Nominees of the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards’ Horizon Award, and winners of the 2015 Young Folk Award, Talisk are one of the fastest rising bands on the UK folk scene in recent years.
Mohsen Amini (concertina), Hayley Keenan (fiddle) and Graeme Armstrong (guitar) create a captivating, energetic and dynamic sound that, in just a couple of years, has earned them multiple award wins, unwavering nationwide media praise, and standing ovations far and wide. Atop their collective titles, Amini was the 2016 BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year, adding to a trophy cabinet that far belies their years.
So too does their touring history, though – with appearances at world-leading festivals including the Cambridge Folk Festival, Denmark’s Tønder, Celtic Colours in Cape Breton, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention and Celtic Connections, as well as countiess others alongside live sessions on both BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio Scotland’s flagship folk programmes. With further tours and showcases throughout Europe and the US on the horizon, theirs is a star firmly, and rapidly, on the ascent.
- “a rockin’ powerhouse
- The Herald”
- “Doubling the power of three
- The Scotsman”
- “The musicianship is phenomenal, the enthusiasm infectious
- Folk Radio UK”
- “Setting scary standards
- Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 2”
- Mark Radcliffe (BBC Radio 2)”
Mohsen Amini from Glasgow, Scotland is a fast growing name in the traditional world. Boasted by the Herald as a “Virtuoso” and by BBC Scotland as a “Force of Nature” he’s creating a massive impact on the music scene today.
In 2014 he co-founded multi-award winning trio, Talisk, who after only two months of formation won a Danny Kyle award at Celtic Connections and shortly after won a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award. Their debut album Abyss was shortlisted at the 2016 MG Alba Trad Awards as Album of the Year, the same awards where that had previously been nominated as ‘Up and Coming Artists the Year’. Mohsen also founded acclaimed supergroup Ímar at the start of 2016. They, in the space of one year managed to make two of their videos go viral with an excess of half a million views and stack up an impressive 10,000 likes on Facebook, an unheard of feat in the traditional music world. This provided a great platform to launch their debut album Afterlight in 2017 which Songlines Magazine hailed as “Striking musicianship, artful arrangements and sheer, absolute delight” and on their first launch date the Scotsman awarded them *****.
Alongside launching Ímar, in 2016, Mohsen was crowned the BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year. With this in hand he’s performed in all around the world and appeared regularly on a variety of BBC shows such as, Radio Scotland, Radio 2, Music day with Bryan Burnett and BBC Alba. More recently Mohsen has gigged and toured with RURA, Barrule, Mec Lir, been named a finalist in the Daily Record ‘Young Scot of the Year’ and became the first ever musician to be nominated as ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ at the MG Alba Trad Awards, ‘Musician of the Year‘ in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and win the ‘Young Traditional Musician of the Year ‘ all in the same year.
Hayley began playing the piano at the age of eight and the fiddle at the age of eleven after being influenced by her grandfather’s love of playing Scottish music.
In 2008, Hayley was awarded a place at the Junior Academy of Music at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Previously RSAMD) in Glasgow, which she attended for three years, before moving to Plockton to complete her sixth year at The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music under the tuition of Andy Thorburn and Iain MacFarlane. In 2012 she started as a full time student at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland managing to graduate with a First Class Honours degree.
Growing up around the traditions of the Scottish Borders, Graeme Armstrong started playing the guitar aged 12. Bringing this to a new level he embarked on the prestigious Folk and Traditional Music course at Newcastle University where, through specialising in performance and composition from the Scottish Borders, he achieved a BMUS Honours Degree.
Through his time in Newcastle he co-founded the award winning Rachel Hamer Band. Their debuting album ‘Hard Ground’ was boasted by Folking as “exceptional” and managed to get itself a 4 star review in ‘music republic magazine’.
Since then Graeme has toured extensively throughout the UK, Europe, Middle East and Australia with bands and musician such as Carly Blain, Black Market Tune, Ideoms theatre company and now, Talisk.