WHEN Gaelic singing star Julie Fowlis got a call to work on the blockbuster animated fantasy film Brave she was elated – but then spent much of her time worrying about another pending engagement.
The 33-year-old singer was eight and a half months pregnant with her second child Niamh when she recorded two songs for the movie’s soundtrack, and another for the trailer.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s official European premiere in Edinburgh, Julie said: “I was glad the wee one stayed where she was to let me get it all done.
“I was lucky that whatever position she was in, she wasn’t interfering with the lungs and allowed me to be able to sing. I found singing at that late stage slightly more difficult with my first child.
“The songs were physically demanding and it was a real worry that every day I came into the studio would be the day that I would have to stop working.
“It worked out very well in the end and just got finished in time. Thankfully she was late so that helped as well.”
Julie revealed that, in a bizarre mix-up, she received two calls from Disney Pixar to sing for the movie.
While she was recording her vocals for the soundtrack, another part of the Disney organisation asked if she would contribute to the trailer – unaware she was already involved.
The call to work on the epic 3D adventure, featuring Kelly MacDonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Craig Ferguson and Kevin McKidd, came out of the blue from Tom MacDougall, Disney’s vice-president of music. Julie said: “While they were doing their research they listened to a lot of music and picked up a lot of albums, but they said my album kept coming to the top which was fantastic. I was thrilled. I also had to tell them I was due to give birth around the time of the recording, but they were very supportive and changed their schedule.”
Julie and husband Éamon Doorley worked with the US production team and musicians on both sides of the Atlantic in the recording of two original songs for the movie, written by Pixar’s Alex Mandel, to reflect the feisty main character Merida.
Julie said: “They were encouraging me to get inside the mind of Merida, to try to encapsulate her spirit and her inner thoughts.
“They are very much Disney songs but we were encouraged to have our input and so there is a flavour of home in there, too.”
The songs are sung in English, a rarity for Julie who grew up in North Uist and normally sings in her native Gaelic.
She said: “It was a bit of a risk as they didn’t know what I sounded like in English. I barely know myself.”
• Full listings for the Edinburgh International film festival at edinburghfestivals.com
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