Two Fife singers have been celebrating chart success with their debut singles.
Cameron Barnes and Billy Reekie both saw their first solo offering register in the upper half of the iTunes charts, with Cameron even registering in the UK top 40 singles chart.
His single ‘Chasing Love’ was given a low-key online release so he says was blown away when he got up to discover it had taken the number one spot in the world music chart and crashed into the UK singles chart in the top 40.
Throughout the day it kept creeping up, leaping over such big names as Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Liam Gallacher.
He even had the satisfaction of it overtaking his mate Tom Walker’s single.
When it had reached number 26 Cameron expected it to drop out completely overnight, as most singles without a major publicity campaign behind them do, but he was delighted to find it was still sitting there in the top 40.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw it was number one on the world music chart and then start to climb up the singles chart – and then for it stay in the charts for more than a day was fantastic,” he said.
To give the single a bit of a push, Cameron held an impromptu peformance at Glasgow’s Central Station, where he was acommpanied by a choir and piano.
The former lead singer with Fife band Break The Butterfly, who released a critically acclaimed album ‘Chrysalis’ in 2016, Cameron, originally from Methil, has been stretching his musical muscles of late and developing a style he feels happy to go solo with.
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An accomplished musician, he is currently studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the country’s foremost academic institution for the performing arts, although he still tours when he can with the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
It was through the popular piping collective that his path crossed with singer Tom Walker, when Cameron and a few of his fellow Chilli Pipers backed him first at an outdoor appearance in Glasgow and then later on a successful BBC Music performance, which has now had nearly two million views on YouTube.
He was also to the front and centre on a Red Hot Chilli Piper version of Avicci’s Wake Me Up, recorded for BBC Radio One.
“Meeting and working with Tom Walker has definitely had an influence on me and given me the confidence to work on a style of my own that I feel happy with,” Cameron added.
Kirkcaldy singer Billy Reekie says he was “shocked” when his single ‘Don’t Come Around’ also made it in to the iTunes chart, peaking at number 21.
The former Balwearie High pupil said he’s been really grateful with the support he’s had.
“Kingdom FM has been giving it a play and I’ve had lots of local support too,” he said.
“My cousin Sandi Thom who did ‘I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker’, got right behind me too.
“It’s gone really well.”
Billy’s career has taken off after he made the decision to concentrate full time on music, having left school at 15 and begun training as an apprentice roofer.
“I’ve been writing with Wiilie Scott who works for Virgin – he’s from Kirkcaldy too – and a few other writers down in London and that’s how the ‘Don’t Come Around’ single came about.
“We did it at the Blue Box Studios where James Arthur and Little Mix have recorded.
“I got the opportunity to do that so I was really lucky.”
The success of the single is even more remarkable as it has been entirely self-released and has had little backing.
The DIY approach has been captured in the highly entertaining video which was made in Kirkcaldy and filmed entirely on moblie phones before being edited together.
“I’ve got management but I’m not signed at the moment so this has all been done independently,” Billy says.
“I didn’t want to go down the big production side of things with the video, I wanted to make it raw, so that’s where it came from.
“It’s just a bunch of my pals and my sister Tyra and we’re just having a bit of a laugh and a joke.”
Billy says he is now concentrating on further recordings and hopes to release his next single in a month’s time.
“We’ve got about seven songs written so far and we’ve recorded a few, one of them is getting finished off at the moment.
“It’s just a time thing.
“Obviously because I’m not signed these things take a bit longer to do, but it’s fine.
“I’m over the moon with the way things are going at the moment.”
As well as recording Billy now plans to build up a live following.
“I’m playing Gay Pride in Glasgow and Kirkcaldy and then I want to start playing bigger events and building things up,” he explained.
“I’m still gigging in pubs and clubs but things seems to be changing.
“I haven’t got a big following at the moment but it looks to be growing quite fast, so it’s good.
“Then I’d like to get signed up eventually.”
With future success looking ever more likely Billy says he needs to pay tribute to those who have helped him on the way so far.
“I just want to say a massive thanks to everyone who’s been supporting me.
“I feel really humble and I hope to make everyone proud.”
However, following that brief moment of humilty Billy shows that he’s under no illusions with what he’d like to do in the future.
“I want to go to the top!” he says. “I want to be number one!”