Last updated: 21 may, 2010 - 14:13 GMT

California Schemin'

Silibil n Brains - Gavin Bain (left) and Billy Boyd (right)

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Scottish rappers Gavin Bain and his friend Billy Boyd dreamed of breaking into the music industry. So when the US-dominated world of rap music mocked them because they were Scottish, they came up with an extraordinary deception.

They pretended to be American - taking on the personas and mannerisms of their Californian slacker alter-egos Silibil and Brains McLoud.

And the doors that had been slammed in their face were suddenly thrown open to them.

But what started as a mischievous attempt to humiliate the music industry ended in shattered relationships and drove Gavin to the brink of suicide.

It all started when they had a disastrous audition at a London record company, after a 13-hour coach trip from their hometown, Dundee, in Scotland.

The record executives, or A&Rs as they're known, laughed out loud at their Scottish accents.

They returned home humiliated, but Gavin had a plan - after months working on their accents and their alter-egos' back stories they came back to London and took the rap world by storm.

According to Gavin, their attitude from the start was that failure was not an option.

"Every minute, from the moment we arrived, was a chance to make something big happen and we had to see it that way," he said. "But what we found out about Silibil and Brains - these characters that we were playing - is that we were magicians. We never let any opportunity pass us".

Soon they had a record contract and a string of live dates and were blagging their way into awards ceremonies.

But distrust grew between the two friends, and the whole deception began to unravel. Eventually Bill went back home to Dundee, though Gavin though kept up the pretence for a total of five years.

Gavin Bain spoke to Outlook's Aasmah Mir and told her all about his remarkable story.

Silibil n Brains

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