Scott Storey, one half of The Voice’s ‘Z’-less pop duo Scott and Vicki, chats divas, bullying and revenge!
When Scott and Vicki took to the stage on The Voice this evening, we knew we were in for a treat. Even before they started singing, we could tell from the glint in their eager eyes that they were born performers! And no sooner had they launched into their spectacular rendition of Alphabeat’s Fascination, we were captivated by their exuberance. No surprise then, that Will.I.am turned for them.
Here, bright-faced Scott chats to GuysLikeU about why he hates Grindr, how his bullies made his life a total misery and how he got his revenge!
So Scott, when we watched you we couldn’t help but think, er, Same Difference. Or H & Claire?
(laughing) We’ve had that before. Duos aren’t that big at the moment, there aren’t many others around and so as we are a male-female group we always been compared to the likes of Same Difference. But we don’t mind. Yes, we are pretty energetic and fun and that’s what we try to put across when we perform because Vicky and I have a zest for life. We do try to portray that through every thing we do. It’s cool to be happy and having a good time.
Well, for the viewer it’s a refreshing change as we normally see solo artists who want to be taken so seriously
And that’s what makes us different, though we take this career very seriously. When we first decided to go on to The Voice we were kind of thinking of singing a big ballad because that’s what we think sound best doing. But then someone suggested we do the Alphabeat song and after we rehearsed it a few times, I realised that the song was good for us because it was upbeat and people would probably remember us more because the other singers would have sung a ballad with a guitar. In the end I think it showcased what we do better than a ballad would have. It had good energy and the crowd got into it.
Who are your pop icons?
We’re so stereotypical. We love all the big divas, obviously. Definitely Celine – I mean, one of my lifelong dreams is to see her in Vegas. It’s on my bucket list. We love women who really sing and belt songs out. You know, Babs. Whitney, Mariah early days – women who really go for it. And we both trained in musical theatre – so we’ll an amalgamation of divas and musical theatre. But we’re open to any styles. When we do gigs we do a bit of everything. We’re very eclectic.
Do you like any of the more modern divas like Beyonce. Her new song is a bit rhythm over melody!
Everyone loves Beyonce, but her at the minute – I mean, I think I prefer her when she really sings, you know like on songs like Listen and Like A Boy, who really go for it and make it epic. That’s what we tried to do with out version of Fascination.
So how did you meet?
Basically we met when were 10 – we’re 24 now, so we’ve known each other a long time. We met backstage at a singing contest. It was my first, but was probably Vicki’s 300th. She used to do the rounds, entering all the competitions. She actually won this show I was at and I was devastated cos I didn’t make a place and started bawling. She felt sorry for me so she gave me her trophy.
That’s sweet! But probably because she had enough of them to go round.
Yeah, I thought she was being kind but she probably thought she had enough at home already! Ha!
She sounds like Rachel Berry from Glee.
Oh my god, she was so like Rachel. Her mum says she wasn’t a pushy mum but she was on a website called NotAPushyMum and that’s where she’d find out about all the auditions and competitions that were going on. Vicky would do the circuit and win everything. So after that day, we started hanging out and then we started to sing together, in the car to start with – she’d sing something and I’d put a harmony to it. We thought this is good and then started gigging.
Did you used to fancy her in those days? You know, before you realised you liked chaps?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! Ha! I came out singing and doing jazz hands out of the womb. I never wondered about that at all.
How old were you when you realised you were gay?
I think it was the Disney Princes who did it for me. I remember watching films like The Little Mermaid and thought ‘oooh that prince is nice’. Never the princesses. I used to really fancy Prince Eric.
Didn’t we all! Was your coming out an easy ride?
To be honest, I made it pretty obvious that I was gay. I hung around with a lot of girls, I went into hairdressing and I was into singing and performing. I was definitely ticking all the boxes. My parents were amazing, though. My dad had been in the army for 25 years and I always kind of thought he might be the one who would be a bit disappointed about me being gay. But in fact, he was quite the opposite.
So how did he find out.
Well, I was on MSN messenger one time chatting to my boyfriend of the time. So I went out to meet him and left my messenger open. While I was out my parents read our messages and then when I got home asked me if I was gay.
And you said?
I remember thinking I have two choices – either kick off and say ‘how dare you asks me that’ or come clean. So I thought ‘sod it’ and just went with it. It was the best way it could have happened. They said it was fine. I couldn’t have had a better experience, especially when you hear about people being kicked out. I was so lucky to have lovely parents.
You had your first boyfriend at 13.Where did you meet him?
I attended Stage Coach theatre schools on a Saturday and I met him there – he was a fellow thespian. I wouldn’t say he was my first love. You go through a lot of relationships thinking they’re love. But I am with someone now and I am the happiest I have ever been. I can see more of a future with this guy than anyone else, so I would say that this is love. You never know what the future is going to hold. We’ve been together for six months.
