September 25, 2013 - Michigan, and especially Detroit, has taken a beating lately. Ryan Scott of Independence Township wanted to do something to help, so he wrote a song about it.
Local songwriter and rapper Ryan Scott wrote the song "Blue Collar" to support his home state. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
"I'm trying my best to shed a positive light on our great state," Scott said. "My hope is that, through my song, I can impact people and bring them hope and inspiration."
He wrote the rap song "Blue Collar," a remix of Macklemore's "Same Love."
"A good friend called me up and said the song would be perfect for my voice – maybe a Michigan remix," he said. "I thought it was a good idea."
He wrote the lyrics in a day, but it took about a month to set up the recording session.
"I wanted to record it in the right way," he said.
He recorded the video at Big Foot Media in Lansing with vocalist Katelyn Torres.
"I put on Facebook that I was looking for a female vocalist for a cool project, and send samples. Katelyn sent me a YouTube link, and I was, 'wow, I've got to get her,'" Scott said. "I called her and asked if she wanted to work on it."
She agreed, and they shot the video three weeks ago.
"I didn't know how people would respond," he said. "There are 41,000 views now. It's really cool."
He has contacted and met with many people throughout the state to promote the sone, and radio stations and clothing companies have also shown an interest in it.
"I've sent it to a lot of stations in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Detroit, just see if I can get a bite," he said.
He wrote the lyrics longhand, basing them on his experiences in the state.
"My dad worked for General Motors for 37 years and lost his job – it was a difficult time for us," he said.
Fortunately, his father was rehired at General Motors tech center in Warren, but he hasn't forgotten what it feels like to have an uncertain future.
"I think about people still struggling," Scott said. "Michigan is such a cool state, to see it take a fall inspired me to stand up for it with a hopeful message."
Macklemore's song, an ode to equal rights for same-sex couples, was also an inspiration, he said.
"I wanted to put my own spin on it," he said.
Writing lyrics longhand on note paper instead of a word processor helps the ideas flow, he said.
"It sticks with me more than when I type it," he said. "It take longer to write. To see it written out, it makes it your own."
He works at Bonnie and Clyde in downtown Clarkston, and plans to continue promoting "Blue Collar" and working on a new song, "Camouflage Jungle," about how the media and technology are affecting his generation.
"The ways it's changing, the way we live these days," he said. "It's going to be really cool."
For more information, check www.ryanscottmusic.com.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.