A TALENTED musician has picked up a national award – 13 years after first being nominated for the prize.

Steve Byrne was crowned The Citty Finlayson Scots Singer of the Year at the Scots Trad Music Awards in Aberdeen shortly before Christmas.

The singer, who plans to record his second solo album later this year, was delighted to pick up the award, with the ceremony broadcast on BBC ALBA.

He said: “I suppose it is really a nice recognition of the work I have done over the last 20 years.

“I have been involved in traditional music since my late teens when I came to Edinburgh and the School of Scottish Studies, which is part of the University of Edinburgh.

“Edinburgh was a hotbed of traditional music and it was nice to win the award in the year when my band, Malinky, was celebrating its 20th year.”

The 41-year-old was presented with an engraved piece of black stone, as well as a bottle of gin from Tyree Gin and a bunch of flowers, after being announced as the winner.

The ceremony celebrates Scotland’s cultural heritage and flourishing folk scene, with awards ranging from the musician of the year and album of the year to Scottish pipe band of the year and live act of the year, which was sponsored by Greentrax Recordings, based in Cockenzie.

At the ceremony, which took place in the city’s refurbished Aberdeen Music Hall, Steve was announced as the winner and called up on stage.

He said: “It is not like people often suspect, that you know beforehand.

“It was a surprise but you prepare a speech because you do not want to forget anybody.

“You prepare a wee speech and I gave it in the Scots language because I felt it was important to use Scots language on the airwaves.”

Steve, who lives with wife Ines and daughter Matilda, was previously nominated for the Best Scots Singer in 2006 but did not pick up the prize.

He told the Courier: “That was the year I brought out my first solo album.

“Malinky had been on the go for five or six years by that time and had a bit of profile.

“I was disappointed back then and I thought I had a good chance of winning but it is just one of those things.

“There are always great singers elsewhere doing great work.”

Already, Steve, who has lived in Tranent for more than five years and is involved with the plans to create an APOGI book, is anticipating a busy year ahead.

As well as working on his new solo album, he will be touring Canada with Malinky later this summer and is also organising a special concert in his home town of Arbroath to mark 700 years since the Declaration of Arbroath.

Murdo MacSween, communications manager for MG ALBA, said: “It’s been another wonderful year for Scottish traditional music, and we’re delighted that MG ALBA was yet again at the heart of this celebration of our world-class talent. BBC Alba is an amazing platform for the fantastic acts recognised and we look forward to continuing to showcase them on our screens in the years to come.”