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A musician from North Connel who used rap as a way to deal with his footballing career ending is releasing his debut album on Friday (June 28).
Stewart McAllister, who goes by S-Mac, played professional football for Dumbarton and then Stirling Albion.
However, the 19-year-old tore his ACL and ‘that was the end of that’.
‘That’s how I got into rapping in the first place,’ he said. ‘I do miss it, but this is a good way to take my mind off it.’
He first started rapping after listening to another well-known Oban rapper.
‘I think the first time I actually tried to rap was after I heard K9 Kev,’ he said. ‘I heard one of his songs and I was like, “he’s from Oban, maybe I could do something like this”.’
In 2016, S-Mac got in touch with Kevin ‘K9 Kev’ Irvine and sent him a ‘really rough song’.
After being blown away by the teenager’s first track, K9 helped him out.
‘He gave me a few pointers and I went to his house and I recorded something,’ the young rapper said.
K9 then invited to S-Mac to perform at his album launch in Cuan Mor earlier this year.
The former footballer started taking rapping more seriously when one of his songs received thousands of plays online.
‘I was planning on releasing singles until I got a certain amount of views,’ he said. ‘One of my songs, Change Me, got something like 17,000 plays. That has led up to the point of making the album.
‘A few of my songs in the past have been quite personal towards me in terms of getting hurt by people; people who have turned their back on me and stuff.
‘I think this album has changed that a bit and it’s more upbeat. There are still a few songs in there that do mean a lot to me.’
The rapper said he gets a lot of support from the community, as well as other parts of Scotland.
He used that support to help him in the Oban Live Unsigned competition and S-Mac was one of four acts that were shortlisted, with the winner receiving a slot at the festival.
In the end, Argyll Ceilidh Trail won.
S-Mac said: ‘That was a really good experience. It was us and three other acts. One of them had nine members – they had nine families and friends voting for them.’
As part of that, the acts received the chance to play at The View in Oban, which the rapper said was ‘amazing’.
His album will be available on all platforms from midnight on Friday June 28.