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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Nomination music to ears of Barrow singer

HER voice has been described in music magazines as “enchanting”, “captivating” and “distinctive”.

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DELIGHTED: Maz O’Connor, who has been nominated in the Horizon category of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2013 ELLY LUCAS

Now Barrow folk singer and songwriter Maz O’Connor is in the running for a prestigious national music accolade in recognition of her rising talent.

The former St Bernard’s Catholic High School pupil has been nominated in the Horizon category of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2013.

The 22-year-old will find out whether she has scooped the prize, which recognises this year’s best new and emerging artists, at a special ceremony in Glasgow on January 30.

Miss O’Connor, who now lives in London, said she was “absolutely delighted” with the news.

She added: “I had no idea I was going to be nominated. I’d just tuned into the folk show, which I listen to every week, and they were reading out the nominations and I just heard my name.

“I texted my mum and dad straight away to tell them to turn the radio on!”

It has been a big year for Miss O’Connor, who has been singing folk songs since she was 13 and started making her own music aged 16.

Her debut album, Upon a Stranger Shore, was released in July, featuring a range of her own original works, traditional folksongs and her unique “patchwork” pieces which merge two songs together.

Miss O’Connor, who won a rave review from folk magazine Froots, said: “It’s always strange reading what people write about you, but the folk community is really welcoming and supportive towards young artists.

“It’s nice they’ve picked up on some of the things I’ve been trying, like the patchwork songs.”

Miss O’Connor’s work could soon see her ranked up with former winners of the folk awards who have gone on to become household names on the circuit, including Cara Dillon, Kris Drever, and Jackie Oates.

Looking ahead to January’s event, Miss O’Connor said: “I can’t wait for the awards ceremony – it’s so exciting.

“My brother got to go last year and I was really jealous. This is the main event in the folk calendar. I got my dress yesterday as well, so I’m all ready to go.”

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