‘If snow could sing, it would sing like Julie Fowlis…’
…this is how her pure Northern voice was recently described by acclaimed nature writer Robert Macfarlane. Hailing from the Outer Hebrides and now based in the Highlands, Julie Fowlis is a multi-award winning singer whose music is deeply influenced by the Hebridean islands where she grew up and by the Highland landscapes where she now resides.
With a career spanning several studio albums and numerous high profile collaborations, her ‘crystalline’ and ‘intoxicating’ vocals have enchanted audiences around the world.
She will forever be recognised for singing the theme songs to ‘Brave’, Disney Pixar’s Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA winning animated film, set in the ancient highlands of Scotland. One of this songs was long listed for an Oscar in 2013. A winner of ‘Folk Singer of the Year’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, Julie has graced stages around the world, from village halls in the Highlands to Carnegie Hall in New York, the Mozart Concert Hall in Vienna, The Philharmonie de Paris, Shakespeare’s Globe in London and the World Festival of Sacred Music in Fez, Morocco. She has collaborated with the BBC Concert Orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall for the Proms, sang live at the closing ceremony of the Ryder Cup in Chicago in 2012 to a TV audience of 500 million, an event that was only eclipsed by singing live at the opening ceremony of the Glasgow XX Commonwealth Games in 2014, to a TV audience of over 1 billion. Her voice has been streamed on Spotify alone over 120 million times, and has been heard in space on an official NASA astronaut playlist. She even has a lily flower named after her.
She was vocal coach for the Eric Whitacre Singers on the Dreamworks Animation ‘How To Train Your Dragon 3: The New World’ (Cressida Cowell, score by John Powell) in Abbey Road Studios, London in 2018. She is also an artist with a genuine curiosity and ability for cross-over, and regularly sings and records in other languages. She currently performs and records with the folk ‘supergroup’ Spell Songs. A natural collaborator, she has performed with artists as diverse as James Taylor, KT Tunstall, Chris Thile, Graham Coxon (Blur), Nicola Benedetti, Le Vent du Nord, Carlos Nuñez and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
A regular TV and radio presenter (BBC, SKY ARTS, TG4), she is also a sought after voice artist, most recently involved with the Penguin Audiobook release for The Lost Spells, the hypnotic film upstream (Robert Macfarlane, Rob Petit and oscar-nominated composer Hauska) and worked on the worldwide best-selling video game Assassins Creed Valhalla, with renowned Norwegian composer Einar Selvik.
She was Scotland’s inaugural ‘Tosgaire na Gàidhlig’ (National Gaelic Ambassador), an honour bestowed on her by the Scottish Government, and in addition to her BA and Masters degrees she holds an honorary Doctorate of Music from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
Julie is the voice of Scottish Gaelic for the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights Project, which aims to record the declaration in every language in the world. From Abkhaz to Zulu, the declaration has been recorded in 529 languages to date.
‘icy beauty…a consummate masterclass in restrained delivery’, (Live review: Spell Songs, At the Barrier, 2021)
‘Sublime, magical’ FolkRadio 2022
‘Beautiful, haunting’ The Arts Desk, 2022
‘otherworldly Gaelic bird-singing…I fall, once again, completely under Fowlis’s vocal spell.’ (Live Review: Spell Songs, RedGuitarMusic, 2022)