PUSHING ALONG: Kirsty McLachlan is working towards her Gold Arts Award
PUSHING ALONG: Kirsty McLachlan is working towards her Gold Arts Award

This week, we feature young singer-songwriter Kirsty McLachlan who has already recorded her first album and makes frequent appearances at local open mic nights.
She recently joined the British Youth Music Theatre company as an actor-musician, with a place in the new musical Why the Whales Came, by Michael Morpurgo.

How did you get into music and what instruments can you play?
I first got into music when I started to learn the violin at school and later started performing as part of a local youth folk group Cream Tees. I play violin/fiddle, as well as piano, bass guitar, guitar, and ukulele.

What inspires your music and which other artists have influenced your music?
The main thing that inspires my music is nature and how people perceive it; as spooky and mysterious or as familiar and comforting.
In particular, lots of my songs feature the stars and moon.

What are your favourite music genres?
Folk, since it was the first genre of music I began performing and my main one so far.
The folk world is very welcoming and supportive.
Soul, mostly because of the passion in the songs and since the set ups are mostly acoustic.

The dale has a wealth of musical talent, what do your attribute this to?
I think it’s hard not to be inspired by the surrounding area and there’s also a lot of talented musicians and music teachers.

When and where was your favourite performance?
I’ve had some great opportunities so far but my favourite performance I think has to be from 2017 at the National Armed Forces Memorial (Alrewas) for their 10th anniversary and Remembrance Service.
My performance was only short, but knowing more than 4,000 people were listening to the message I had and could actually relate was an amazing experience.
Even if it wasn’t the most flashy performance, knowing I managed to connect with people was mind-blowing.

Do you have a special place where you write music?
Not really. Usually I’ll jot down a rhyme or an idea on my phone or I’ll scribble down a melody when I’m out and about.

Apart from music, what are your other interests?
I love reading and writing as well as drawing.

Do you have a favourite lyric, and if so, what is it and who wrote it?
“Feel the wonder of the world,” from Alive, by Skippinish.

How are you keeping yourself busy while the country is under lockdown?
I’m pushing along with some of my instruments to work through the grades, but I’m also working on my Gold Arts Award.
It seems strange to not be revising for my GCSEs but it’s given me time back to work more on my music.

Name three good things you have learned about people in the past few weeks.
How everyone pulls together in a crisis
How creative and inventive we can be, finding ways to use technology to overcome barriers
Everyone is reaching out to help others.

Where can people hear your music?
Facebook and Soundcloud.