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WATCH: Oldmeldrum musician who went viral with performance releases new music


By Kyle Ritchie

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A singer-songwriter from Oldmeldrum, whose filmed rendition of The Proclaimers’ I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) during lockdown captured all the neighbours joining in, before going viral on social media, has launched a new single based on her determination to keep going during the pandemic.

Full-time musician, Ellyn Oliver (29), who now lives in Partick in the west end of Glasgow, won the prestigious Danny Kyle Open Stage award for emerging talent at Celtic Connections in January 2020, giving her career a much-needed boost.

Oldmeldrum singer-songwriter Ellyn Oliver.
Oldmeldrum singer-songwriter Ellyn Oliver.

But as the country went into lockdown and gigs came to an abrupt halt, Ellyn started providing live entertainment from her tenement window.

The street sessions proved so popular that she kept going for six weeks. Her flatmate recorded her final performance on her phone, which ended with The Proclaimers hit.

She said: “I sang to keep me going as much as my neighbours and when everyone began to sing I felt really emotional.

"It was an unforgettable and overwhelming experience and made me realise that we’re not alone although it can sometimes feel like that. We were all struggling but supporting one another."

The video of the performance can be viewed below:

Oliver, whose debut album Arms Wide Open was released in 2019 to critical acclaim, has been involved in a range of musical adventures over the years.

At the start of 2020 things were just beginning to happen for her when everything ground to a halt. Unable to tour or interact with an audience, she decided to devote the time to write about how she felt about the situation.

Ellyn added: “Although we were all confined, largely, to the monotony of our homes, being able to do a daily walk around the local streets and watch the lush growth bloom and fade really inspired me. It was a real source of joy.

"Internally we were all still changing and growing, hence the song title and my lyric, 'When the world is closed we’re still working through'.”

Ellyn's unique style crosses over a number of genres: Gospel, neo-soul, pop, blues, folk, and jazz.

Her new single Still Working Through was produced by multi-instrumentalist, Ifedade Thomas, who has drummed for the likes of Emeli Sande and hip-hop artist, Kobi Onyame.

He said: “It was a real pleasure to work with Ellyn. She is such an upbeat, inspiring and positive person and the song, and the sound we’ve achieved, reflects that.”

Oliver’s new single can be heard here and is available via Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music.


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