The Scottish sisters taking classical music uptown

BBC News


Two Scottish sisters, who shot to prominence with their version of Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk, are topping the UK classical music charts with their debut album.

The Ayoub sisters have included their violin and cello version of Ronson's funk track on the new album but they first posted it online when they were starting out two years ago.

Sarah Ayoub, 24, told BBC Scotland's Timeline programme: "Uptown Funk was the first pop cover that we ever attempted to play and upload on to YouTube.

"Mark Ronson invited us to Abbey Road studios to re-record it for the Brit Awards 2016."

Her younger sister Laura, who had her 22nd birthday on Thursday, says: "It definitely allowed us to get a foot in the door and helped us manage to show our music to a lot more people and gain a lot of opportunities, so we were very grateful for that."

Ayoub Sisters
By Ayoub Sisters

The sisters grew up in Bearsden on the outskirts of Glasgow and went to the Douglas Academy School of Music in Milngavie.

They were both classically trained, with Sarah graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and Laura studying at the Royal College of Music in London.

Their parents are both Egyptian and moved to Glasgow shortly before they were born.

Cellist Sarah says: "We are Scottish-Egyptian so traditional music from both countries played a part in our influences."

Their debut album, recorded at Abbey Road with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, is an eclectic mix of tracks, ranging from Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' to Shostakovich and Johann Strauss.