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Stewart Cruickshank Bursary Winner by Richard Bull

We previously wrote here about the Stewart Cruickshank Bursary so on the day that the winner is announced, we thought we’d provide an update.

If you recall, we set up a bursary in honour of our friend and mentor Stewart Cruickshank, to recognise songwriting in Scotland. Budding songwriters were invited to submit a song and a statement.

First of all, we were bowled over by the amount of entries, from the length and breadth of Scotland, all styles of music and from people of all ages. Absolutely fitting for Stewart, who was nothing if not inclusive in his musical pursuits.

The quality was really impressive too. Every song was listened to – sometimes several times – by at least four of our judges. Nominations were shared, and eventually a shortlist of ten was created. The judges met on a Friday afternoon at the Scottish Music Centre in Glasgow, and talked and listened and talked, and the ten became three, which then became one.

And the one is… Jared Celosse.

Jared submitted the song ‘New Orleans (Esca)’, which enraptured us all with its drama and daring. It’s a blaze of ideas, unexpected and original. Sounding both modern and classic, it takes you in directions you don’t expect. Lyrically it’s an offbeat romance, leading the listener across an exotic city, lulled by a siren’s call.

You can listen to it here

We met up with Jared to congratulate him and to discuss the bursary, and we found a young man with intelligence, passion and a quiet confidence.

Jared is 23 years old. He moved to Glasgow in 2014 to study music and philosophy, having grown up in Prague, with Dutch and English parents. He has started to make musical steps. Carla J. Easton (Teen Canteen, Ette) recognised his talent and directed him towards the Glasgow label Olive Grove Records, who in 2017 put out an EP of four songs Jared had recorded in his bedroom studio when he was still a teenager. He’s since submitted six more songs to the label, which will be coming out this summer.

What we’re going to do in the months ahead is work with Jared to forge more connections for him in Scotland, and to put him in contact with fellow songwriters and musicians. And we’re going to get him into the studio, with a top engineer. He’s done remarkable stuff, working on his own. What he can achieve with professional input and support, we are very excited to discover.

Many congratulations to Jared, and to all the songwriters who submitted entries. Scotland is clearly awash with superb songsmiths. We’re sorry we were only able to choose one, but we’re glad it’s Jared.

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