IT has been four years since Kathryn Joseph won the Scottish Album of the Year Award.

The singer-songwriter from Aberdeen scooped the prestigious award for her debut album Bones You Have Thrown Me and Blood I've Spilled - a record that was 17 years in the making.

At the time, she had only recently turned 40 and faced the paranoia that comes with being an older female in an industry that predominantly favours youth but with the win, has managed to find a new confidence and take her music further than before.

Joseph was first offered a record deal aged 23, despite not even having recorded a demo.

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Sanctuary Records eventually made the promising musician an offer and flew her to London to record some sessions - before then turned them down.

"It just didn't feel right," Joseph explains.

"I felt too young, I didn't have the support or a manager, it felt a wee bit like giving away songs for not the same money i would have made waitressing.

"I didn't make sense to me. It made sense to keep those things, which were the only things that I had, and keep doing the job that I loved."

More than a decade passed without any Joseph making any significant steps to break into the music industry, only playing gigs when asked and continuing waitressing.

She adds: "For practical reasons it would have been easier to do the album earlier in life but for personal reasons it made sense.

"I'm much happier with things in my life and the songs I'm writing now so I'm glad I didn't do it earlier.

"I was paranoid about my abilities and where I would fit in in the industry. It matters much less than I expected it too and I feel really happy about that."

The turning point in Joseph's career came after she met Marcus and Claire MacKay of independent record label, Hits the Fan.

Her debut album was finished three days before she gave birth to daughter Eve and saw her achieve success she never considered before, and her SAY Award win.

"Winning basically have me a career," she says.

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"I didn't really feel like I was doing music before that. It was the same year that we released the record and it completely changed everything. The SAY Award is a beautiful and amazing thing.

"It never really put me under pressure when making my second album because I'm the kind of personality that will believe no one will like anything ever so it doesn't really matter what happens to you, it doesn't affect doing it for yourself.

"I think it gave me confidence that people actually wanted to hear it."

Joseph has become known for her extraordinary live performances, that have been described as hypnotic.

Second album. From When I Wake The Want Is, touches on more autobiographical themes which unearths heartbreak most would fear sharing.

But for Joseph, the misery is what gets her on stage.

"It's cathartic performing songs about heartbreak.

"I'm one of those unfortunates that it's only miserable things that help me write songs.

"It definitely turns things that aren't so great into something that hopefully that other people will like and I like that.

"The weird thing about me is that the only time I don't feel paranoid is when I'm on stage performing. It's a back to front circle.

"If I had thought about it beforehand I wouldn't have done it before."

In the years since winning her SAY Award, Joseph has secured support slots for the likes of The Cure at Hyde Park and Meltdown supporting Mogwai - shows she believes would not have been possible without the exposure the award has given her.

"My advice to the new winner would be don't spend all your money too quickly", she laughs.

"It's a really lovely thing. It's all about luck so just enjoy it and realise how lucky you are to be part of that."

  • Album submissions for Scottish Album of the Year 2019 close at midnight on May 31 and artists, fans, labels can submit eligible albums to the SAY Award website -

The winner will be announced on September 6.