Scott Griffiths, better known by the stage name Optamus, is one of the MCs of the Perth-based hip-hop group Downsyde and member of WA's Syllabolix Crew. Optamus is also the name of Griffiths' solo project.
Griffiths with fellow Craigie Senior High School classmate Shahbaz Rind (Dyna-mikes ) founded Downsyde in 1996. It was the following year that they released a demo cassette Behind the Bucket which topped the independent charts within a week of its release. Optamus and Dyna-mikes met their third and last MC and producer, Darren Reutens Dazastah at Leederville TAFE. The group further expanded adding Damien Allia (DJ Armee), Mathew Cheetham (Cheeky) on bass guitar and keyboard together with Salvatore Pizzata (Salvatore) on drums to form Downsyde. In 2000 they released their debut album, Epinonimous, this was followed by Land of the Giants in 2003 and When the Dust Settles in 2005. The group went into hiatus for three years before releasing All City in 2008.
As well as being a skilled MC, Griffiths is a producer and as well as working on beats for Downsyde he has produced for many Australian acts such as Hunter, Drapht and Bias B. In addition he runs his own local independent label, Opt Shop Records. Griffiths also conducts workshops for African immigrants and aboriginal youth.
I run a hip hop workshop program where the participants get to write a song and learn about the hip hop culture and the Australian hip hop culture. For me it's another aspect of what I do as a musician, that makes me feel like I'm balancing the karma from being able to tour and live a life where I get to do something I love, I think this is my 'give back'.
Optamus released his debut solo album Forever & A Day on 12 June 2010. Optamus is also the name of his group, a trio with keyboardist Chris 'Imposter' Foster (Mr Chops) and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Jongsma (Moondog). The album includes a number of guest artists including Hunter, Trials (Funkoars), Drapht, Hau (Koolism), Downsyde and MC Layla.
Optamus previewed the album to a sold out home crowd (Rosemount Hotel W.A) and a huge tour through the southwest in June 2010. 'Forever and A Day' went on to sell 3500 copies from the optamus.com.au website without any distro or label support.'Lookaround' became a Triple J single and they toured Australia extensively. Optamus are ready to release the second album in 2013 with a huge album preview/show which has already taken place and the first single scheduled for release in August/September.