It is little wonder that when Disney's Pixar were searching for the perfect, authentic singing voice to feature in their Scottish Folk tale “http://disney.go.com/brave/index.html~Brave”, their new animated film set in the ancient highlands of Scotland, their research led them to one of the Western Isles’ true contemporary treasures - Julie Fowlis.
Brought up on North Uist in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, Fowlis has been a proud standard bearer for Gaelic music and culture over the course of a solo career which has spanned three highly acclaimed studio albums:
“Mar A Tha Mo Chridhe (As My Heart Is)” (2005), “Cuilidh” [pronounced ‘koo-lee’] (2007), “Uam” [pronounced ‘oo-am’] (2009).
In 2011 Julie toured UK, North America and the European festival circuit promoting the release of her “Live At Perthshire Amber” album. Other highlights from this past year include:
• Singing Scotland's National Anthem at Hampden Park for the Scottish national football team.
• 'Lilium Julie Fowlis', a brand new flower named after Julie, was launched at the Chelsea Flower Show in May 2011
• Nominated for Great Scot of the Year 2011 in May 2011 (won by Lorraine Kelly)
• Musical Director for a new musical project commissioned by the Tolbooth, Stirling in March 2011 'Facing the Atlantic: from the Gàidhealtachd to Galicia'
• Graduated from the University of the Highlands and Islands with an MA in 'Cultar Dùthchasach agus an Àrainneachd' (Material Culture and the Environment) in October 2011
• Spent a week with the London based charity 'Cape Farewell' on their voyage around the Hebrides and St Kilda in July 2011 to raise awareness of local environmental issues and climate change
In Sept 2011 Julie unveiled “Heisgeir”, commissioned for the Highland festival 'Blas' in September 2011. This is a multi-faceted music and film project exploring the now-uninhabted Monach islands near North Uist. A 5 star review in THE SCOTSMAN described it as a 'wholly absorbing, visually captivating blend of documentary and art movie'
Over and above her work as a performer, Julie has been a regular face on BBC ALBA (Scotland), TG4 (Ireland) and a familiar voice also on BBC Radio Scotland. In February 2012 Julie co-presented the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards with Mike Harding. And “Bob’s Ballad Bases”, a programme Julie presented by Julie for BBC Radio 2 (produced by Neon) is up for an industry award at the Celtic Media Festival in May 2012.
Celtic Radio Comments:
Julie Fowlis' CD - Cuilidh - is a wonderful collection of beautiful Scots Gaelic music that is easy to fall in love upon first listen. Julie has a powerful, calm and clear voice that will take you away to the Highlands and beyond. She sings from the heart of the old tales of Scotland and gives a fresh voice and perspective to these traditional songs. Uplifting, exciting and pure delightful are a few words to describe her voice and music. You will definitely not want to miss this CD of Scots Gaelic melodies to keep you singing and dancing all summer long.
5 Scottish Stars for Julie Fowlis!