Already accomplished as a singer and musician, Zoë had won awards at The Galloway Music Festival for: singing, recorder, piano and oboe.
She picked up the ukulele in January 2011 when she was still only 13 and started to teach herself to play. She quickly learnt some covers and put them up on You Tube. Then over the next few months she started to write her own songs.
By June of 2011 she got her first gig at the Mill Sessions in Gatehouse of Fleet. Her next gig was at The CatStrand Theatre in New Galloway to raise money for Oxfam in August 2011, where she was asked to step in at the last minute as one of the bands on the bill dropped out.
It was at this gig that she was spotted by Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival promoter (Pete Renwick) who asked her to support internationally acclaimed folk singer Emily Smith at an outdoor concert at the Plainstaines in Dumfries, he said . . .
“For someone of only 14 years of age, Zoë has a voice, composure and a lyrical ability that many a pop star could only dream of.”
Also at that gig was Steve Dowling, the owner of Distilled Records, who had no hesitation in offering her a record deal. He said . . .
“We’re so delighted to have found such a young and natural talent on our doorstep. She performs with all the poise of someone twice her age, and her song writing is direct and lyrical … she does simple beautifully, and sings like a wee angel”
This was followed in October 2011 by a winning performance at The Wigtown Book Festival’s talent show with her own song “35 Missed Calls”. Toby Young, author and editor of the Spectator, was in the audience and he mentioned her in his column the following week, saying . . .
“They also boasted an infant phenomenon in the form of Zoë Bestel, a 14 year old who sang a heartbreaking ditty she’d written herself about unrequited love. She was a worthy winner. I told her not to take the first offer, no matter how good it is, and I hope she follows my advice. She’s destined for stardom.”
In November Zoë was approached by Jeff Grainger from Dandelion Radio, an independent station inspired by legendary Radio 1 DJ John Peel, to appear on his show.
December 2011 saw Zoë voted onto the prestigious Dandelion Radio Festive 50 at No: 27. The Festive 50 is a tradition that John Peel started back in the 70′s and it charts the most popular tracks that have been played during the current year. Following John’s death in 2004 Dandelion Radio was asked to keep the tradition going.
2012 sees Zoë in the studio recording her first single “35 Missed Calls” due out in early May; performing at gigs around the area and filming a video for the release of her upcoming CD.
She’s also just finished writing and performing the soundtrack for Spring Fling’s 10th Birthday video (Scotland’s Premier Arts and Crafts Open Studios Event).
She’s been delighted with all the offers of gigs in 2012 and has already surpassed her dream of performing at a festival as she’s got offers from several already including: The Wickerman, Eden Festival, Knockengorroch and Comlongon Rocks