AMY MACDONALD

Famous since the age of 18, Amy Macdonald’s ten years in music have seen her have 4 top 5 albums in the UK. Asked whether he had helped shape Macdonald’s public profile, her manager and first producer Pete Wilkinson told HitQuarters “girl sits at home, girl picks up dad’s guitar and appears to be a genius…And suddenly she had every label in town running after her…the biography wasn’t that difficult to write, and it was a fairytale story”.

Born in Bishopbriggs, East Dunbartonshire, Amy Macdonald started making music under the inspiration of fellow Scots Travis, whose T in the Park set led her to buy a chord book and pick up her father’s guitar. She soon started writing her own songs and, after responding to an NME advertisement calling for new singers, was signed by Vertigo in 2007. Wilkinson, who had placed the NME ad with the intention of writing and producing for his fledgling artists, recalls first hearing Macdonald’s work: “She appeared to have these hit songs and was almost ready to go. I very quickly re-evaluated my status in all of this – obviously I’d set up the production company and my intention was to be the producer if anything happened, but in terms of songwriting I wasn’t needed at all.”

Macdonald’s self-penned debut album This is the Life was a UK number 1 and sold over 3 million copies worldwide. The single of the same name reached number 1 around Europe and other releases from the album, Mr Rock & Roll, LA and Run, all charted well, helping to firmly establish Macdonald in the public consciousness – as did her criticism of an X Factor winner who pulled out of shows with tonsillitis: Macdonald was doing two shows on the same night while suffering from tonsillitis herself.

Three years after the release of her debut album, follow-up A Curious Thing (2010) was released to similar acclaim. BBC Music exclaimed “”it is a bold, grand statement of intent, full of songs of epic sweep that build to undeniable choruses, to be enjoyed by the largest possible audiences”, while musicOMH praised Macdonald’s ability to “”display a maturity way beyond her years, which she marries to a wistfulness the most hardened bluesman would envy”.

Both 2012’s Life in a Beautiful Light and this year’s Under Stars reached number 2 in the album charts and Macdonald has now amassed over 9 million record sales, but she still tries her best to eschew celebrity: “To base everything on fame to me seemed a dangerous thing,” she told the Mail “… I wanted my foundations to be about improving as a performer and writer. No one could push me into going down that route of being a celebrity singer”.