Julie Fowlis

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Julie Fowlis
Julie-Fowlis.jpg
Fowlis on stage at Analog, Ringsend Dublin, July 2008
Background information
Born (1979-06-20) 20 June 1979 (age 37)
North Uist, Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Genres
Occupation(s)
  • Musician
  • broadcaster
Instruments
Years active 2005–present
Labels
  • Macmeanmna
  • Shoeshine
  • Machair
Associated acts Dòchas
Website juliefowlis.com

Julie Fowlis (born 20 June 1979) is a Scottish folk singer and multi-instrumentalist who sings primarily in Scottish Gaelic.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Fowlis grew up on North Uist, an island in the Outer Hebrides, in a Gaelic-speaking community. Her mother was a Gaelic-speaking islander from a family of fishermen and crofters, while her father was originally from Pitlochry on mainland Scotland. Her parents ran a hotel for many years on North Uist. She moved with her parents to Ross-shire on the mainland when she was 15 years old after her father took a new job. The family lived in Strathpeffer and Fowlis finished her secondary education at Dingwall Academy.[3][4][5] She then attended the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow and studied the oboe and the English horn, earning a B.A. in Applied Music in 2000. After university Fowlis attended the Gaelic-language college Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on the Isle of Skye to improve her Gaelic and formally study traditional Scottish music. Following that she returned to Ross-shire, taking a job with the organisation Fèis Rois in Dingwall as music development officer between 2001 and 2004.[3][6][7]

Musical career[edit]

Fowlis has been involved in singing, piping and dancing since she was a child.[1][3] She is a member of the Scottish sextet, Dòchas,[8] who were voted winners of Best Newcomer award at the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2004, where Fowlis herself was nominated for the Best Gaelic Singer award.

In 2005, Fowlis released her first solo album Mar a Tha Mo Chridhe (As My Heart Is). The album was produced by Iain MacDonald and Fowlis and instantly gained her worldwide acclaim. Fowlis's future husband Éamonn Doorley played bouzouki on seven of the tracks. She was also accompanied by Kris Drever, Ross Martin of the "Gaelic super group" Dàimh, John Doyle, Iain MacDonald, Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh of Danú, and many other performers prominent in the traditional Irish and Scottish music scenes.[9] The album was remastered and re-released in 2012.[10]

Her second solo album Cuilidh was released in March 2007, becoming a worldwide top-seller in the Traditional and World Music charts.[2] Her album is a collection of songs from her native North Uist home. Doorley again played bouzouki on nearly all the tracks and co-produced the album with Fowlis. She is also accompanied by John Doyle, Ross Martin, John McCusker, Iain MacDonald, Kathleen MacInnes, and many others.[11]

Julie Fowlis performing live, 2007

Fowlis won the Horizon award at the 2006 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards,[8] won Folk Singer of The Year at the 2008 awards[3] and was nominated for the Folk Singer of the Year award at the 2007 awards.[12] She appeared on Later With Jools Holland on BBC Two on 25 May 2007, and performed Hùg air Bhonaid Mhòir on the show. Notable fans of Fowlis include Björk, Ricky Gervais and Radiohead's Phil Selway.[8]

In 2008, Julie recorded an album with long-time friends and collaborators Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Ross Martin and husband Éamonn Doorley. The album, entitled Dual, was released in October 2008. Fowlis also toured extensively around Scotland, Ireland, central Europe and America and launched both her solo albums while on tour. Fowlis recorded a version of the Beatles' "Blackbird" for Mojo Magazine to celebrate the anniversary of the Beatles' 'The White Album'. The song, performed in Scottish Gaelic was released as a download single from Fowlis' own website in October 2008.

On 24 April 2009, through her online mailing list, Fowlis announced that she would begin recording her third studio album in May and that she would preview tracks from the project on her May 2009 tour of England. On 10 August 2009, she announced the album's title, Uam' (Scottish Gaelic for 'From Me'). In Europe the album was subsequently released 26 October the same year.

In 2012, Fowlis contributed to the Pixar film Brave with the songs "Touch the Sky" and "Into the Open Air", sung in the off-screen musical thoughts of the lead character Merida.[13]

Fowlis's fourth studio album, Gach Sgeul (Every Story), was released on 24 February 2014.

All of Fowlis's albums including Dual have been released on the Machair Records label which is operated by Fowlis and her husband Éamon Doorley as an outlet for their music. "The word 'Machair' (pronounced with a "ch" as in the word "loch") is a Gaelic word which describes rich and fertile low-lying land. Almost half of all Scottish machair occurs in the Outer Hebrides and it is one of the rarest habitat types in Europe. It is a fragile environment which is under threat, a little like the music which is produced on this label."[14] Their label distributes through Cadiz Music.

