Our week of interviews with the Scottish artists attending South by Southwest concludes with a chat with Unicorn Kid. Edinburgh teenager Oli Sabin already toured the US last year with Owl City and he spoke with Dear Scotland yesterday about that experience and his upcoming SXSW gigs.

Dear Scotland: Where are you now and what did you do last night?
Unicorn Kid: I am in my Travelodge somewhere near Kings Cross in London, I need to head back home today before I head over to SXSW. I was supposed to be playing a Record of the Day showcase for my manager’s label, Euphonios, however the venue went on fire and caused a massive fire in Shoreditch.

DS: Paul McCartney said he got into music to avoid a job – and get lots of girls. What made you get into music?

Unicorn Kid: I fell into this completely by accident, I was always messing around with tracks as a hobby and somewhere along the way this project became a career and here I am! Now that I am here though the idea of going and getting a real job or going back into education really doesn’t appeal to me, I’d like to keep this going as long as possible.

DS: What is your favourite song to play right now?
Unicorn Kid: This Neon Indian remix of Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear – Cheerleader (Neon Indian remix)


DS: How do people react when they discover that Unicorn Kid is Scottish?

Unicorn Kid: I think a lot of people are surprised, due to the fact that there aren’t any of my own vocals in my music, so there isn’t very much that is identifiably Scottish.


DS: Your heading out to Austin next week for SXSW, have you played there before and are there other places you’d like to visit?

Unicorn Kid: SXSW will be the first time I’ve been in Texas, when I toured North America with Owl City in September I totally fell in love with the US, I can’t wait to be back. I’d really like to visit some places in Europe I’ve not been to yet like Norway and Sweden.
I am bit worried about how SXSW is going to be turn out for me, I’ve only just turned legal in the UK and I now won’t even be able to go to any shows or drink at SXSW!

Unicorn Kid US Tour with Owl City


DS: Do you feel more Scottish when you are abroad, or do you adapt well to new places? Anything you miss about Scotland?

Unicorn Kid: The Scottish accent seemed to serve me well with the crowd when I was in the US, especially with the mums of the kids – they always asked whether or not I knew their Scottish relatives.

DS: What will be your first words on stage at your SXSW showcase to an audience of fans and industry types?
Unicorn Kid: I will probably do a sheepish ‘Hello Austin’, I don’t always enjoy playing industry shows as my live show relies on a lot of energy and participation from the crowd, it’s difficult to get that going with a whole load of people who think they’re too old to dance, however we’ll see how it goes!

Unicorn Kid Live at King Tuts


DS: After Austin, what are your other plans for 2010?
Unicorn Kid: I will be working hard on finishing my new single and album, I am looking forward to playing all my new material at festivals this year.

DS: Are there any Scottish musicians, past or present, that have influenced you?
Unicorn Kid: I wouldn’t say there are any Scottish musicians that have influenced me per se, however I am a huge fan of Warp act Hudson Mohawke who is from Glasgow.

DS: What should the Scottish national anthem be?
Unicorn Kid: Hudson Mohawke – Fuse !

Hudson Mohawke – Fuse


DS: What is the best after-show experience you’ve had?
Unicorn Kid: I haven’t had many amazing after-show experiences, as before my birthday I often got kicked out my shows for being too young, however last June Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters turned up to my London show and we went out after for a wee bit, that was very cool.

DS: And finally, many many years from now, when you finish your farewell world tour, is there one place to where you would like to retire?
Unicorn Kid: I would like to live in an amazing house up in the Highlands that looks like it’s off Grand Designs.

Unicorn Kid Live at ‘In The City’


Unicorn Kid website: www.myspace.com/unicornkid

For all Unicorn Kid’s South by Southwest shows see the separate article here.

Photo Credit: Beccatron