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Musician works with pop star Pixie Lott on NHS song from lockdown in Buckie

By Lorna Thompson

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A YOUNG musician locked down in Buckie has linked up with pop star Pixie Lott to produce a song of thanks for the NHS.

Ryan MacKenzie (24) has joined forces with chart-topper Pixie to record a touching cover version of the Dionne Warwick classic, That’s What Friends Are For, as a tribute to UK health workers.

Ryan jumped at the chance to do some arranging and producing for the song, having been in lockdown at home with his family in Buckie.

He is studying remotely for a Masters degree at London’s prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama and had been desperate to get stuck into some creative work when the call came from Pixie.

Ryan said: "I left my flat in London just before lockdown to visit my folks – not knowing I’d be under house arrest for a while.

"It’s been great having something creative to work on during this strange time.

"Pixie and I are both really proud of this."

Moray-born producer Ryan MacKenzie.
Moray-born producer Ryan MacKenzie.

He added: "What makes the piece even more special is that we did it as a thank-you and a show of gratitude to everyone working so tirelessly and selflessly in our health service."

Thanks to sophisticated technology and with a little help from other musical friends, Ryan produced the arrangement from Buckie with Pixie sending her vocals to him to be mixed into the track.

Ryan is producer of the annual Elgin Let It Snow Christmas concerts, which began in 2015 as a fundraiser for Lucy’s Fight, a campaign set up by Elgin woman Lucy Lintott, the youngest person in Scotland living with Motor Neurone Disease.

The Moray-born pianist has also worked with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ariana Grande.

Today, the song has been pushed out on Pixie’s social media and both she and Ryan hope it reaches as many people as possible.

The song is not a fundraiser nor a commercial venture – it is simply a thank-you to frontline workers.


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