Are you a romantic type of guy?
I am a hopeless romantic. But I fear it’s a very lost way of being these days. It’s all become about… don’t get me wrong, I am no prude, but I am not the kind of guy who is into apps and stuff like that. The art of dating I think has got lost along the way. And why? It has worked well enough the old fashioned way for hundreds of years and don’t think that apps make it very nice. I find things like Grindr very daunting and is something that I wouldn’t get involved with.
Well, you never know who’s on the other end?
I look at my grandparents who have been married 60 years! They didn’t need an app to meet. They met organically, cos they liked each other. I just think apps take the romance out of life. And it can be pretty dark – they make it so easy to place mistrust in a relationship. Apps can be easily downloaded and deleted so you can never really trust someone. You might think youre in a happy relationship while the other one is using apps behind your back. I hear stories of people going off on holiday and downloading apps on their phones and meet up with randoms. They’re horrendously awful. Romance is so important and getting to know people properly.
One of my friends was a Grindr whore – he’d fall asleep on it. And we’d be on a night out in a club and he’d be on his Grindr. And I’d be like ‘you’re in a club, in a room full of guys, just go and speak to one of them’.
Apps destroy social interaction. The best thing about meeting is the getting-to-know-you stage.
I have been on a lot of rubbish dates in my time, where I haven’t connected with someone. I think you can tell within 15 minutes if it’s gonna work. When I went on my first date with my current boyfriend, I knew he was the one. It was comfortable and natural. You eliminate that if you re on a Grindr. If you open the conversation with an explicit picture then it takes away all the getting to know you stage, all the excitement and spontaneity.
Where did you meet your guy?
We have mutual friends and Facebook who gave us a nudge because they thought we’d be great together. So we started chatting on Facebook, then texted, then met and bingo.
Seeing as you were so out and open, was school a breeze for you?
It was the worst time of my life. I can’t look back with any fond memories. But on reflection, it was very character building.
Why was it so bad?
I was physically and verbally abused. I got pushed down stairs, pushed around in the corridors. It got to the stage when the teachers had to escort me from classes because I couldn’t walk down the corridors by myself.
People don’t tend to like people who are different. I was always very friendly with the girls and the other boys didn’t like that. They probably felt threatened. I was doing drama and I had day release to go a hairdressing course. They’d be playing football and I refused to do PE because I didn’t want to be with them. I just didn’t fit into the mould they wanted me to be in.
When did things change?
The turning point for me was when I properly came out. We all go through this period of denial so when they would say ‘are you gay’ I’d say no and they’d feed off that! But the minute I said ‘Yeah, I am gay’, it took the wind out of their sails. What could they come back with? And they ran out of ammunition. They weren’t interested anymore and they moved onto someone else. After that I got more confident and went to drama school and being gay just become part of me.
School life is always tough for LGBT kids. Even now in more accepting times!
Schools are just as bad now as they ever were. There’s a pressure among kids to be a certain way, to be cool and to conform. You become more and more self aware as you get older. And that’s a shame.
People say we shouldn’t have to talk about being gay anymore in interviews like this, but there are still boys out there who feel alone and scared and so to read something like this helps them…
I don’t care what people think now but there was a time when I was so desperately unhappy at school that I would resent my parents for sending me to into school where I was so unhappy. I wish I had someone to look up to to let me know that things would get better.
Have you met any of your bullies since school?
It’s funny, a lot of people who bullied me I’ve since seen on the gay scene. So I now I think that they must have treated me so badly because they were hiding away from their own sexuality and took it out on me instead. In fact one guy recently came up to me and told me he had married to man and that he bullied me at school because I had been so so open and free and he used to envy me because of it.
That’s the secret. People see you being you and they can’t deal with it. Has anyone ever apologised for what they did to you.
Yes, I have been lucky in that I have been very successful in my hairdressing career. So they have seen me with a nice car, looking smart and out having a good time and all they have is bugger all. They all work in McDonalds or dead end jobs. And I’m like, ‘See, where did that bullying get you? It didn’t get you very far, did it?’ And I’ve said this to some people. But then sometimes I have been the bigger person. One time I bought them a drink. It was my moment to male them feel even worse, cos they can see I am decent person and there was never any reason to put me through what they did. Hopefully they know what they did was wrong, it helps me move on. I’m stronger than ever really.
If you can get through the toughest time then you get thru anything.
I wish I had had someone or something at the time that would have told me that it would all be alright so to do something like this for GuysLikeU and maybe helping one kid is really great.
What’s the dream?
Well we’d love to win. But then it all depends if anything comes from it. We would never hold each other back. If we are offered something singularly we will pursue that but we enjoy working together. It’s a daunting experience and it’s great to have your best mate with you for the ride.