She may have left the north-east nine years ago and changed the way she speaks, but Katie Barnett-Siggens has never forgotten her mother tongue.
The 27-year-old left Fraserburgh to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, and had to change the way she spoke so she could be understood.
But she has always sung in Doric, and has now started sharing them on social media platform TikTok – where they have gone down a storm.
Mrs Barnett-Siggens and her husband post the videos as AyeTunes! on TikTok and her versions Love Yourself, Mamma Mia and Wrecking Ball have already proved popular.
She said: “It was last year, in September or October time that me and my husband James, who plays guitar in the videos, sat down and did one song.
“It was a Little Mix song, Shout Out To My Ex, and we did it one morning in our pyjamas just for fun and posted it on Twitter. We went back on later that day and it had taken off.”
However, the duo did not post any more videos again until last week.
Mrs Barnett-Siggens explained that she had decided to upload the song to her Instagram page so used TikTok to add captions.
“I had zero followers and no idea how TikTok worked and went on to caption the video for Instagram. I then went back onto TikTok the next day and I had thousands of followers and thousands of views.”
Since then they have been taking requests and posting videos every day.
A way to reconnect and stay creative
AyeTunes! has been a chance for Katie to reconnect with her mother tongue.
She said: “I think for me over the past couple of years I’ve been really missing that part of me because it was so who I was. I think that’s partly why I’ve been enjoying doing the videos as well.”
She and her husband are both actors, but due to the pandemic lost the work they had lined up. They’re now enjoying using their TikTok platform to perform and keep creative while at home.
Mrs Barnett-Siggens also used the time to set up her online singing business.
The couple have been surprised at how many people loved their Doric versions of popular hits, with lots of positive feedback about the language being represented online.
Fans also comment requests for songs and artists they would love to have translated.
“We do get people commenting on the videos being like ‘this is made up’ or ‘I come from Scotland but I don’t speak like this’,” Mrs Barnett-Siggens said.
“But what I’ve found interesting about those comments is that if you reply back and say ‘oh this is actually Doric and it’s from Aberdeenshire‘ people are then quite nice and they go ‘oh yeah I didn’t know that'”.
She added that she is so used to Doric she forgets other people find it interesting.
AyeTunes! has over 31,000 likes and almost 6,000 followers on TikTok. Their rendition of Shout Out To My Ex is their most watched video with over 165,ooo views.
The duo are thinking about doing a live stream to accept requests and show the process of translating the songs.