A young music producer whose career began in his Glasgow bedroom less than five years ago stands to become one of Scotland’s most acclaimed musical artists - after picking up five nominations for the 2024 Grammys. 

Despite being relatively unknown in his home country, 20-year-old Blair Ferguson, who works under the alias BLK, has already carved out a Billboard chart topping career working with megastars such as Justin Bieber and SZA. 

The collaborations, along with top R&B producers Babyface and The Rascals, have resulted in millions of downloads and sales.

SZA's track Snooze, which Blair co-wrote, topped the Billboard RnB chart in the summer, with the release of an acoustic version featuring vocals by Bieber also helping the record peak at number 2 in the Billboard Hot 100 last month.   

Ferguson, who is mentored by legendary Grammy-winning R&B producer Carter Lang, is credited on nominated records in four categories, including Best R&B song of the year for Snooze, by SZA; Album Of The Year and Progressive R&B Album Of The Year for SOS by SZA; and best R&B Album for Girls Night Out by Babyface. 

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Should the entries win at the ceremony on February 4, Blair would become one of the most successful Scots in Grammys history.

Even amid the excitement, understated Blair, who left school at 16 to pursue his musical dream, is keeping his feet on the ground.

He said: “It’s pretty incredible. It’s definitely not where I thought I’d be this quickly! To have the opportunity to work with artists and producers like SZA, Justin Bieber, Carter Lang, Babyface and The Rascals who are all at the top of their game is a pinch me moment every day. I’m doing this to produce the best music possible and it’s cool for that to be recognsied. I’m already getting texts about plus ones to the ceremony!” 

He added: “I try not to think about it [the success] too much – it’d freak me out if I did. I was in an Uber recently and Snooze came on the radio. It’s crazy to think that’s happening across a country the size of the US and around the world.”

Born and raised in Glasgow’s West End, music has always been a constant in Blair’s life. He took his first steps into music at just four years old, learning the piano and singing in his church choir. He was even inspired by his dad’s love for Indian trance music.

The Herald: Blair Ferguson aka BLKBlair Ferguson aka BLK (Image: Elaine Livingstone)

He said: “I was always surrounded by music, my life revolved around it. I grew up with weird music, too: my dad would play things from all over the world and I was fascinated by sound. I loved the church choir because you'd be bombarded with this euphoric cacophony of voices that overpower you. I was just fascinated by sound, and music was a massive part of my life in every way possible. I haven’t worked any Indian Trance into a track yet – but I’m working on it!” 

It might have been very different had Blair’s initial plan to be a professional basketball player come to fruition. He captained Glasgow's team until an injury put him on a different path.

He said: “I just wanted to fill my time with something, and the electronic side of music fascinated me. My cousin, Caitlin, downloaded some software for me to try, FL Studio, and I got started. You can have all these sounds at your fingertips and play your heart away on the weirdest sounding things. Where do you even start? It’s such a massive world.”

Ferguson spent every waking moment producing music from his bedroom during lockdown and was so confident in his ability he struck a deal with his parents that he would not attend university if he could land a record deal within one year.

In that 12 months alone Blair became a billboard topping producer, first with Lil Tecca’s Closest To Heaven, then Tory Lanez’s Sorry For What, followed by massive success with Snooze, which he co-wrote and co-produced with Grammy award-winning Babyface.

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He went on to be signed by a record company, and recently secured a deal with Warner Music Group. He’s also working with names as big as it gets – including Bieber and Rosalía.

Despite his global success, the former Kelvinside Academy pupil now wants to give back to the school that helped provide him with a grounding in music.  

The music production prodigy will help Kelvinside Academy launch a YouTube channel, with a view to providing pupils a platform to showcase their talents to a wider audience – and potentially follow in his footsteps. 

Ferguson who splits his time between Scotland and LA, said: “Young artists need a platform to hone their talents, somewhere to build confidence and learn what it’s like for others to enjoy their music. It’s essential for young artists and it’s really progressive for Kelvinside to be doing this – I’d have loved it when I was there.” 

The Herald: The music prodigy has worked with Justin Bieber The music prodigy has worked with Justin Bieber

He added: “I owe so much to Kelvinside for how they supported me early on. They gave me a chance to sit music exams early, and the chance to gain confidence by performing in school concerts. My teachers shaped so much of who I am, and provided me with a space to be myself, and become an artist. That’s invaluable.”

Dan Wyatt, Rector at Kelvinside Academy, said: “For any artist to be nominated for a Grammy is incredible, but to be nominated for so many is out of this world. We are excited beyond belief at Blair’s achievements."

The Kelvinside Academy YouTube channel is set to launch next year.