One of Ireland’s favourite entertainers is Scottish born Isla Grant who
has recently returned from a sell-out tour of Australia and New Zealand.
‘It was absolutely brilliant.’ she told me ‘ and it was such a
success, I’m booked to go back in October’.
While she enjoys visiting Down Under, she says she would never be able to
live there. Too many snakes – and spiders. ‘I remember one time’ she
said ‘I looked up and there was this massive spider, the size of a saucer,
on the wall. I mentioned it to the promoter who said ‘Oh that’s nothing.
It’s just a tarantula! Well, you’ve never seen anyone get back in the
car so fast”. Laughing at the memory, she added ‘but it is a beautiful
country and the people are wonderful’.
Another beautiful country with wonderful people is Ireland and Isla can’t
wait to return to her adopted home. ’Ireland has always been very good to
me and I’ll be touring there later in the year’.
Her current dvd, which was filmed in Scotland and Ireland, is called ‘Home
from Home‘, and she explained why: ‘because every time I leave here to
go to Ireland it is, indeed, like going home’.
Like many other artists, Isla first found success in the Emerald Isle where
today she is a major star, a household name. She counts some of her best
friends Irish celebrities like Foster and Allan – ‘I wouldn’t be where
I am today without them. They really gave me my first chance’, and Daniel
O’Donnell, ‘We’ve been friends since 1989. I wrote ‘Down Memory
Lane’ for us to sing together on the album of that name, which was
released last November. We had a lot of fun doing that. His sister, Margo
has also been a true friend for many years. I wrote a brand new song for
her. It’s called ‘An old friend like you’.
But it isn’t just the Irish show-biz A-listers who line up to sing with
Isla Grant- American country music legend, George Hamilton 1V is also on the
album. ‘George, Bless him, actually came over to the house and we recorded
our duet in the music room here, which is a memory I shall always
Her husband and best friend, is Al Grant, the man she calls her rock. Al
(who sounds more like Jim Reeves than Jim Reeves), sings, appropriately,
‘My Happiness’ with Isla on the album and is featured on the dvd. The
Grants enjoy a very successful working partnership as well as being happily
married. He is a member of her band and she says they have never spent a day
apart. ‘I’d be lost without him’.
But life has not always been smooth sailing for Isla.
In 1992, following the near fatal head-on car crash that almost destroyed
her world, it was Al who guided her through the blackest period of her life.
Her terrible injuries slowly healed but then for two years she battled with
agoraphobia. Today, recalling that time, Isla says ‘I couldn’t listen to
music on the radio anymore. It brought back too many painful memories from
my past. During the night, I’d wake up crying. My family were wonderfully
supportive but in the end I knew it was only me who could make me better. I
knew I had to write down my feelings because often I couldn’t talk about
them. Those feelings eventually went into a lot of songs and when I finally
started writing again, I took it much more seriously than I had previously.
My songs were more sincere because they were bred out of genuine emotions. I
feel that’s what has made them successful. People can relate to them.’
This interview appeared in full in the Irish Post, May 24, 2008
© All Stories and Content
Copyright of Bruna Zanelli - all rights Reserved. Redistribution without
prior consent is punishable by law.