Over the months Doric TV have come across some very special people who do extraordinary things. We Proudly present Katie and James of  Aye Tunes, who present their unique presentation of Doric. 

Fit Like?! Katie and James here from Aye Tunes! Aye Tunes are bringing you songs with a slice of Doric!

We both trained in musical theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and graduated in 2016 – since then we have both worked as actors, musicians, writers, composers, (you name it, we’ve done it) within Scotland and further afield.

We both come from parts of the UK where our accents make up a large part of our identities. Katie is from Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire so Doric is her native tongue. She can remember being told from a young age that she should ‘speak properly’ at school and this always made her vow to never lose her authentic doric speech! Of course, life got in the way and when she moved to Glasgow she found herself neutralising the way she spoke and subsequently losing touch with her doric. In the last wee while, she’s been feeling homesick and felt an urge to reconnect with her roots, hence Aye Tunes!

I (James) was brought up in a small mining village in the North East of England called Blackhall. Even going a few mile down the road for college, my accent was the thing that was always commented on, people mimicking it, always in a loving way. But as I have got older and moved to Scotland, it is still quite a prevalent part of my identity, more so now than ever. Our accents were the thing that brought us together. We met 7 and half years ago on our first day at Drama school. Both still holding on strong to our Pit Yakka and Doric tones and we found ourselves a common understanding. Where others struggled to understand us, it brought us together. Now, nearly 8 years later, we are married! 🙂

We came about this little musical venture a few weeks back – Katie has her own singing teacher business and was using TikTok to put captions on a video to use for her singing lessons. We had no followers, no other videos on TikTok and then when Katie posted this video of us doing ‘Shout out to my ex’ by Little Mix, which we had done for a laugh earlier last year and posted on Twitter, overnight it got about 80 thousand views and we had gained 2000 followers. We thought, “oh, maybe this is something that people want!” That video now has close to 180 thousand views and for the past month we have posted a new video each day and have now created a Twitter and Instagram. Across all 3 platforms we have over 8 thousand followers and we look forward to what we do next. Along with the covers we have been writing our own material, which is something we have both done for years now, but we have found a way to make it even more personal and writing in Doric allows for Katie to connect to the place that raised her and made her the person she is today and keep Doric alive!

She may have left the north-east nine years ago and changed the way she speaks, but Katie Barnett-Siggens has never forgotten her mother tongue.

The 27-year-old left Fraserburgh to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, and had to change the way she spoke so she could be understood.

But she has always sung in Doric, and has now started sharing them on social media platform TikTok – where they have gone down a storm.

Mrs Barnett-Siggens and her husband post the videos as AyeTunes! on TikTok and her versions Love Yourself, Mamma Mia and Wrecking Ball have already proved popular.

She said: “It was last year, in September or October time that me and my husband James, who plays guitar in the videos, sat down and did one song.

“It was a Little Mix song, Shout Out To My Ex, and we did it one morning in our pyjamas just for fun and posted it on Twitter. We went back on later that day and it had taken off.”

However, the duo did not post any more videos again until last week.

Mrs Barnett-Siggens explained that she had decided to upload the song to her Instagram page so used TikTok to add captions.

“I had zero followers and no idea how TikTok worked and went on to caption the video for Instagram. I then went back onto TikTok the next day and I had thousands of followers and thousands of views.”

Since then they have been taking requests and posting videos every day.

A way to reconnect and stay creative

AyeTunes! has been a chance for Katie to reconnect with her mother tongue.

She said: “I think for me over the past couple of years I’ve been really missing that part of me because it was so who I was. I think that’s partly why I’ve been enjoying doing the videos as well.”

She and her husband are both actors, but due to the pandemic lost the work they had lined up. They’re now enjoying using their TikTok platform to perform and keep creative while at home.

Mrs Barnett-Siggens also used the time to set up her online singing business.

The reaction

The couple have been surprised at how many people loved their Doric versions of popular hits, with lots of positive feedback about the language being represented online.

Fans also comment requests for songs and artists they would love to have translated.

“We do get people commenting on the videos being like ‘this is made up’ or ‘I come from Scotland but I don’t speak like this’,” Mrs Barnett-Siggens said.

“But what I’ve found interesting about those comments is that if you reply back and say ‘oh this is actually Doric and it’s from Aberdeenshire‘ people are then quite nice and they go ‘oh yeah I didn’t know that’”.

She added that she is so used to Doric she forgets other people find it interesting.

AyeTunes! has over 31,000 likes and almost 6,000 followers on TikTok. Their rendition of Shout Out To My Ex is their most watched video with over 165,ooo views.

The duo are thinking about doing a live stream to accept requests and show the process of translating the songs.

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