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North-east musician flies the flag for Scotland by winning international song contest

North-east singer-songwriter Colin Clyne has won a prestigious international song contest.
North-east singer-songwriter Colin Clyne has won a prestigious international song contest.

A north-east singer-songwriter says he feels “honoured” after winning an international song competition against fierce global competition.

Aberdeen-based Colin Clyne scooped both the overall title and the best male category in the 2020 Blues & Roots Radio International Song Contest with his track, Where The Ships Go To Die.

The musician, originally from Stonehaven, was up against competition from artists from North America, Europe and Australia to scoop the prize.

“It’s great, a real pleasure and a real honour to win it. There were people all over the world involved in it,” said Colin, adding he was proud to be flying the flag for Scotland.

Colin Clyne has a lifelong love of the sea which influenced his song Where The Ships Go To Die

“The (Blue & Roots) radio station is quite a large community – based in Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. I’ve had quite a lot of play on the station over the past number of years and they are held in high regard in the genre.”

Back into people’s ears

Where The Ships Go To Die, released in August last year, is a haunting song based on Colin’s own love of the sea and working on boats. He was moved by the sight of broken and battered boats sitting on beaches.

“For me, winning is about giving the song a shot in the arm again and getting out there and back into people’s ears. To date, from a streaming point of view it’s my most successful song,” he said, adding it had been streamed around 50,000 times on Spotify.

Colin released another single, You Can’t Wish A Good Guy Away, in November. Winning the international song contest is an incentive for him to release another single in the near future.

“There was a cash prize on the song-writing competition, which will allow me to go and record my new single. This allows me to get that done, created in the studio and out.”

Stevie Connor, founder of  Blues & Roots Radio, said the international song contest saw a record number of entries from all around the world.

He said: “The quality was very impressive and included a great many genres and styles of music, from Americana, contemporary folk, Celtic music, blues, country and more with entrants vying for the coveted award

“The jurors were based in Canada, USA, Scotland, England, Wales and Italy. Colin’s song finished in the top five of every jurors choices, well deserved, a talented man.”

Colin spent 10 years in the US to great acclaim. He was a two-time winner of best acoustic act in the San Diego Music Awards and US TV channel, NBC listed him as one of the top 12 singer songwriters associated with San Diego, alongside Tom Waits, Jewel and the late Jim Croce.

Colin is hoping to produce a new album of his work.

He has released two albums, Doricana and The Never Ending Pageant, working with world class producers, including recording in the same studio where Neil Young’s Harvest was recorded.

Always an albums artist

He and his wife returned to the north-east in 2013 to be closer to family and in 2016, Colin took a break from music and has been working in the offshore industry.

“I was meant to take a three-month break and ended up taking three years. I was still writing but had stopped playing live. I had a vocal node and having problems with my voice. Taking that break away from it, it seems to have disappeared,” he said.

“But at the end of 2019 I played a couple of little shows, I had a tour lined up in Belgium and some dates lined up for 2020 in America, I was meant to be playing the Edinburgh Festival and Belladrum, then the pandemic kicked in and that was it.”

Now, though, he is busy writing and recording again, with the ultimate ambition of producing an album.

“I have always felt myself to be an albums artist. I have always preferred it as a statement, a snapshot of a period of time. I definitely need to do another album.”

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