Still Game star Ford Kiernan releases new house music track for charity after working with The View's Kyle Falconer

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Ford Kiernan has dropped a new house music track 'Coffee Man' to raise money for SAMH in collaboration with RYZY after working with Kyle Falconer in Spain

Still Game star Ford Kiernan is swapping high rises for house music with the release of a new dance track.

The actor and writer, co-creator of Scotland’s most successful comedy series, has collaborated with Aberdeen DJ and producer RYZY on a new dance tune.

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The song, Coffee Man, sees Ford, who played Jack Jarvis in the phenomenally successful series for 20 years, venture into new territory with a 130bpm techno track.

Ford spent time last year working with musicians including The View’s Kyle Falconer at La Sierra Casa, a retreat for songwriters and musicians in the hills outside the Spanish city of Alicante. 

He said: “I had been at the kitchen sink one day and had this idea for a thing called Coffee Man. I jumped on TikTok with it while I still had it in my head. I don’t know where it came from to be honest. I was standing in the kitchen thinking how much of a mess tea bags make in the sink. I started thinking,  ‘Tea bags in the sink, tea bags in the sink…’ That’s how these things happen if you’re a creative type. Sometimes these things just bubble up in your head until you’ve no option but to try to record it.”

Ford’s video went to 60,000 views within hours.

“Before too long, half a million people had seen it,” he said. “The feedback was all really positive - people were saying there was a song in it.”

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A conversation with The View frontman Kyle Falconer led to Ford heading to the music retreat in Spain, where the track was one of several ideas Ford worked on.

He said “I’d been to a few of Kyle’s gigs and he asked me last year if I wanted to come to La Sierra Casa. So I went over. Lots of different musicians gather to work on songs, melody and lyrics.  When I told someone I  don’t read music, they said to me, ‘don’t worry, neither does Paul McCartney’. I started to lean towards dance music after a few days. I liked the progressions and the way things build.”

When the View’s Kyle suggested Ford contact Aberdeen DJ RYZY - aka Ryan Mackay - about a collaboration, the wheels were set in motion for an unlikely pairing.

Ford said: “I got in touch with Ryan and went up to his home studio and we started recording Coffee Man more or less right away. I went back and forth with him over the next month or so. 

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Ryan brings a great knowledge of what exactly it takes to make a decent dance song. I started to think of it along the lines of what people used to call floor fillers. I was starting to listen to dance progressions. I was interested in coming up with something that’s catchy, something you’ll be humming after you hear it, rather than sitting thinking about clever lyrics.”

“It was more complex than I thought it was going to be but we’re delighted with it.”

When RYZY got the call from the comedy legendy, he almost didn’t take it.

He said: “I didn’t know the number and I patched the call at first. Then I got a text saying it was Ford Kiernan and he wanted to speak to me. I thought, ‘This is a call I better take.’

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“Ford came up with a few days of that call and we got going. He’s a great writer and a great comic, but I was so impressed by the musicality. He was really going for it with the ideas, and we were bouncing off each other no bother. We realised pretty quickly we had something cool and the song took place over a weekend

“We always had Still Game on in the house when I was growing up so at first it was bizarre to be working on something like this with the guy who made it. But I always take things as they come and he’s super down to earth and has been brilliant to work with.”

For Ford, Coffee Man isn’t an attempt to crack the charts. Having written songs for Still Game’s live shows, as well as Chewin The Fat’s iconic Old Men characters - which gave rise to Jack and Victor - he’s no stranger to a good tune.

But he said: “I’m not in the competition lark, not at my age. I’m not trying to catch the dance charts. I’m more interested in seeing how the mechanism works of coming up with an idea for a song and seeing it through. If I get it right then maybe I’ll do something else. I’ve written other songs too.”

And the project will help a charity close to Ford’s heart.

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Coffee Man is a new house music track developed by Ford Kiernan to raise money for SAMHCoffee Man is a new house music track developed by Ford Kiernan to raise money for SAMH
Coffee Man is a new house music track developed by Ford Kiernan to raise money for SAMH

He said: “I’ll be giving a portion of the proceeds made from the release of Coffee Man to Scottish Association for Mental Health.

“Mental health is a growing concern and a lot of the impact of the pandemic is only becoming evident just now. It has caused a lot more ongoing damage than we realise and we should be paying a lot more attention to it. Some people might think we’re over the pandemic, but as far as mental health is concerned, I don’t think we are.

“Coffee Man isn’t a crack at the charts. It’s a hobby that will hopefully return some money for charity - and keep me smiling at the same time.”

Hazel McIlwraith, Director of Fundraising and Major Appeal at SAMH, said: "SAMH is absolutely thrilled to be the chosen charity beneficiary for the Coffee Man song. We're deeply grateful to Ford for his generous support and recognition. His contribution is invaluable in raising both funds and awareness for Scotland’s mental health, which means so much to all of us at SAMH."

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