Just 17, this Scottish singer-songwriter has already proved a huge success at the Cambridge Folk Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe
Name: Zoe Bestel
Location: Wigtown, Dumphries & Galloway, Scotland
Style: Ukulele-backed nu-folk
Look out for: Her debut album, Sir Lucas And The Moon, which is out now
inger/songwriter Zoe Bestel may not yet have reached her 18th birthday, but as a performer she’s already a seasoned professional, having started playing in public when she was just 13. She regularly appears on BBC local radio and has proved a huge success at festivals such as Celtic Connections, Edinburgh Fringe, Wickerman Festival, Stonehaven Folk Festival, Big Burns Supper and Cambridge Folk Festival.
Zoe’s family moved from Liverpool to Scotland’s Wigtown – known for its huge number of secondhand book shops – when she was eight, which may have contributed to her lyrical skill as a songwriter. Zoe also had a very supportive family who listened to singer/songwriters such as James Taylor and Joni Mitchell, which she says influenced her work.
Her first album Sir Lucas And The Moon (named after two of her ukuleles!) has already won plaudits, with Scotland’s biggest selling newspaper The Daily Record naming it their Album Of The Week. Zoe says she’s passionate about her music and is determined to make a career of it: “I left school to do this and I am really giving it a go. It’s something that I want to do and something I enjoy doing,” she says.
In June she was one of the main artists at Cheltenham Town Hall for the Ukulele Festival of Great Britain, where her beautiful voice, her songs and her ukulele playing charmed a packed venue. As a songwriter and performer, she clearly has a fine future in front of her.
Words: Nic Rigby