A new Irish singer-songwriter has caught our attention with his beautiful new single Higher, released through Beardfire Music. In an exclusive interview, he spoke about making short-term goals, his Foy Vance inspiration, and what we can expect from him in 2021.
For those who may be new to your music, how best would you describe your sound?
My sound is a fusion of acoustic guitar, classic singer/songwriter, and a beat. It really reflects me. I love the sound of the guitar, but I also love a beat. If I was to place it in a genre, I would say Indie-Folk Alt-Pop.
What challenges have you faced in the music industry so far?
Even the term “Industry” refers to some economic gain. When starting out, especially with original music, it can be very difficult to establish a sustainable income. You must establish multiple income streams, be it from gigs, music lessons, streams, sync, co-writing, and potentially even a day job. I think if you are happy and creating new music, you’re in a pretty good spot. It really is only the very few that rise to the heights of fame and fortune.
How difficult would you say this career path is in terms of making a name for yourself?
I’d have to say very difficult. Everyone has a hierarchy of needs, food, comfort and a sense of achievement, and starting out it can be very difficult to meet all the needs; securing a steady income and a feeling of achievement. I think the sense of “Achievement”, is a key one for me. My strategy is to set realistic achievement goals. In 2017 it was to perform at an open mic, in 2018 it was to record a song, in 2019 it was to become a Spotify artist (well, that didn’t happen till 2020, but I got there). For 2021 it’s to release my new EP “Somewhere”. I’m not going to set a goal for a million streams on Spotify just yet, because it’s not achievable in the short term. You never know, I might get there someday. To continue creating new music and getting it out there, a sense of achievement is important.
How important is it for you to have creative control over the work you produce?
It is very important to me that my music reflects or represents me; so far, I have been able to maintain creative control. But I’m very much open to constructive guidance from external people, I think that’s how you develop as an artist, you accumulate experiences and improvement hints and tips from others.
Where do you draw influence and inspiration from for your work?
Everyone who knows me knows I say: “there’s a song in that”. Every situation influences me. I’m always thinking of themes for songs. I love writing songs about things that have defined or shaped the person I am, of looking back on situations and saying I wish I knew “that” back then. For me, “Regrets are neither good nor bad, they are just the difference between your thoughts now and the thoughts you once had”.
If you could collaborate with anybody going forward, who would you choose and why?
It would have to be Foy Vance, he’s a Belfast singer/songwriter, he is a big influence on my music. I choose Foy because of his songwriting style; his use of both visual and tactile lyrical reference just creates a vivid image in his music.
Tell us a random, funny fact about you that few people know.
I beatbox, I do a mean Billie Jean.
Do you have definitive aims or goals for your career?
Yeah, definitely, and really my goals are dynamic, they are continually changing. Like my first goal in 2017 was to play 3 songs at the local open mic, so as a New Year’s resolution I headed down to the Jail Break Sessions in Kilmainham, Dublin and played 3 covers. So that goal was achieved, so I asked myself “what’s next?”. Then I wanted to record an original song, so I worked with a good friend of mine and we wrote “Your Smile”, and we recorded it in 2018, and it was released on 14 Feb 2020. Then over the last few months I’ve been working on an EP, “Somewhere”, with Beardfire Music Production and Label, that is due for release in May 2021, with two more singles, “Consumed” and “Flint & Steel” from the EP to be released early next year, so keep your ears peeled!
Where do you hope to be this time next year?
This time next year I’d love to be in the studio working on an album.
What should we expect from you in the coming weeks and months?
I have singles, “Consumed”, “Flint & Steel”, and an EP “Somewhere” out in 2021. If “Covid” restrictions are gone, I hope to be back gigging, and hopefully doing a few release parties.