Peach of an award for rising Donside star Plum

A Donside electronic artist has broken new ground by becoming the first woman to win a prestigious Scottish Alternative Music Award (SAMA).

Former Craigievar Primary pupil Shona Maguire (pictured), who goes under the stage name Plum, had already made history by being the first female to be nominated for one of the awards.

She won the Best Electronic Act beating off stiff competition from the likes of Radio 1 favourites Chvrches.

Shona said: “I feel like I’m still in a dream. I’ve never won any kind of award before, even a raffle, so I’m certainly very chuffed!

“I have so much respect for everyone I was up against, it was such a good category. Even being nominated was so huge I never expected in a million years to actually win! It is definitely a huge highlight of my career.

“I was absolutely speechless. My fans have been a tremendous support so its really brilliant to be able to see their excitement in the achievement too.”

The SAMAs, now in their fourth year, highlight alternative music from around the country, including introducing regular festival stars We Were Promised Jetpacks.

The awards took place last Friday with winners decided through a public vote.

Some 23,000 votes were counted.

Shona said: “I’m sure a lot of people locally voted for me and I’m so grateful.”

On hearing that she had won the award, Shona said her first words were a disbelieving “oh no” followed by a breathless acceptance speech.

“I really couldn’t believe I’d won so I just said ‘thank you, thank you. thank you!’ until I could get back my composure!”

Shona, who lives in Edinburgh, took the bus back from the awards ceremony in Glasgow to go and celebrate through the night in the capital.

Shona said she was at a loss at the lack of women in the music industry: “I don’t know why there are so few women out there. There are some female front-women in bands but not too many. I hope more women will get involved.”

Shona spent her childhood in Cushnie before moving to the Borders.

She brought out her debut album, “The Seed,” last year, being entirely funded by her fans.

Talking of her musical influences, Shona said: “I just write about whatever is going on in my life. When I first started making music I didn’t want to sound like anyone else out there. Obviously you pick up musical influences, subconsciously sometimes, I was definately influenced by some of the music I listened to growing up.

“I use a lot of field recordings- stuff like crickets, old typewriters, my feet in snow, gravel on the Millenium Bridge in London. You can get really unique sounds from quite normal stuff if you slow it down or reverse it or add effects to it.

She added that she wanted to concentrate more on writing material than on touring for the time being: “I want to write more at the moment than to tour. Its good to sometimes get your head down and concentrate on writing. I’ve got so many good ideas at the moment that I just can’t wait.

“I’m also looking forward to doing more collaborations.”

Plum’s music is available on i-tunes.