Joy Dun­lop nom­i­nated for a pres­ti­gious hon­our at Trad Mu­sic Awards

The Oban Times - - LEISURE -

CON­GRAT­U­LA­TIONS to Joy Dun­lop, who has been nom­i­nated in the cat­e­gory Gaelic singer of the Year in the Scots Trad Mu­sic Awards. Joy was born and raised in Con­nel and is a Royal Na­tional Mòd gold medal win­ner. She is also the first, and only, per­son to ever win the Tra­di­tional Singer of the Year and the Tra­di­tional Dancer of the Year at the pan- Celtic festival. We had a chat with Joy about the nom­i­na­tion, her pas­sion for Gaelic singing and her plans for the fu­ture.

Be­ing nom­i­nated for a trad award is a very big deal. How did you re­act when you were told?

‘Hon­estly? I couldn’t be­lieve it. There are so many fan­tas­tic Gaelic singers out there who are do­ing their own won­der­ful things, so to be among the four who are nom­i­nated this year is a real hon­our. I know that ev­ery­one says that it’s great to just be nom­i­nated but in this case, it’s gen­uinely true. As the nom­i­na­tion process is by pub­lic vote, it’s lovely to think that peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate your work enough to put you for­ward for a prize. My sec­ond thought was that it was a great ex­cuse to go shop­ping for a new dress.’

Who was the very first per­son you told about the nom­i­na­tion?

‘The first per­son that I told was my friend Rachel Hair, who is nom­i­nated in the Mu­sic Tu­tor of the Year cat­e­gory. Rachel had been in touch with me the day be­fore say­ing that she had been nom­i­nated for an award and ask­ing if I’d heard any­thing about my cat­e­gory. As I hadn’t, I as­sumed that it wasn’t my year so when I re­ceived a text from Si­mon Thoumire ask­ing if I’d ac­cept my nom­i­na­tion, I texted Rachel straight away to let her know. Win­ning the Gaelic Singer of the Year cat­e­gory would be amaz­ing as it’s a gen­uine recog­ni­tion of both your mu­sic and also the hard work that goes on be­hind the scenes to al­low you to per­form. Pre­vi­ously, this cat­e­gory has been won by some of my favourite Gaelic singers so to be up there with them would be so spe­cial. As with the nom­i­na­tion process, the win­ners are de­cided by pub­lic vote, so please do send one my way.’

Why are you in­volved in Scot­tish mu­sic – and why is it so important to you?

‘Ar­gyll has a won­der­fully rich cul­tural her­itage and, grow­ing up in Con­nel, I couldn’t help but be im­mersed in its lo­cal mu­sic and lan­guage. Al­though I wasn’t a na­tive Gaelic speaker, there was some­thing about the words and melodies of Gaelic songs that caught my heart and made me want to learn more. I al­ways loved hear­ing Gaelic singers per­form­ing at our lo­cal ceilidhs. My affin­ity with the Gaelic lan­guage and cul­ture is just as strong now as it was then, and there’s noth­ing that moves me more than the gen­uine emo­tions of Gaelic songs. Gaelic singing truly is good for the soul.’

What’s next for you?

‘ I’m look­ing for­ward to a very busy 2017, with no fewer than three dif­fer­ent record­ing projects in the pipe­line. My new band Las are cur­rently record­ing our first EP, which is our cel­e­bra­tion of Scot­land and Ire­land’s shared cul­tural her­itage and I can’t wait to both launch and tour this al­bum in Scot­land and Ire­land. I was also in­volved in a fan­tas­tic song­writ­ing project with Welsh singer song­writer Gareth Bonello this year and we have ex­cit­ing plans for both record­ing these new songs and tour­ing our shared ma­te­rial. Lastly, I’ve started work­ing on new ma­te­rial for my third solo al­bum fea­tur­ing an ex­cit­ing new line-up and I’m very ex­cited to see how this grows and de­vel­ops. Other than that, I’m hop­ing to fur­ther de­velop my me­dia and teach­ing work both at home and in­ter­na­tion­ally and try to reach as many new places as pos­si­ble. My mantra is, “have Gaelic, will travel”, so who knows where I’ll land?’ The Scots Trad Mu­sic Awards is an an­nual event that takes place ev­ery De­cem­ber. Held at dif­fer­ent venues around the coun­try, the aim of these awards is to high­light Scot­land’s tra­di­tional mu­sic in all its forms. The win­ners are an­nounced at a glit­ter­ing gala con­cert and awards cer­e­mony, an event that is con­sid­ered a ma­jor high­light in the tra­di­tional mu­sic cal­en­dar. If you want to vote for Joy, then please visit the fol­low­ing web­site: https://projects.hand­sup­for­­strad­mu­si­cawards/ vot­ing/.

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