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Television: An Interview with James Mustapic About His Debut Harry Warner-Themed Single

Alex Casey talks to Shorty Street Scandal‘s James Mustapic, ahead of the much-anticipated release of his debut Shortland Street-themed single ‘Hold Your Hand in Mine Harry Warner’.

James Mustapic is a local legend who has been dissecting the absurd happenings in Ferndale on his amazing Youtube channel for well over a year. Through all the fun runs, cameos and yoga, one moment between Harry and Chris Warner awoke something deep within James, and inspired his new debut pop single ‘Hold Your Hand in Mine Harry Warner’. All we can show you is a teaser clip for now, for the world premiere you’ll have to head along to The Spinoff Presents: Shorty St Scandal LIVE at The Basement Theatre, 10.30pm this Saturday.

When did the idea of making a Harry Warner-themed pop song start bubbling away in your brain?

Near the end of last year, there was one episode where Harry and Chris’ hands glided past each other. I wrote a small line of a song that was really heartfelt “hold your hand in mine Harry Warner” and slowed down the clip next to it. Somewhere along the line I decided to just make it into a full song. One year later, here we are.

Why did you choose that particularly tender moment between Harry and Chris?

I don’t know really. It’s hard to remember what was going through my mind. I don’t know what was happening. I loved Chris and Harry at the time, particularly because Harry is such a hated Shortland Street character.

Why do you think people hate Harry?

I feel like people tend to hate all of the teenagers on Shortland Street most of the time. Apart from Kane – he was a bit of a hottie so the girls loved him. Otherwise everyone just says “oh they are so annoying, they are such a brat.” You know, Harry’s actually one of the longest-running characters because he’s been there since he was born. I suppose he has had a lot of bratty story lines. He got into cyberbullying for a while…

I liked when he threw his soccer boots at Chris. Where did the rest of the song come from, did you just lock yourself in a dark room and write it all in one go?

A little bit yeah. I’m not very musical, I’m not a great singer and I don’t play an instrument. I don’t know where it came from, I just wanted it to be funny most of all. It was important to me that the lyrics made sense.

I’m a big fan of “Chris fell off the flying fox like I fell for you” as a lyric, do you have a favourite part of the song?

I really like the bridge, it’s very emotional. There’s a rap, which is quite slow, followed by this really emotional bit, and then I sing “Harry” really, really high. It took me ages to get my voice up there.

Did you have a clear vision of what you wanted the music video to look like?

I really wanted to make a cheesy love song sort of vibe, really emotional and heartfelt. I wanted to film it at Shortland Street, but that didn’t quite work out. I couldn’t fit into their tight schedule so I asked to film it outside with some of the cast. They initially said yes, but then retracted their offer.

That’s a real shame, what was your Plan B?

I had so many Plan B’s, I knew there was always other cool stuff I could do. Like shooting the flying fox scene [I have since been informed that the flying fox in the video is indeed the same flying fox that Chris Warner fell off], the emotional scene at the beach. I sort of know a few ex-Shortland Street cast members and they were nice enough to help me out.

But no Harry Warner?

I wasn’t allowed to film with him. I am worried that it will come across as creepy, but all I want is for people to see that Harry is an under-appreciated character. I hope Harry sees this and knows that somebody loves him. He has actually heard the song, and I think he likes it. I really hope he watches the video.

I’m sure he’ll be waiting with bated breath. Do you have any more Shortland Street pop songs on the pipeline?

I’ve thought about it, but this was so stressful I don’t know if I could do it again.


DON’T FORGET: Shorty Street Scandal LIVE at the Basement Theatre on December 12 at 10.30pm!!!!!!!!! Gaze in wonder at this great poster designed by the Great Paul Williams!!!!!!

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