It has been a whirlwind few months for Plum, aka Peebles solo artist Shona Maguire, who performs in Stow next weekend.
She is still getting over the fact she beat the highly-regarded Chvrches to the title of best electronic act at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards in March.
“They are due to be supporting Depeche Mode. It is crazy to think I beat them to the award,” said Shona.
Originally from Aberdeenshire, Shona moved to Peebles at the age of eight and after leaving the town’s high school, went travelling across the world.
Her musical career was properly forged on Shona’s return to the UK, where she studied at the award-winning music production school Point Blank.
She signed with American record label Summer Rain Recordings, releasing two EPs before joining Benbecula Records and putting together Different Skin in 2009.
Her last album, The Seed, was written during a 12-month stay in a remote cottage on the Chesters Estate near Ancrum.
“The cottage was isolated but it was an enjoyable year,” she added.
Shona is now in the process of putting together the first part of her new self-released album, having just returned from a week in Brighton recording it.
She hopes to make it available to buy in August, followed by part two soon after.
“It was because of a lack of time and also to keep people interested that I decided to go with the two parts,” Shona told us.
“It was great working with Benbecula Records, as they are a cool cult label. But I think I was relying on other people too much to do things for me, and since going alone I have picked up a lot more attention.”
That attention has included comparisons to Bjork, Lana Del Rey and PJ Harvey, as well as her subsequent music award. The coverage of her nomination in The Southern then led Stow music collective Sound Out to head up to Edinburgh’s Voodoo Rooms for one of her gigs.
And Chris Wemyss of Sound Out said they were “blown away by her quirky and ever-so-slightly twisted music”. Following a grant from Stow and Fountainhall Community Council, the plan was hatched to bring Plum to the Gala Water valley village for not only an evening show, but also an afternoon workshop.
She will be the first of a series of performers to play in Stow, but she will also provide music classes for local talent.
Shona will show the musicians how to use one of her on-stage gadgets, a loop pedal, which she says is “good for harmonising and is good fun to practice.”
Chris Wemyss added: “We think Plum is destined for great things and this gig will be one of the highlights of the year for Borders music fans.”
Plum plays Stow Town Hall on Saturday, May 11 at 8pm.
Tickets, priced at £6, are available from the Music Station and Guess What in Galashiels or from Stow Post Office.
To win one of two pairs of tickets to the show, answer this question:
What is Plum’s real name?
Send answer, name and address via email to email@example.com or post to: Plum competition, The Southern Reporter, The Hermitage, High Street, Selkirk, TD7 4DA, by first post on Monday. Usual Southern rules apply.