A CROFTER is combining peaceful island life with an international music career.

Lewis crofter Colin Macleod remembers being knee-deep in mud during lambing season, and not even the prospect of American music festivals and a gig on James Corden?s Late Late Show could stop nature taking its course.

Within a week or so, he'd be on stage in Hollywood being beamed into homes across the United States. Right now, though, there were lambs.

Looking after a flock of blackface and cheviot sheep back in his home village of Swordale on the east coast of Lewis, growing vegetables, occasionally surfing and fishing is hardly the typical rock star image.

And even if Paul McCartney did manage to mix island life and the buzz of the music industry while living on Mull of Kintyre, most musicians are likely to find juggling life on the fringes of the west coast fairly incompatible with major success.

Yet despite a major record company deal, an album launch in America and support gigs at London's O2 to legends like ex-Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and Van Morrison, Macleod insists he has no intention of quitting his gentle crofting lifestyle for a music star?s lifestyle.

"When I was younger, it didn't seem possible that the two worlds could go together. I couldn't be a crofter and a musician, it doesn't work," he admits. "But I think I've just settled into it a bit. Now it's second nature."

The extraordinary leap from island crofter to international musician is captured in a new BBC Alba documentary that follows the 35-year-old singer-songwriter as he switches from life on the Isle of Lewis to strolling through New York, performing at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas and onwards to Hollywood.

The programme includes previously unseen musical highlights interspersed with beautiful footage of the Isle of Lewis. Some are intimate and acoustic sessions, and others from two years ago as he took songs at the heart of his debut album 'Bloodlines' out into the world.

The contrast between the windswept Western Isles and the glitz of Hollywood could scarcely be more evident than when Macleod is introduced by presenter James Corden to loud whoops from the Late Late Show audience in Hollywood.

"It was the biggest moment in my career," he says. "You don't have time to think about it, it's so fast paced and then it's 'boom!'". Everyone is rushing, you're being pushed around and then it's finished and you've got all this adrenalin flowing, but it's done."

Macleod, who has been touted as one the most promising, original talents in the Scottish music scene, began by playing rock covers at weekends in Stornoway pubs and dance halls. He switched to writing his own material when he was 19 and was spotted by a record company A&R man while performing at an Inverness festival.

He initially turned down the offer to quit the Islands to join an industry talent development programme after being told that he would have to ditch his band's drummer and bass player if he was to have any chance of success.

However, he eventually took up the opportunity, which included the chance to explore recording at the famous Abbey Road and Olympic Studios.

He later signed with one of the world’s biggest record companies, BMG Records, and a leading London agent who has helped secure appearances at major festivals and support gigs for acts like Sheryl Crow.

However, the lure of the islands has always drawn him back home to the seven acres croft he works with his father, Callum.

Despite performing on some of the world’s biggest stages, Macleod, whose islands-inspired music often weaves tales of the landscape, heritage and its sometimes colourful characters, is still to be discovered by many Scots.

It was while he was in America on tour and writing with his friend Paul Wilson, bass player with Snow Patrol, that his Late Late Show break cropped up.

for a tour and taking time to meet up with his friend, Snow Patrol bass player Paul Wilson and singer Gary Lightbody, when the break to appear on presenter James Cordon’s Late Late Show cropped up.

“The album had been picked up by American label and released over there,” he says. “People over there started to pay attention.

“We had been writing together in LA and I went to dinner with Paul and Gary Lightbody. James Corden was there. They kept saying ‘Colin’s a great artist, you should have him on your show’. And James Corden said ‘okay’.

“It was the biggest moment in my career and I will be forever grateful to him for doing that. It was surreal.

“We had been lambing the week before I’d left for America. I was deep in mud in the middle of the night with a sheep, and then I was on the Late Late Show.

“I’m pretty lucky,” he adds. “I’ve just managed to find a little path for myself and been very fortunate that people over the years have stood with me.”

Macleod juggles his performance diary around croft responsibilities. “Every year I book two weeks off to make sure I’m around to do lambing or sheering. There’s never been a point where an opportunity has come up and I haven’t been able to get away,” he adds.

“I’m very jammy.

“I sat in my bedroom and wrote some songs and now I can travel the world, come to amazing places and play gigs.”

Colin Macleod - An Ceol/Colin Macleod - The Music is on BBC ALBA, Thursday, July 16 at 10pm.