Spotify urged to recognise indigenous Scottish languages by Scots singer

An award-winning Scottish singer has called on Spotify to recognise the Scots tongue after she discovered it was omitted from a list of languages on the site.

Iona Fyfe, originally from Huntly in Aberdeenshire, was trying to pitch one of her songs for inclusion in one of the streaming giant’s playlists when she noticed the issue.

Spotify asked the 22-year-old to list what language the lyrics of her version of In The Bleak Midwinter were in - but the site did not list ‘Scots’.

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“It didn’t have ‘Scots’ as an option,” Iona explained, “and didn’t have ‘Other’ as an option.

Iona, who has a degree in Scots Song from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, recorded her translation of the classic carol earlier this month, and plans to release it on all online platforms on Christmas Eve.

But now she worries she might miss out on the opportunity to pitch the song to be added to one of Spotify’s playlists.

The music site has more than 320 million users worldwide, making it a huge potential market for Iona’s songs.

But more than anything, she insists: “I’d love for my indigenous language to be recognised by Spotify.”

Iona Fyfe, originally from Huntly in Aberdeenshire, was trying to pitch one of her songs for inclusion in one of the streaming giant’s playlists when she noticed the issue. (Credit: Elly Lucas)

Spotify has been approached for comment.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Iona was set to tour Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the UK and the USA.

Despite the tour’s cancellation, Iona went on to win the 2020 Scots Performer of the Year prize at the Scots Language Awards, and reached the semi-final of BBC Radio Scotland’s Young Traditional Musician of the Year competition.

You can listen to more of Iona’s work here.

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