Broadcasting career[edit]

Fowlis has a notable broadcasting career to complement her many musical accomplishments. She appeared as a guest on BBC Radio Scotland's flagship traditional music program Travelling Folk and the world music show Global Gathering, and in 2007 BBC Two broadcast a one-hour documentary on her travels and travails in the music business, Bliadhna Julie / Julie's Year.[15] In 2008-09 Fowlis hosted her first broadcast series, a weekly folk music program titled Fowlis and Folk on BBC Radio Scotland. She co-presents the annual Radio 2 Folk Awards with Mark Radcliffe and has deputised for Radcliffe on his weekly BBC Radio 2 Folk Show.[16] In 2012, a short documentary on Fowlis, her family, and her band even broadcast on the United States television channel PBS as part of an episode of the program Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders.[17]

In 2015, Fowlis and her frequent musical collaborator Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh hosted a television series Port dedicated to traditional Scottish and Irish music.[18] In each episode, Fowlis and Nic Amhlaoibh travel to a new location to highlight local folk musicians and the local traditional music scene. The program is narrated by Fowlis in Scottish Gaelic and Nic Amhlaoibh in Irish, with English-language subtitles. It is broadcast on both BBC Alba and TG4. The first season ran seven episodes, and a second season of seven episodes in 2016.[19][20]

Personal life[edit]

Fowlis lives in Dingwall, Scotland[21] with husband Éamon Doorley, a regular member of her group as well as of the Irish traditional group Danú. The couple married in May 2007[22] and have two daughters, Éabha (b. 2010) and Niamh (b. 2012). Fowlis's friend and collaborator Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh is the lead singer of Danú.

Discography[edit]

Solo recordings[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

With others[edit]

Dual[edit]

With Brolum[edit]

  • 7:11 (2000)

With Dòchas[edit]

  • Dòchas (2002)
  • An Darna Umhail (2005)
  • TBC (2009)

Guest roles and other recordings[edit]

Muir an Ord--Runrig 40th Anniversary

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Long, Chris (5 April 2007). "Julie Fowlis, Cuilidh". Folk and Country Review. BBC. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  2. ^ a b "A Gael force in any language". The Scotsman. 26 February 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2015. the 28-year-old 
  3. ^ a b c d Denselow, Robin (1 August 2008). "Going back to her roots". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  4. ^ "Julie Fowlis". Thistle and Shamrock. NPR. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Julie Fowlis' Homecoming". Northings. 8 July 2008. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Success is music to Strathclyde's ears". press release. University of Strathclyde. 15 December 2005. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Gaelic organisation Feis Rois marks 25th anniversary with a bang". STV. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Irwin, Colin. "Julie Fowlis > Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  9. ^ "Julie Fowlis – Mar A Tha Mo Chridhe (As My Heart Is)". Discogs. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Mar a Tha Mo Chridhe (2012 Remaster) [CD]". Julie Fowlis. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  11. ^ "ulie Fowlis – Cuilidh". Discogs. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  12. ^ "Radio 2 – Events – Folk Awards 2007". BBC. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  13. ^ Bryko (1 May 2012). "First Details on 'Brave' Soundtrack! (UPDATE)". Upcoming Pixar. Retrieved 5 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "Mu dheidhinn Machair Records". Machair Records. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  15. ^ "Julie Fowlis: Presenter Page". BBC Radio Scotland. Archived from the original on 11 January 2010. 
  16. ^ "Radio 2 Folk Awards 2012". BBC Radio 2. 8 February 2012. 
  17. ^ "Sound Tracks, Episode 2". PBS. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  18. ^ "Port". BBC. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  19. ^ ""1. Julie & Great Friend Muireann NicAmhlaoibh Present a New TV Series – 'PORT' – Starting Monday 5 January 2015 2. 'Songlines' Magazine – Music Awards 2015 – Voting Now Open! "". Julie Fowlis. 5 January 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  20. ^ "Port: Season 2". TG4. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  21. ^ "J M Fowlis". WhitePages. Retrieved 22 June 2014. 
  22. ^ "Finding balance in a musical whirlwind". The Inverness Courier. 20 July 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  23. ^ "Mar a Tha Mo Chridhe – Lyrics". Celticlyricscorner.net. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 
  24. ^ "Cuilidh – lyrics". Juliefowlis.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012. 

External links[edit]