Thanks to the internet, everyone anywhere in the world has a place to show off their talents. A platform to share ideas and join with others to create new ones. The knock on effect of this, is the rather large cult of YouTube celebrities and while some are merely famous for accidental deeds of pure hilarity, there are a rare few who are becoming infamous for acts of our ingenuity.
One of the most recent, and easily most unique, characters is Greig Stewart.
Already somewhat famous online due to his work with the thermion and laser harp, Greig recently released a cover of Game of Thrones ever popular theme tune but with a twist. He’s performed the whole thing on his custom built Keytar, constructed entirely out of console parts, mainly a Nintendo NES and controllers, with a guitar hero neck thrown in for some control and serious style.
Anything gaming related is always close to my heart, but with a head on collision towards Game of Thrones territory and I’m sold. Just like hundreds of other fans who have loved the video, including a certain Mr Will Wheaton who was excited enough to tweet a link to the video recently.
Clearly destined for stratospheric internet fame, I was lucky enough to chat to the man behind the instrument and ask him a few questions.
–What is it about the 8-bit/chiptune sound that connects with you?
For me, it’s all about the nostalgia. There’s something about chip music and especially video game music from the 8-bit era that just sounds so pure and uncluttered. Video game music has always been one of my top interests, because it can be extremely emotive, bringing you back to a certain section of a story or adventure that at the time seemed almost magical. These are experiences that stay with you in a more unique and personal way, since you weren’t just being shown the story from an actor’s perspective.. you were the one experiencing the game directly.
–How long have you been working on the NES keytar?
I first started on it back in August 2013. So, quite a while.
-What made you choose Game of Thrones as the piece to kick it all off?
It seemed like an obvious choice really. I’ve been humming the theme for weeks and that show is super popular… Plus the theme is just so damn catchy and well composed! A real earworm.
-Will Wheaton recently shared your video through Twitter, how did that make you feel?
I was, and still am, absolutely thrilled and amazed. At that moment I realised all the hard work was starting to pay off and that basically it was guaranteed to be a successful video. If he does end up showing the video as part of his TV show it will absolutely be a dream come true. I have the deepest respect and admiration for the guy.
-What are your plans for the future?
I’m playing at a chiptune festival in September called Superbyte with some of the top artists in the chip scene. It’s been my focus for a while now and beyond that there’s the Scottish Games Expo. I’d be extremely interested in playing at MAGFest in the States one year, it’s sort of my life goal at the moment.
-Is there anything musically that you haven’t done yet that’s on your to do list?
I’m never going to stop learning and trying out new ideas. There’s a lot I know I’m capable of, it’s just trying to find the time. I want to write more original music, for sure.
-Will we still be seeing more of your work with the Theremin and Laser harp?
I generally bring them to every show I play at, and I’ve got a few new tricks up my sleeve when it comes to both of those instruments. So yes, expect to see more of them in the future… as well as the NESKeytar of course!
-Do you still find time for gaming in your life and if so, what’s been burning a hole in your console recently?
I try and find time when I can but it’s a luxury I really have to make time for these days. ‘Brothers’ was the last game I played though and it was a magical experience, I’d highly recommend it. It reminded me of Journey which is one of my top games of all time.
If you still haven’t had the chance to feast your eyes on Greigs musical genius, then you can catch it below and don’t forget to check out the official website here. You can also chat to the man himself over on Twitter and Facebook.