Rapid Fire Questions
Rhona Macfarlane is a singer-songwriter from Scotland whose reflective storytelling recalls a range of influences including Joni Mitchell, The Blue Nile, Nick Drake, John Martyn and Adrianne Lenker.
Rhona’s talent was spotted at an early age when she was selected to participate in the Hit the Road touring project for 14–19-year-olds. During this tour Rhona was chosen to perform live on the Janice Forsyth Show on BBC Radio Scotland.
A graduate of The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, she is a versatile musician performing with guitar or piano, often introducing new sounds with the addition of string accompaniments. Her songs are personal, honest, and intimate.
Rhona is due to release her latest EP ‘Closing the Window’ on November 12th. Produced by Matt Ingram, the EP is a collection of songs inspired by a time of inward reflection and solitude during the pandemic. A time when family and friend ties were cut and sharing music was limited. This period of personal writing also coincided with Rhona’s transition from student into adulthood.
Rhona’s recent singles ‘Better When You’re Around’ and ‘No Rain’ have received national and international airplay. She recently reached the Top 10 for the Liverpool International Song for Kindness Competition (out of 1500 entrants) and performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool.
Rhona’s live talent has resulted in support slots for a range of artists such as Josh Rouse, Nell Bryden, Martha Reeves along with a mini tour with The Sound of Sirens. She has also performed at Celtic Connections and the Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.
We asked Rhona Macfarlane some Rapid Fire questions below....
1. What's Your Favourite Breakfast Meal ?
My eye is always bigger than my belly.. I would say a full Scottish breakfast (as a treat!) I’m not sure I could manage it on a daily basis, but as a one off treat, it is my go to!
2. Dog or Cat ?
Definitely a dog! Absolutely love King Charles Spaniels and Golden Retrievers. Maybe one day I’ll have a dog. For some reason cats always scared me as they have very intense eyes!
3. What’s Your Favourite Touring Destination ?
Every place has something exciting and unique to it, so it is hard to pick one! I still have places I’d love to tour such as Canada, America and Europe. From my current experience I would have to still say Scotland, specifically the Hebrides. I am a bit of a home bird and the Hebrides is a special place to me as my ancestors were from there. I recently found out some ancestors came from St. Kilda, which is an amazing island. Was lucky enough to play violin on the island with the Nevis Ensemble.
4. What Are Your Hobbies Outside Of Music ?
I don’t have many hobbies outside music, it is a consuming hobby! I play classical violin, piano, guitar and teach on top of the songwriting. I find that each genre and instrument gives me enough variety. I have recently gotten into running and enjoy that. I also love hill walking and have climbed a few Munro's recently.
5. What's Your Ideal Holiday Destination ?
Somewhere quiet amongst the countryside where you can go for cycles, a swim and nice walks. I love places that have a community feel, and have little independent shops also. Having great food is also important as eating is a big part of my holidays - haha!
6. Beer, Wine, Liquor, Non-Alcoholic ?
Been loving beer recently. Wine unfortunately makes me fall asleep!
7. Do You Prefer a Festival Stage to Perform or a Small Intimate Venue ?
Both are great and provide different atmospheres that are fulfilling in different ways, but I would say a small intimate venue. I have also been a person that prefers deeper connections with a small number of people. I think there’s something more magical about sharing on a more personal leve,l and getting to know people afterwards.
8. What Made You Want To Become an Artist ?
There wasn’t an individual moment that was like ‘ah im going to be an artist’. It was a gradual process and more a realization that this was something I needed in my life. From a young age I always loved being creative whether that be making plays, dance routines, singing and doing my own radio show (haha!), but when I started guitar age 13, I started listening to singer songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake, Ben Howard and became so excited and enthralled hearing this music. I would spend a lot of time in my room learning these songs, and slowly I started to write my own music. I loved the whole process of creating, performing and recording. It was just something I wanted to do, and it was never a chore.
9. House or Apartment ?
10. Do You Like a Live Performance or Doing Studio Work ?
Both! I like the introverted side of studio work, where you can really find something within yourself and dig deep to create something. I also love when you can finally share the work and it is becomes bigger than yourself, and allows you to connect with others. I think the balance is good and keeps you sane.
11. Do You Like to Write on Your Own or Collaborate with Others ?
I’ve only ever written myself, but would love to try collaborating in the future. I have asked people for advice on lyrics and created discussions though. I always feel that you can get lyrics from anyone if you’re open minded and listen to what’s going on around you. My songs so far have been very personal experiences, so have been written alone.
12. Are There Any Musicians who Inspire You ?
Yes, so many! Songwriter wise I love Joni, Nick Drake, Nina Simone and The Blue Nile! I also love classical music and love Rachmaninov, Debussy and Shostakovich! Love Keith Jarret also.. so many!
13. What's Your Favourite Meal ?
That’s a tough one.. I would say Macaroni & Cheese, but I will be more classy and say an Asian Curry!
14. Country or City Living ?
Country. Although I live in the city currently, I would love to move when I am a bit older.
15. CD or Vinyl ?
Vinyl! Although I don’t have a record player, my family do, and I love listening to records start to finish, and seeing all the musicians that played on the record.
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