Scotty Sire’s been blowing up the social media scene for years as both a musician and a comedian, but now he’s landed in the mainstream with his music career that just keeps growing and growing. The “Funkin Fun” singer, whose latest album, What’s Going On, landed in 2019, shares his entire life with his social media followers and fans, including getting very real about anxiety and forging his own career path. We caught up with Scotty to chat about his headline tour, his affinity for TikTok dances, and his thoughts on anxiety, including one of his recent tweets about mental health that he wanted to expand on.
You just came off a huge tour — did you have some “Funkin Fun”?
Touring was great! Sharing a bus with friends for a month and a half and getting away from a monotonous routine was very rewarding. Hanging out, performing the shows, and meeting people who were as passionate about my music as I am was amazing.
You’re very open with your lyrics — talk me through “Funkin Fun,” which is honestly, really fun?
“Funkin’ Fun” is about finally letting loose after letting all of the stressful aspects of life build up. Just going out and kinda letting go of all your worries. It’s hard to do but when you do it…it’s nice!
On the flip side, “What’s Going On,” your title track from the album, is much heavier. Is it important to you to share these very real feelings with your music?
Being an independent artist gives me 100% freedom to make whatever I want and I love it. If I want to make a goofy song, I can. If I want to make a serious song, I can. I think it’s definitely important to show both sides of myself and to write about real things sometimes.
A few months ago you tweeted, “you know what’s actually kinda cool about anxiety? you can do the most bullshit thing and as long as you believe that thing helps you relax, it will lol. go ahead eat a pickle, put on fuzzy socks, count to 17, cry. you believe anxiety into your head you can believe it out.” So what do you do for your anxiety to help believe it back out of your head?
In hindsight, this tweet could be taken really negatively, but I meant it lightheartedly and with good intentions. You can’t just wish anxiety away and expect it to work. I’ve had severe anxiety and panic attacks to the point where I’ve passed out in public, and in some situations, there really is no escape. I’ve found a few things that help me to not feel this intense anxiety (that I used to go through more often). For one, I try not to put myself into situations that cause my anxiety. I’m claustrophobic, I sit on the edge of the row if I ever go to the movies. I try to avoid driving in traffic, and if I’m ever feeling anxious on the road I stay in the right-hand lane so I can pull over if I ever feel like it might be too much. I almost always have a water bottle with me. If I’m going through it, I exercise in any way I can to exhaust my body and hopefully my mind to calm myself down. I pace, jog, do jumping jacks — whatever I can do with whatever space I’m in. When I was younger I used to count to 8 repeatedly, it was kind of like counting sheep to relax. I really do believe that it could be anything. If you believe something helps you… then it should. Whether it’s a placebo or not.
Your album’s been out for a couple of months now. What was your favorite song to write?
I love writing music, so it was great writing every song. The serious songs challenge me more than the goofier ones and I enjoy that. Letting loose and getting a little goofy is always great too though. If I had to pick one song I’d probably say “Funkin’ Fun.”
Your favorite song to perform?
My favorite song to perform is probably “Funkin Fun” as well. It’s vocally challenging and fast-paced. It requires a lot of energy and lung capacity, but that’s what makes it fun.
You and the rest of the Vlog Squad are obviously very collaborative. What’s it like to always have your best friends around you to create content with?
It’s great to have friends around who are always down to film. All of us started doing this ourselves and met each other along the way. It’s awesome to have real friends who are also like-minded and I guess… co-workers?
What’s one of your best Vlog Squad memories that your fans might not already know about?
We share pretty much everything interesting so… I got nothing. Or I’m just too lazy to activate my memory and think of something.
You’ve been on TikTok since before it was TikTok — what’s your take on how it is now in regard to this new wave of social media stars since the platform has exploded very recently?
I’m intrigued by the way TikTok works, the potential for anyone to have a hit video and the power it has when it comes to promoting music. TikTok has an effect that is so different and yet so similar to the way Vine was. I think some people will get lucky with a few popular videos and some people will find real success and make a career out of their followings. Also, I think everyone’s going to grow up wanting to be a dancer. Cool!
I see you finally jumped on the “Renegade” bandwagon — are you going to keep learning these TikTok dances and sharing your sweet dance skills?
I can’t stop now, I’m in too deep. I’m not good at dancing, but luckily it’s just as fun to dance poorly as it is to be good at it.
You’ve had to move around the social media platforms since you started on Vine — how’s it been to hop around and continue to grow your audience across all the platforms over the years?
It’s been fun hopping around platforms. I never really put all my eggs in one basket when it came to social media. Although Vine was my biggest platform when I started, from the beginning I encouraged people to follow me on everything else. I try to stay hip.
I saw you perform at the LA Jingle Ball Preshow and was blown away by how loud and dedicated your fans are. What’s your relationship with them like?
I just feel like I have a really big extended family, lots of brothers and sisters. We give each other shit but we all love each other.
You’re also nominated for an iHeart Radio Award this year, how cool is that?
It’s pretty cool, I just hope my mom is remembering to vote for me every day. Otherwise, I have no chance.
So what’s next for you? Other than more YouTube videos and obviously more TikTok dances.
Woah, earlier you asked if I was going to keep learning and sharing new TikTok dances. How did you know what I was going to answer?? More music! I’m working on a bunch of songs I’m extremely excited about. I’ve done two albums, and this year I’m going to focus on putting out singles.
If I recall correctly, you said on Instagram that your New Year’s resolution was to “be cuter next year” — how’s that going for you so far in 2020?
So far we’re off to a rough start.
Any words of advice for up-and-coming social media mavens who want to make it big?
As my favorite teacher once said, “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”