We continue our series meeting the women behind SWIM and our members.
Today we meet Iona Fyfe. A Scottish folksinger and one of our SWIM members.
PLEASE INTRODUCE YOURSELF
I am Iona Fyfe, a folksinger from Aberdeenshire, based in Glasgow.
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE WITHIN MUSIC AND THE INDUSTRY?
I studied Traditional Music at The Royal Conservatoire Scotland and work as a National Director of the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING IN MUSIC?
Working is tricky to define, my first live performance was at Keith Festival when I was six and my first paid folk club booking when I was in my early teens. Whilst I was studying, to strike a balance, I pursued professional work. I recorded by debut album, Away From My Window and toured extensively with my band across the UK, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Australia and Canada.
WHAT OR WHO INFLUENCED YOU TO WORK IN MUSIC?
I began attending traditional festivals and sing rounds at an early age, and was inspired by tradition bearers and singers of the North East. Growing up in the ballad-heartland of Aberdeenshire, I was surrounded by place names and locations which related to the ballads. I think I was equally inspired by landscape and location as I was by the brilliant singers I was surrounded by.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE LOOKING TO WORK IN MUSIC?
Try not to compare yourself with other musicians and artists, focus on yourself and celebrate your own achievements instead of comparing your achievements to others.
PLEASE NAME ONE THING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGE OR IMPROVE IN MUSIC FOR WOMEN
I’d like to see more venues and festivals booking female musicians. Some folk festivals are still heavily male dominated, but will book a “token” female, often a singer, to try to balance it out. But it still isn’t balanced at all.