An Interview with Horse McDonald by AJ Allen

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I recently had the pleasure of meeting charismatic Scottish singer Horse McDonald. known by her many fans as ‘The Voice’, Horse embodies the ethos of hard work, vocal excellence and song writing brilliance – an intoxicating combination. I found her to be approachable, chatty while equally grounded.
With a music career spanning over twenty years, a loyal and ever growing fan base and a back catalogue of original material, i wanted to know more about this inspiring woman.
Mention the music, and her whole being lights up with animated passion. So, if she wasn’t a musician, what would she be? ‘Music is, and always will be first love. But in another time or another place I would be an artist, or more specifically, a sculptor’.
After seeing the energy and emotion that goes into every performance, i wonder where her love of music comes from? ‘ I feel that music is a journey. I put my feelings in to the music and want to share those feelings. It comes from somewhere deep within. It is almost spiritual, as though i am a medium trying to get my message across’.
When it comes to singing, Horse is an undeniable talent, and given her own exacting standards, I ask if she ever gets nervous before a gig: ‘I am confident as a singer and comfortable in my own skin. I’m not nervous once i’m on stage, but beforehand you will often find me pacing up and down, hot and bothered, running things through my head.’
Horse has assembled a skilled young band to accompany her extraordinary vocals. They display an intricacy, finesse and understanding you would usually associate with a group that had been playing together for years. So how do they all get on?
‘Gordon, Jen, Gemma, Samson and i have great chemistry on and off stage. You can’t make that up, it is either there or it isn’t, and we all get on really well together’.
With this in mind, which are the band’s favourite audiences and venues?
‘That’s difficult to answer as every night and every audience is different, so each one is special. Having said that, I do like Barrowlands in Glasgow.’
With music seemingly in her bood, its obvious that it still gives her the buzz it did when she started all those years ago. Says Horse ‘I love what i do now more than ever. I can do whatever i want in terms of my art and creative freedom and performing is still a huge thrill.’
On the twentieth anniversary release of her debut album ‘ The Same Sky’, she is rightly proud that the songs have stood the test of time.
‘i am working on my ninth studio album and i just love one of the newly written tracks on it – ‘Ghost’. I am really enjoying writing again.’ Having just listened to the tune live, it certainly sets the standard for the long awaited album.
How is Horse feeling about her life right now? ‘ I have developed as a person and i am in a very good place just now, entering a different phase in my life. I am feeling really positive.’
The future for Horse is bright. I’m interested in where she sees her future?
‘I want to keep doing what i’m doing, keep affecting people with my music and reaching an ever larger audience. We will also be doing more live shows and releasing a single and new album. We are working towards a full UK tour for next year. We’re performing in Australia in February and i am also co-writing. There’s a lot to keep me busy.’
She gives one of her smiles – it lights up the entire room. I, for one, hope she keeps doing what she does for many years to come.
Horse’s website: http://randan.org/