The Scotsman Sessions #237: Stephanie Cheape

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, with introductions from our critics. Here, singer-songwriter Stephanie Cheape performs an acoustic version of her new single Queen with session guitarist Rory Docherty

Like many upcoming musicians in Scotland and beyond, Hamilton-bred singer/songwriter Stephanie Cheape was on a steady trajectory before the pandemic struck. Having started writing and performing in her teens, when she first picked up a guitar during a year of home schooling, she had bagged Capital FM’s Best Unsigned Act, turned heads at the Scottish Music Awards, played festivals and support slots (Bryan Ferry said thank you with champers) and made all the right profile-building moves. And then…

“I’ve struggled with lockdown in various ways,” says Cheape, “from loneliness, health and just the lack of normality, like we all have. In the beginning I found myself able to relax and create more, but as time went on [it] became too quiet for my mind. But it has allowed me dwell on my sound in a good way – and now I just feel ready. I thought I was before lockdown but actually I wasn’t. I’ve had time to figure out my sound and now I’m ready to put it out there.”

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Cheape has already shown off her rock chops, backed by her band of metalheads and fortified by influences from Skunk Anansie to The Clash. But since co-writing with fellow Scotsman Sessioneer Sam McTrusty of Twin Atlantic and his bandmate Ross McNae she has developed in a direction she calls “pop music for the goths.”

New single Queen produced by former Prides member Lewis Gardner and the first of a planned series of singles, fits the bill. Cheape says it “absolutely felt like the right time to release a song for female empowerment.”

She has filmed an acoustic version for the Scotsman Sessions with session guitarist Rory Docherty “in a buzzing-with-bands rehearsal studio in Glasgow. You may hear a bit of background noise, but that’s just the Scottish music scene getting ready for a comeback!” she says.

For more on Stephanie Cheape, visit

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