A young Scot who began making music in his bedroom has said it feels “amazing” to win a Grammy award.
Blair Ferguson, 20, won for his contribution to singer-songwriter SZA’s chart number one, Snooze, which was named best R&B Song.
He was also recognised for his contribution to SZA’s SOS album – which won the best progressive R&B category.
The Grammys are the highest awards in the US music industry and are awarded by the Recording Academy of the United States in recognition of musical excellence.
The former Kelvinside Academy pupil began making music in his Glasgow bedroom aged 15 and adopted the stage name BLK when he launched his career.
After collecting his award, Ferguson told the recording academy: “I feel amazing. It’s incredible to be out here being from Scotland and representing the country.
“It’s not something that happens to people from out there (Scotland) very often.
“It’s incredible, huge thanks to the whole team, to SZA, and to all my co-producers. It’s just been an incredible experience.
“All my family are back home celebrating. They’ve been texting me a lot – I’ve spoken to them a good bit. They’re (my family) all celebrating. It’s been lovely.”
His family: mother, Linda Christie; step-father, Alex Christie; and sister Emily, stayed up all night to watch the ceremony at a special party arranged by friends in Glasgow, while his father, Stephen Ferguson, a former arts critic, was in Los Angeles where the ceremony took place.
Mrs Christie, head of projects and programmes at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “It’s incredible. We are all absolutely ecstatic – we cannot believe it.
“We all watched it on a big screen surrounded by friends and family. We were screaming and crying when they read out Snooze. Blair’s sister was so overwhelmed she couldn’t even speak.
“He wanted us all to enjoy it, so video called us from the limo, at the table, backstage, and at the party.
“It’s just not a world you ever expect to see and he wanted us to enjoy it with him. He’s so level-headed and takes it all in his stride.”
She added: “When Blair said he wanted to leave school to pursue his music career, he was so determined and asked us to trust him, so we did.
“As academics, it’s not a world we understand – but he does. Never did we think that just five years later he’d have a Grammy in his hand, but he’s reached for his dreams and now he’s living them.”
She added: “As a parent, you just want to equip him to handle everything and, as we say in Scotland, he just needs to keep the heid and the sky’s the limit.”
Jenny Cunningham, who taught Ferguson at Kelvinside Academy in Glasgow for 10 years until he left school in 2020, said his talent was always there to see – but not necessarily a sign of where he’d end up.
She said: “Blair’s flare for music shone brightly from the beginning – particularly in classical piano and choir singing.
“He always had something special. It was clear he had the potential to go far, but it wasn’t until much later that the path he’d go down became more clear.
“Once he found it, though, there was no stopping him and it’s astonishing to see what he’s achieved.
“Most young musicians doing well in the music industry would be celebrating a record deal, or getting a song out, or even selling out a gig.”
She added: “To win a Grammy is beyond most musicians’ wildest imaginations. It’s incredible, yet he seems to take it all in his stride.
“We are all extremely proud and delighted at his success.
“You could argue that he has already reached the top – but I am certain that he’s only just getting started.”
A young Ferguson spent every waking moment producing music from his bedroom during lockdown and struck a deal with his parents – he would put a pause on education and not attend university if he could land a record deal within one year.
He went on to be signed by a record company, recently secured a deal with Warner Music Group. and has worked with people including Justin Bieber and Rozalia.
Dan Wyatt, rector at Kelvinside Academy, said: “We are all immensely proud and I’m sure I speak for all in the Kelvinside Academy community in wishing Blair the hugest congratulations.”