West Lothian siblings on track for careers with outstanding talents
Amy Baillie, 24, and Rhys Baillie, 12, from Broxburn, have each found a passion through their life-long hobbies and are now gaining recognition through winning titles and performing live.
Amy, a self-taught singer-songwriter, “sung before she could talk” and began practicing at the age of three.
Her mother Lyn said: “My mum always sang and was in bands and from when Amy was about three I knew she could sing - she sang all the time and always used to get in trouble in class for it, but she started entering talent shows and always won them.
“Since she has been gigging, she’s gained so much recognition. She’s supported Runrig lead singer Donnie Munro, and last year played a gig with David Cicero, who was discovered by the Pet Shop Boys, at Howden Park Centre.”
Lockdown has stopped Amy from playing gigs for the time being. However, she hasn’t spent her time at home twiddling her thumbs.
She recorded a cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence with the help of sound engineer Michael Crowe for a friend of her father. The track is now gaining radio plays across stations such as Celtic Music Radio, River Radio and even BBC Radio Scotland.
When the national station picked up her cover to play on air, proud Amy said: “What an unbelievable experience. To be on the same station as artists such as The Beatles, Elbow and Huey Lewis is something very scary and exciting.”
Amy’s younger brother Rhys began his go-karting journey when he was just eight-years-old, initially racing his cousin, but soon becoming the fastest junior at Newbridge’s Xtreme Karting.
Recognising his talent, his parents bought a kart for him for Christmas so he could build on his skills.
Two years ago, he moved to outdoor racing with the Honda Cadets and on Thursday scooped the coveted racing title of Minimax Scottish Champion.
Rhys said: “When I first started at Xtreme Karting I was setting lap records, so my mum and dad got me a go-kart for Christmas that year and I have been racing ever since.
“In September 2019 I moved up to Mini Max and just became the Scottish champion. I’d really like to thank Jake Smith who takes photos of me racing and the track.
“I’d like to make it to Formula One one day and be like Lewis Hamilton.”
Following his win, he is going to be moving up to compete in the Junior Max championships. Rhys said: “It means more money will be needed to buy parts for my kart. This is an expensive sport, so any [extra] sponsorship would be greatly appreciated.”
Rhys’ father David said: “I could not be prouder of Rhys and his achievements.
“All the practice and hard work had paid off and winning the Minimax Scottish Champion at Larkhall was the best feeling ever.”
Lyn added: “My kids are very gifted and it is an amazing feeling to see them achieving their dreams.”