Balancing music and crofting, Isle of Lewis singer-song writer Colin Macleod has spent lockdown at home on the island surfing, fishing, and playing music for his fans on social media.

With the success of his 2018 album, Bloodlines, over the last few years Colin has found himself touring in the states, performing on James Corden’s Late Late show and touring alongside Sheryl Crow, Van Morrison and Robert Plant.

However, like many of us, Colin spent 2020 at a slower pace, staying home in the Western Isles. Colin is always happy to be home, as he told The Herald.

“I’ve enjoyed it, my lifestyle isn’t that far of a lockdown anyway” he says as he talks about time spent on his croft and visiting favourite fishing spots.

As COVID-19 begun cancelling gigs and performances worldwide, Colin quickly took to Instagram and begun creating performances for fans digitally. ‘Lockdown songs’, as he refers to it, quickly became popular and Colin was seeing hundreds of people tune in for his music.

“I think the thing that people really enjoyed the most is it was a bit informal. It was kind of a bit daft. It grew all the time and there’s quite a lot of people that started following me as a direct result of it.

HeraldScotland:

“It’s been interesting seeing if you can be in remote places and still keep engaged with people when you can’t get to them.”

Being from the Isle of Lewis, remoteness has always been a factor for Colin. While musicians based in Glasgow can perform at last-minute performances, he notes time and expense of travel have always proven to be a barrier for spontaneity.

“Being in such a remote location means you are limited in with things you can do. The lockdown forced me into thinking of how to keep people interested in what I do with a big distance in the way.”

Colin’s second album, Hold Fast, was due for release at the end of January but due to further restrictions this year it has been postponed for the time being.

“It’s hard to release an album when you can’t talk to people and do a few shows.

“It’s just a case of sitting and waiting to see what happens over the next few months and hopefully we’ll be able to.”

Talking about the future of the music industry and gigs, Colin had no doubt live performances will one day return. Acknowledging the struggles and difficulties presented by COVID-19, he noted the strength of artists:

“Musicians are so resilient. They’re so driven. They will do anything they can to be a musician and to get through things.

“Maybe this will be a big change to things online, but I don’t think people’s appetite for live music has diminished. I think once things are safe and we’re able to, people are still going to want to go to gigs. And I’m certainly still going to want to play gigs”.

Colin’s new album may be postponed but he has already released three singles ready to stream: Old Soul featuring Sheryl Crow, The Long Road, and Warning Signs.