A SCOTTISH trad artist who received a shock multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis has unveiled his latest project. 

Innes Strachan, originally from Skye but based in Glasgow, has spent his career as the synth player and producer behind electro-trad pioneers Niteworks.

He’s already seen plenty of success, releasing three critically acclaimed albums with the band and headlining festivals all across the globe.

However, he told The National he’s always had aspirations to take on a new musical direction, which is exactly what he’s done with his new project Lusa.

“This project started back in lockdown after spending some time with a careers coach,” the musician explains.

“I decided that I wanted to pursue a career away from folk and trad music which is where I’ve cut my teeth with Niteworks.”

Strachan is the producer behind Lusa – a new “electro-pop” group who have just released their first single Probably ahead of a planned album release later this year.

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The new group includes vocalist Beth Malcolm while Strachan also co-wrote the song with Donald Macdonald - who previously released the album Easier Now with indie rock band The Islands back in 2020.

Strachan explains that his MS diagnosis, which he first received back in 2020, actually served to spur him on with his new project.

“It was a kick up the arse in terms of what I wanted to achieve,” he says.

“I lead more of a healthy lifestyle, I’m more active and do more exercise but in terms of the career stuff, it twisted my arm to get on with things and not wait for stuff to happen.

“My symptoms mean that I now can’t play instruments the way I could before, but there are always ways to adapt and starting from scratch with this project has allowed me to mould it in a way that works for me.”

The upcoming album also has contributions from Strachan’s fellow Niteworks band member Ruairidh Graham on percussion as well as Laura Wilkie on strings and Keir Long on piano.

The band is also due to play its first gig at Glasgow venue Dannsa on May 24 - tickets are available HERE.

After working so hard for so long on getting the project off the ground, Strachan is keen to see how audiences react.

“It’s massively exciting because we’ve been sitting on the record for a long time after recording last year,” he says.

“It’s been a long time coming and I’m excited for folk to hear it because we’ve kept it largely close to our chest.”