Aug 11 2010 by Michael Pringle, Airdrie & Coatbridge
A MUSICIAN who swapped life in Airdrie for Amsterdam after falling in love with a Dutch girl, is a chart topper in Holland.
Raymond Hackland’s debut single, Just One Night, has shot to No.1 in the online Dutch country music charts.
The 29-year-old left Scotland last year to be with his girlfriend Petra, a landscape architect who designs gardens.
Struggling to find work to fund his music, Raymond took up a position as a landscape gardener.
Raymond said: “A neighbour was looking for a hand doing a bit of landscaping and I found that I loved it. I then moved onto working as a tree surgeon and I’ve now started my own company, Hackland’s Gardens.”
The ex-St Margaret’s High pupil has been a bit of a late bloomer in respect of his music as he only started to play guitar four years ago.
He wrote the song in his spare time and sent it to internet site ReverbNation which is a site for budding bands and artists.
The song came to the attention of a couple of radio stations and received airplay before hitting the top of the country chart.
Raymond explained: “I’ve been involved in the management side of the music business for a few years now but after this people will maybe start to recognise that I’m not just writing for my own pleasure.”
Raymond is set to tour Holland in October, Germany next year and is planning a follow-up to Just One Night.
He is currently working on an album – Enjoy the Ride – and a duet – Scars – with fellow Scottish singer Amy Belle.
Amy, who provided backing vocals on his debut track, came to prominence in 2004 when she was noticed busking in Glasgow by a friend of Rod Stewart.
She was asked to duet with the Scottish singing legend at the Royal Albert Hall during the One Night Only concert where they performed I Don’t Want To Talk About It.
According to Raymond the album will be a combination of styles from acoustic to heavy metal.
He said: “I’m going to be working with a number of producers including one from the US who has collaborated with Snoop Dogg.
“It’s also a real pleasure working with Amy. I was with her one day and she made £124 in an hour busking in Sauchiehall Street.”
The Airdrie man who lists Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash among his influences isn’t about to give up his day job.
He explained: “I need to keep working. My profile has been raised by the success of Just One Night but I wouldn’t want to get involved with big record labels who can take away control and creativity.
“You can write the best songs ever and if they don’t like them, they don’t release them and they own your work.
“I’ve got the luxury just now of working at my own pace.”
Raymond will play a couple of Scottish date; at the three-day Live@Troon Festival that takes place from September 3 to 5, where he and Amy will play as guests of Alan Frew on Sunday, September 5, and there’s a Glasgow gig lined up for September 6 at Captain’s Rest on Great Western Road.
Raymond’s track has been receiving airplay on Jim Gellatly’s Amazing Radio show and he’s also been contacted by a Tennessee based FM Radio Station who want to feature the Airdrie man.
Just One Night is available to download through iTunes, Amazon etc.
Check out Raymond’s music at www.myspace.com/mondomusico or become a fan and be able to listen to exclusive material at: www.reverbnation.com/raymondhackland.