Prince performs in 2007 (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Last week was not a good one for Scott Morrison. The Nationals’ leadership change, the vaccine rollout, the pending Sydney lockdown all made for a stressful time.

So how did the prime minister find relief? It appears that Morrison indulged in music from artists like Hillsong UNITED, Prince, and Jesus Culture over the weekend. And before that he’d recently dipped his toes into electronic dance music and metal genres.

Morrison’s public profile on Spotify shows that the account was used to listen to artists on playlists called “ScoMo’s Worship” and “ScoMo’s Global Eighties” over the weekend, including songs like Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” and Cutting Crew’s “(I Just) Died In Your Arms”.

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Shortly after deposing Malcolm Turnbull in 2018, Morrison shared a link to a playlist How good is Oz Rock! (ScoMo’s Rock Classics) hosted on the online music service Spotify.

“If you’re after my Oz playlist, this is the one that has joined me on Syd-Canberra-Syd drives for years. (With a few Kiwis thrown in),” he tweeted.

What Morrison and his team may not have realised is that the playlist also linked to his public profile (complete with a profile picture of his infamous tennis shoes) which lists his public playlists, recently played artists and what artists he follows.

While it’s not possible to say for sure who uses the account — the prime minister’s office did not respond to questions about who uses the account — the account’s habits line up with publicly known information about Morrison.

His faith shines through the Spotify account. Christian music is featured heavily in the recently played sections and in the playlists. On top of his ScoMo’s Workship playlist, the account also has subscribed to playlists created by others including Hillsong United, Hillsong Christmas, Gospel Christmas and Top 40 christian hits.

The Scott Morrison Spotify account follows just three artists: Horizon Creative (which is music from Morrison’s church, Horizon Church), Faith Church Worship and, of course, Taylor Swift. He is a noted fan of Tay-Tay: he’s quoted the megastar multiple times and went to a Swift concert in 2018 with his wife and daughters.

Assuming that this is indeed an account actively used by the prime minister, a few insights that can be gleaned.

The account shows an interest in a variety of music: it has classical, ’70s, ’80s and Oz Rock playlists. There’s also playlists for specific artists including Miles Davis, Midnight Oil, Chris Isaak, Australian country singer Travis Collins and Buena Vista Social Club.

It seems the account is often used to play music on holidays. In addition to the aforementioned Christian playlists, there’s also a Christmas one.

Notably, the account was active while Morrison took his much-maligned trip to Hawaii during Australia’s bushfires. On December 18, 2019 — while more than 100 bushfires raged across New South Wales and temperatures topped 40 degrees in Sydney, Adelaide and Canberra — Morrison’s Spotify account added songs like Cold Chisel’s “Khe Sanh”, Skyhooks’ “Let It Rock” and Icehouse’s “Great Southern Land” to How good is Oz Rock! (ScoMo’s Oz Classics).

If belonging to Morrison, it also shows that his music tastes are more adventurous than publicly known. Last week, the account’s recently played section included music from deathgrowling metal artist Burton C Bell and “Godfather of Electronic Dance Music” Tiësto.

Morrison’s very active Spotify account shows that the prime minister is a music fan, even if his government hasn’t shown the same interest.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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