Amy Papiransky from Keith is a finalist in the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician 2018. We asked Amy the following questions:
How did you get involved in Scottish music?
I would sing at the local TMSA Keith Festival through primary school and loved it. I never did very well as I would be super nervous every time… However, I remember being 7 years old and Margaret Bennett was the judge for my category for scots singing and her lovely / positive feedback struck a bit of confidence in me and so I continued to sing.
After my dad made me a fiddle when I was 13 I was determined to join the local Strathspey Fiddlers as I had watched them play a few times and it looked like so much fun. After taking up fiddle lessons I joined the group 9 months later and it was the best thing I could have done. I then met friends with the same interest, and we played in Canada, Ireland and Germany to name a few. When at University in Aberdeen I also took up an interest in trad piano so I taught myself through listening to bands such as Session A9 and Blazin Fiddles and I travelled through to Glasgow at the time for 2 or 3 lessons with Hamish Napier.
Why did you enter BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician Award?
When I was in high school one of my close friends from the Strathspey Fiddlers was in the 2009 finals. A group of us travelled down to watch him and I just remember thinking to myself “WOW, I want to do that!!” Being in the young trad has been a massive goal of mine since I was a young teenager. Never did I ever think I would make a final. I have wanted to be in the competition so much because I would like to share my songs that I write on a big platform.
What do you hope to gain from the experience?
Firstly, I have already gained very good friends through the semi’s so this is great!! I am really looking forward to gaining the experience of touring and recording with these amazing musicians. I have gained knowledge on PRS and really good contacts.
Do you have any particular musical highlights?
When I sang at the 2009 BBC Proms in the park. This was an absolutely amazing experience, singing with the Scottish BBC Symphony orchestra playing behind me was crazy.
Also, I travelled to Malawi last June and spent two weeks playing my fiddle in some of the most dangerous maximum security prisons in the world. This was probably the hardest/most emotional / sad / amazing musical experience I have ever had.
What are your plans for the future?
I am recording my first EP next week which should be released in February / March. I will hopefully graduate in my masters from the RCS this year then the plan is to fund for and record my first album of my own songs later this year into next.
Why not buy a ticket to hear Amy Papiransky or any other of the finalists at the Grand Finals on Sunday January 28th at 5pm. The finals are part of Celtic Connections festival. If you can’t make it along the event will be broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland between 5 & 8pm and on the iPlayer afterwards.