The gift of song

Above: Moray playing last year's Mearns Castle high school show. Below: Moray's choir days.
Above: Moray playing last year's Mearns Castle high school show. Below: Moray's choir days.

WATERFOOT singer Moray West is finally releasing an album completed five years ago – all in aid of an old friend.

The 18-year-old – a former Mearns Castle pupil – recorded songs for Scotland Boy between the ages of nine and 13.

The album had followed a stint in a six-piece group called Angelis, put together by Simon Cowell.

But Moray won’t be raking in the cash from the long-awaited release, as all proceeds are to go to The Ciaran Pryce Appeal, in aid of a former choir pal who was injured during a Cathkin high rugby game in 2007, and left paralysed from the shoulders down.

Moray, now studying music education at Aberdeen university, told The Extra: “Ciaran’s now at uni in England, but we keep in touch.

“It feels good to do something like this to benefit someone else, and I’m just happy to be involved in such a worthwhile project.

“Not only is it exciting for me, but it will help Ciaran have a better quality of life.”

The teen was spotted early on by Cowell – who described him as “probably the best singer I have ever heard” – and at 11, he was the youngest boy to be signed to the Syco/Sony BMG label.

His talent is easy to trace, as mum Fiona plays with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and dad Stephen teaches music across East Ren and at the Royal Conservatoire – last year appearing in The Extra as Classic FM’s music teacher of the year.

Moray added: “My dad’s been working on my album for years and he’s especially proud. He’s a great teacher, and I’m just as proud of him.

“I’m studying music education now, and hope to follow in his footsteps.”

Scotland Boy was recorded with the orchestra of Scottish Opera, conductors David Danzmayr, Christopher Bell and Tim Dean, and includes two original songs written specifically for Moray, as well as Highland Cathedral, Iona Boat Song, You Raise Me Up and In Dreams.

Recorded on ScotDisc, it’s on general release from this week and is available from Amazon.

And while, at 18, Moray’s voice has changed significantly, he wouldn’t write off a follow-up, adding: “we’ll see what happens.

“It’s just great that so many of Scotland’s finest musicians have contributed to the making of this album, and hopefully we will see it do well.”