The Scotsman Sessions #187: Xan Tyler

Welcome to the award-winning Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, Fife-based singer-songwriter Xan Tyler performs her song Vicky

“I’ve tried to do other things, but somehow they all led me back to music,” says Fife-based singer-songwriter Xan Tyler, who began her storeyed career as a teenage backing singer in the 1990s. She then spent time on Creation Records as one half of electro-pop duo Technique, before going on to collaborate with a diverse range of artists. Her debut album with cult NYC alt-rock producer Kramer, Songs We Sang In Our Dreams, was released to great acclaim in 2020, and she’s about to deliver Clarion Call, her second collaboration with dub reggae pioneer Mad Professor.

You only have to listen to her soulful, beautiful, crystalline voice to understand why she’s always been in such demand. It’s one from the heart. The song she’s chosen to perform for The Scotsman Sessions is Vicky, a very

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personal yet modestly universal composition.

Xan Tyler

“This song has taken me on such an unanticipated journey,” she explains. “It’s been a big part of my lockdown experience. Vicky is the name I gave to the negative internal self-sabotaging dialogue that so many of us struggle with. Writing it helped me tame that beast, and performing it has connected me with so many lovely people who took time to reach out about their own struggles.”

Tyler admits that, when she was younger, her shyness was often mistaken for aloofness. Expressing herself through music gradually changed all that.

“I always lacked confidence,” she says, “but when I fell into music at 17 I instantly felt part of something. I had no musical training, so I learned on the job and it took me a long time to see myself as an equal to my bandmates. I’ve worked through a lot of those insecurities now. I gave that Vicky a good boot up the arse!”

For more on Xan Tyler, visit http://www.xantyler.com/

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