Royal Conservatoire alumna Sarah Ayoub, of the Ayoub Sisters, is loving life.
The 24-year-old graduated from RCS in 2014 with a first class BMus Honours degree before joining her sister Laura, 21, by relocating to London.
Since then the Ayoub Sisters have earned international acclaim, topping the classical music chart, signing a major record deal and collaborating with producer Mark Ronson.
Sarah took a brief break from the pair’s hectic schedule to go under the spotlight.
Your single, Melodies from Scotland, has topped the iTunes Classical Chart congratulations! What does it mean for your music to be reaching so many people?
SA: We are absolutely delighted that our music is reaching so many people! We recorded the single with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and feel very fortunate to be able to share our music with a wider audience. That’s all thanks to the support from Decca and Classic FM.
How was the experience of recording with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra?
SA: Recording with the RSNO was an incredible experience. We grew up listening to and watching them perform, and often sat next to them during side-by-side events when we were in youth orchestra! To finally play and record our own music with them was an honour.
How did the relationship with Decca come about?
SA: My sister Laura and I won a competition called The Big Music Project in 2014. The prize was a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London as part of Classic FM Live. We had a little over a year to prepare for our Albert Hall debut and performed in the April Classic FM Live concert in 2016.
The artists and repertoire executive from Decca was in the audience and subsequently, we were offered a record deal.
You have already enjoyed collaborations with leading names in the music industry including producer, Mark Ronson. Where did the idea stem from?
SA: It was a bit of fun, actually. We uploaded a video of us performing a version of Uptown Funk to Youtube and we were chosen from 10,000 performers to feature in a presentation at the 2016 Brit Awards as part of a campaign by Mastercard. We were invited to Abbey Road Studios and the track was produced by Mark, which was terrific.
How would you describe the Ayoub Sisters’ sound world?
SA: I would say it’s classical crossover. We both grew up as classical musicians but we listen to lots of other genres and that has had an influence on the music that we produce.
We arrange all the music we perform and it’s such a diverse range of repertoire. It takes time and planning to bring it all together but it makes the final product really satisfying.
How do you look back at your time studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland?
SA: My time at RCS was great! It was the only place which offered joint principal study, allowing me to pursue my love for piano and cello, nurturing my skills on these instruments. My teachers were Robert Irvine (Red Note Ensemble) and Fali Pavri, who were terrific.
There were so many good things about the Royal Conservatoire. We received more lesson time with teachers than I think happens at a lot of other institutions. Masterclasses took place regularly, offering opportunities to learn from leading international performers. To be in such a positive artistic environment, with so many outlets for performance, was fantastic.
You and your sister are living and working together regularly. Is it all plain sailing or are there occasionally moments where you both require some breathing space?!
SA: My sister and I are very fortunate in that we have a unique relationship and get on exceptionally well. Of course with any relationship, we do occasionally have our differences but everything considered, we keep each other balanced.
What do the coming weeks and months have in store for the Ayoub Sisters?
SA: Our album is due for release in September and we are in the process of writing new material with lots of creative meetings taking place to decide on the album’s content.
Soon we will start to record and that will be followed by concerts during the summer to hopefully showcase the new material!
Would you like to go under the spotlight?
Contact Mark Good, our Communications Officer for Alumni:
Phone: 0141 270 8367