voice. I want them to live to their fullest and be inspired every day of their life.
What are you working on at the moment?
A lot of the work I do now is in Banksia Hill Detention Centre, working with First Nations teens. My own experiences inspire me. Rapping songs through Downside speaks to a lot to social justice, which I’m also putting into action.
Why do you love living in WA?
I love living in one of the most remote cities on earth and connecting people to our land. There are amazing cultures that thrive and live within our society. You can have an eternal summer in WA by travelling to the top, but my favourite place in WA is Kununnara for the freshwater springs and waterfalls. You can’t go past Margaret River either and places further down that way.