Scottish singer songwriter Isla Grant is soon making a return to performing in Australia and Ballarat, with a gig set at the Wendouree Centre of Performing Arts in September.
Grant comes from a long line of musicians, with her parents singing and playing the pipe, as well as her grandfather being a fiddler.
She began experimenting with her brother’s guitar at the age of 8.
Growing up, Grant said her family would listen to a lot of old scottish folk songs, until she eventually found her passion of country.
Beginning her career as a folk singer in the clubs of Glasgow and Edinburgh at the age of 14, Grant soon became well known in Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
She lists some of the bands popular at the time of her music initiation as Eddie and Finbar Furey, the Dubliners and the Humblebums, a band that included Billy Connolly.
Grant later became inspired by country artist Merle Haggard and Al Young. She went on to share the stage with Young and became his wife in 1992.
In the same year, a serious road accident put Grant out of action for five years but allowed her to concentrate on other aspects of her life.
“It was a horrific accident. It was 130 miles an hour head on,” she said.
“It was a horrific time for us but we came out the other end and it made me more sensitive to others.”
It was after this incident that Isla Grant went on to produce 11 albums.
Among the collection were some that reached triple platinum.
Dissatisfied with the music industry, Grant went on to start I.G.E., her own record label, through which she released her own album in 2008.
“I worked with a record company in Ireland for 10 years but I wanted to have more control over the music,” she said.
“We are recording predominantly for ourselves.”
For Isla, the modern music industry has certainly changed a lot.
“It’s very much more electronic. Artists coming in are an overnight sensation but they only last a week. I feel sorry for them,” she said.
“It’s all about money making. The passion for music is gone.”
Grant said she has wonderful memories of Australia.
“Let everyone know I’m looking forward to coming,” she said.
“It feels like meeting old friends when we come over. Just very welcoming.”
Grant has a string of performances organised around the country over September and October.
She will bring her music to Ballarat, performing at the Wendouree Centre of Performing Arts on Friday, September 22.
Her performance will be accompanied by husband Al Young and Glenn Flynn.
For bookings, contact 5338 0980.