Amy MacDonald: “Football was invented in Scotland!”
Amy Macdonald has sold more than nine million records worldwide. The 29-year-old hails from Bishopbriggs, near Glasgow, and she’s been a football fan from the day she was born. She’s about to release her fourth record, Under Stars, we caught up with her to talk about her music, her love of football, and more.
THE RED BULLETIN: Why are the Scots so crazy about football?
AMY MACDONALD: Scotland is seen as the home of football. The oldest books going back to the rules of football are traced back to Scotland. It’s said to be the place where football was invented. We’ve always been passionate about it. Back before I was born we actually had a great team with Kenny Dalglish and Gordon Strachan – and all these great players.
You love football, even though your national team is not really that strong at the moment.
We seem to have lost our way a little bit. But Scotland has always been a passionate football country. When I was growing up, everybody was into football. It is just something that you kind of become part of. You either end up just joining it, like I did, or you hate, it like my sister did.
When was the last time you were proud of Scotland?
Last year in June, when Scotland overwhelmingly voted to stay in the European Union. To me that was amazing. It was a horrible night, because we had just seen the rest of Britain voting to leave. But the kind of iconic picture for me is the map of the British Isles and how the whole of Scotland, every single kind of village and area in Scotland, voted to remain. That was a very proud moment for me.
You released your first record 10 years ago. If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you put in it?
I would probably tell myself to take everything in a bit more. When my first album came out I was only a teenager. Everything happened so quickly and I suddenly found myself with a number one single and album in so many countries around Europe. To me it just felt like: ‘This it what happens. You put out a song and it does really well and it’s really easy.’ Now I realise that it doesn’t happen like that and it happens for hardly anybody like that. It’s such a tough industry. I’d love to go back and really realise what an amazing achievement it was.
What’s your new single Dream On about?
It’s a song that was inspired by one of my friends who was going through a very tough time. She’d been made redundant and her mother wasn’t very well. It just seemed like everything that could go wrong for her was going wrong at the same time. I just felt helpless. There was nothing I could do. It was amazing to see her, because she got a piece of good news and it changed her whole outlook and demeanour. She still had all this crap going on, but that one piece of good news changed her.
In what way?
She was suddenly extremely positive and just having something to hope for meant that she was able to go: ‘Right, I’m doing this. I’m living for the moment. Things will be OK. I am really looking ahead.’ It was really amazing to watch how she was able to be so positive in that situation. It inspired me to write Dream On. It sounds like a real upbeat happy song, but it’s only the chorus that reflects this hope. The rest of the song is about sadness, about everything else that was going on, and I think that’s something that I’ve always done. I write these kind of crazy upbeat songs but they’ve always got this sad story behind them.