Beers and beats: Playlist and Q&A with Man of the Minch
Scottish folk artist Man of the Minch has created a playlist for us and we had a chat with him too!
There's not many things in the world that can bring people together in the way that music does.
Arguably, beer also helps.
As a bunch of us are in Lockdown 2.0, and the rest of the UK follow an array of restrictions, we thought we'd take the opportunity to invite an artist to create a Spotify playlist for us — an uplifting array of music for you to sit back and enjoy and maybe forget for just a second about the chaos ensuing the nation.
Up to the task is award-winning Scottish folk artist Man of the Minch, aka Pedro Cameron. While he put his playlist together, we thought we'd get to know him a little better! Read his Q&A below!
You can check out the playlist Pedro created here.
Hi Pedro! Tell us how you got into Scottish folk music?
Hello! I first got into folk music when my dad took me to see the band Capercaillie play when I was about 8 or 9. I remember sitting in the front row of Eden Court in Inverness and being totally mesmerised. It was around that time I was given my late Grandma’s fiddle and started learning how to play it. My dad used to play old folk songs on his guitar in the kitchen and I would scratchily join in. I just kept at it from there! I was given Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss CDs when I was a teenager and would learn the fiddle parts and play the songs on guitar. I’ve always loved that kind of music.
You’re recording an album right now with lots of fellow folk collaborators. What’s that all about?
I am! I was very generously given funding by Creative Scotland back in April to make my debut album. The way I’d pitched it was that I would work with predominantly queer musicians to make the record. I’ve been recording it since August and honestly it’s been such a dream to work with a bunch of friends who I wouldn’t have gotten to see otherwise, as well as musicians I really admire. There’s over 20 of them – including Rachel Sermanni, Josie Duncan, Finn Anderson, and Broken Chanter. It’s a pretty eclectic mix – my vibe is sort of folk country but with elements of synth pop, electronic music and alternative rock. I really hope people enjoy what I’ve made - I’m feeling really proud of it. I think it’s a lot of fun.
You’re also the founder of Bogha-Frois: LGBT+ Voices in folk. Can you tell us more about the project and how it started?
Bogha-frois (which means “rainbow” in Gaelic), is a project I started a couple of years ago. I was just getting started as a singer-songwriter in the scene and I felt like there wasn’t a lot of visibility for queer people in folk/traditional music.
I initially thought I’d start a band and put feelers out for musicians to be involved and I ended up getting loads of interest from loads of amazing artists. So I ended up putting together 3 days of workshops where a big group of us could get to know each other, tell stories, and make music about our lives as LGBTQIA people. It was such a joy to be part of. We ended up getting to showcase the music at Celtic Connections in 2019 at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow and it was a really brilliant show – with over 40 musicians involved. It did so well we ended up getting asked to do it again back in February this year.
We had big plans to tour it, and do a Fringe show, which has been a bit of a bummer that we didn’t get to. I really wasn’t expecting the massive response to it but I feel really proud to have been able to give people that platform.
You won Up and Coming Artist of the Year at the Scots Trad Awards in 2019, and you’re currently in the running for Best Acoustic at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards. How does it feel to be gaining that level of recognition in the industry?
It’s been really lovely and unexpected. So unexpected that at the Trad Awards when I won, I completely lost the power of speech on live television. Probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life was drunkenly trying and barely managing to do an acceptance speech on national telly.
I so appreciate getting that kind of exposure though – I feel very lucky. It’s a cliché to say “I’m just happy to be nominated” but it’s really true. The acts I’m nominated with at the SAMAs are really diverse and artists I really admire.
How have you been adapting to the lack of live gigs this year? Do you think the pandemic is going to have a permanent effect on the music and events industries?
I have missed it so much. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the resources to keep creating this year – making the album has been such a lifesaver. I live and breathe both playing gigs and going to see them, so it’s been very sad to not be able to. I have every faith the gigs will bounce back – but I have no idea what the future holds. It’s terrible to feel so powerless against it.
Now, tell us about the playlist you’ve created for us! What can drinkers expect to hear while sipping on a tasty beverage?
I’ve made a selection of some of my favourite queer music makers. Most of them are from Scotland, and many will be appearing on the album, but I’ve chucked in a few artists from further afield as well! It’s quite an eclectic mix.
Finally, what can we expect to see from Man of the Minch in 2021?
The album should be out in the late Spring, with a single coming before it. I’ll mostly be promoting that – hopefully in person!
Thanks Pedro for taking the time to chat with us and making us an awesome playlist!
For everyone going through lockdown 2.0 - stay strong, you got this!
Listen to the playlist made by Man of the Minch HERE.
Follow Man of the Minch on Instagram.
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