Search
  • g1a5w3g1an

10FROM10 | Irish Artists (Part 2)

Updated: Aug 20

On this blog post, both Tina and I have asked 10 Irish Artists 10 questions each relating to their music and about their 2021 plans. With the 10FROM10 blog series continuing to be a really interesting insight into the musicians who we feature, this new post with Irish Artists will continue on with this new blog series, as we had always planned to expand beyond Twitch. Links to each of the featured Artists social media and music websites are included below.


Fresh on the scene and hotly tipped for big things, 22-year-old pop-rap artist Bobbi Arlo is most definitely an artist to keep tabs on.

Since the release of her singles Berries, Breath, and Signs, her star is most definitely on the rise. Arlo's mellow almost hypnotic sounding voice paired with her infectiously catchy lyrics and beats make for a pairing even the sourest of people could love. Her music is nothing short of feel good, feel deeply.


1. What was it that got you into or inspired you to become a full-time musician?

I always wanted to sing, I’ve been on stages since I was 7. It was inevitable that I was going to pursue it, but definitely buying my first album that I would replay a hundred times a day and going to my first concert really set in stone that this is exactly what I want to do and where I want to be.


2. With the events of this year being very different now, what motivates you currently?

I love music - my only motivation has always been music, so no matter what happens in the world if I can still sing and produce music I will.


I never expected anyone to ever listen to my songs, so now that they do, it kind of pushes further because I’m excited to see how far I can go and see what I can do now with a platform I never had. I used to make music for myself only because no one listened but now I make music for myself and everyone else listens and that’s really cool.


3. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your music / life balance?

I mean it’s difficult, everything’s harder than it was before and it’s definitely inconvenient to work through zoom and communicate through socials when I admittedly am not the best with social media in general. Music is a lot slower I’d say - I’ve got so many songs written and ready to go but I don’t have equipment at home to record so I have to wait till I can get down to my producer’s studio. It’s unfortunate, but my work flow is pretty consistent and I can turn over songs quite quickly - mostly in one session - so I know when lockdown lifts I’ll get it all done quickly. In my personal life I’m very lucky, no one I know is sick, I’m healthy, my family’s healthy, and I’m in a warm house taking some much needed time off work. I know people aren’t as lucky as me to have that so I’m thankful, there are no complaints really I just miss my social life and my friends I guess, but that’ll come back sooner then we think.


4. What has been your most challenging experience, music or in general, to date?

The most challenging thing in my music for me is probably my sense of identity as an artist, it’s something I think I’ll always struggle with. There’s a massive comparing tag that anyone who’s in music goes through and constantly does - we do it to ourselves and our fans and other people do it too: “oh they sound like...”, or “oh they look like...”. As a person who’s creating their own lane in music it’s disheartening. Trying to find where you fit in is quite hard and to be told look this has already been done so you’re unoriginal is potentially dangerous to the craft, because you’ll start changing everything about your sound and your look potentially ruining your marketable qualities. But the reality of it is nothing’s ever new, everything has been done and seen before. It’s about your own unique twist that sets you apart and when you’re self conscious about everything it’s very hard to find that sweet spot. There’s times when my team literally have to sit me down and say okay you can do this, you’re original, you don’t sound or act or feel like the others and you will be liked, and sometimes I need that because I focus so much on the details and stress so much that I’m not copying or carrying myself like someone ahead of me. I want people to hear my songs and say wow that’s Bobbi Arlo so there’s a lot of extreme pressure I put on myself to be as original and as personal as I can be. But I’m also human with real body issues and I get self conscious and confused about how to portray myself in appearance and how that matches up with what my music sounds like, I look around and I see people who sing in my genre - really pretty supermodel figures that wear bodysuits on stage and are so glam and fun. I had to learn to accept that’s just not me and in realising that I think I resonate with people. I think recently the norm of what is expected in music has changed - there’s a craving for something real. I really look up to Alma - she’s not mainstream looking but has a mainstream sound and she’s dope! When I watch her it makes me want to work that bit harder because if she can do it and look like me, I can do it.


5. Have you found or had much support and encouragement from other musicians?

I’ve been very lucky to have met incredible musicians and artists the last year who genuinely took me under their wings and carried me through a lot. Not only do they support me, but they constantly encourage me. The Irish scene is quite good for it, especially people who are up and coming - they will literally hold your hand and tell you you’re pretty, haha. Everyone just wants to see someone Irish succeed and break the boundaries. I’m really lucky with the support group I have around me for sure.


6. Which method of distributing music have you found to be the most effective?

If you have music, release it, put it in the world, tweet about it, get people to share it with their friends, families, cats, literally everyone, because word of mouth catches so much quicker then any other method. Don’t stress about release dates and how many singles you release, just keep pumping them out. It’ll be heard.


7. What challenges have you faced as an independent musician?

It’s quite expensive to pursue music so I work a full time job while often working full time in music. That can be really tiring and I think if I was more rested, my work flow would be better, however being in lockdown has proven that theory. I’m just doing music at the moment and it’s amazing.


8. With live gigs being impacted this year, have you used social media for live performances?

I personally haven’t done any live gigs but it’s not out of the question for sure.


9. Is there any advice that you would give to other musicians during these uncertain times?

Don’t stop creating, take this off time to perfect your craft. We are never going to get this time off again to really focus like this. So keep grinding, the world will eventually work again and when it does you’ll be ready.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans going into the New Year and beyond?

Lots of new singles, hopefully shows and festivals if that’s on the books. I think you’re really going to start to see my shape as an artist. My next single, Feel It, drops on February 25th and I’m so excited for this one!


Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Spotify | YouTube


Cat Turner first started making music herself when a band she wanted to start didn't work out. After this disappointment, Cat picked up the first instrument she could find, a keyboard, from her brother’s room and started crafting her own space in music. Since then Cat started producing and fleshed out a sound of her own and began releasing this music in 2017.


'I've become obsessed with the DIY ethos. It's really pushed me to make things, that years ago, I really thought I wouldn't be capable of', Cat says. 'Not making music was never a choice for me. I need to spills my guts in these songs to relate to the world.'


In 2021 Cat plans to release music with a more developed sound and plenty of it. 'I've made so much music lately. It's different but it's still me. I need to get it out there so once I start with my first new release, Be More Likely, I have no plans to slow down for quite a while'.


1. What was it that got you into or inspired you to become a full-time musician?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to do music but I think the thing that made me actually do it myself was being super close to doing it with someone else. My friends were in a band and I’d go out every weekend to support them but every time I’d go see them I’d get such a feeling of built up energy rather than a release. I realised it’s because I wanted to be on the stage. I’d written lyrics since I was little and sang but never really gave it a go. I started chatting with someone else at the gig about music and decided to start a band but that fell through pretty quickly and as soon as it did it felt like something was ripped away from me, which seemed crazy because we hadn’t even made anything. At that point I was like, ‘right I need to find an instrument and figure out how to play so I have the choice to do this myself’. My little brother had a keyboard so I stole that for a bit and went full time into it!


2. With the events of this year being very different now, what motivates you currently?

That’s a tough question for me. With everything being so different it just highlighted how to me things weren’t that different on a day to day basis. I can tend to get into a bubble and make music and miss other things in life. Having to stop and think about that definitely changed my writing style though. I like to write my negative emotions out of myself and just live the good ones but this year I’ve written about some positive and safe things too which has been really refreshing and more of a challenge.


3. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your music / life balance?

Like I said it just made me look at how little of a balance I had. I think it was a year where people had big realisations and it was no different for me. I’ve taken time to appreciate life outside of music and trying to be less self indulgent. It’s been an odd balance though. I saw something on Instagram earlier that described it perfectly: ‘Be productive because you won’t get this much free time ever again/sleep and slack because you won’t get this much free time ever again’.


4. What has been your most challenging experience, music or in general, to date?

I don’t know if this has been my most challenging experience but it’s an ongoing one anyway. That’s been trusting myself and the choices I make with my music. There’s times where I compare how different my songs are and think I’ve done something wrong for that to happen. Or I’ll write something fun and upbeat and then go online and see another musician writing something slow and emotional and think shit maybe that’s what I should be doing. One thing I can see is my good side does tend to win in the end and I do release and make what I want, but the emotional rollercoaster in the process is something that’s been a real challenge to work on.


5. Have you found or had much support and encouragement from other musicians?

I think any other musicians I have got the chance to chat with have been really encouraging. I’ve got some friends that are musicians too and we really try to build each other up.


6. Which method of distributing music have you found to be the most effective?

Releasing songs as singles has been my favourite way so far! It gives each song a chance to breathe and I love creating visuals around all my tracks so it gives me a chance to do that. I release everything myself through an aggregator and I love the control it gives you around what you want to release. This year I want to push myself to do some less ‘official’ releases and just get more music out there.


7. What challenges have you faced as an independent musician?

Making all the decisions yourself can be the best and the worst at times. There’s also a different kind of creative buzz you get when working with someone else and having a shared experience when creating something. In saying that that’s really where other musicians' encouragement and support has been helpful. Overall I do love working solo and I think knowing ‘no one else has to hear this’ lets me go to places I wouldn’t otherwise with lyrics and production. It’s kind of funny because I’ll release it for everyone to hear in the end but getting it out initially is easier for me solo.


8. With live gigs being impacted this year, have you used social media for live performances?

I haven’t yet! I really need to get on that actually. I wanted to do a more stripped back set but then I got on a writing buzz. I’m getting such an itch to play live though so I reckon you can expect some soon.


9. Is there any advice that you would give to other musicians during these uncertain times?

Trust yourself! In all ways, with the music you make, if you need some space and time before you make anything. It’s really easy to look at what everyone else is doing and our brains tend to notice the people who are doing lots and think ‘I should be doing that too’, but everyone is different and has different needs. It’d be crazy if we were all doing the same thing and worked the same way, so if you’re using this time to refuel then you do you. It’s been a crappy year for a lot of people for so many different reasons, so let yourself have your own experience!


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans going into the New Year and beyond?

So much music! I sometimes forget that everyone hasn’t heard everything I’ve made. I’ve got plans to get it all out though, so expect new music every month and some really fun visuals too. I’ve only planned what I can control but if live gigs do come back I’ve got plans to have lots of music people haven’t heard before and a new live setup. If not in person I’ll make a promise to do some of those gigs online.


Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Spotify | YouTube | Website


Etaoin was being entered into national Irish music competitions from the age of 6, winning the adult categories by the age of 10 – and that is in singing, songwriting, and flute. She won everything there is to win in that world. She then became obsessed with pop songs on the radio which have inspired and opened the door to who she is as an artist today.


With her first single, Bedroom Walls, Etaoin immediately puts everything on the table. The song came from heartbreak, but ended up being about much more than that. "When I listen to Bedroom Walls now, there’s a sense of waiting for my old self to come back. Not only waiting for someone else, but for yourself at the same time; wanting to be in contact with someone through lyrics, but not actually facing it. Pride can get in the way sometimes, people don‘t wanna look like they care. I‘m definitely guilty of that", she says.


With just her acoustic guitar and a voice like... there's actually nothing we could compare Etaoin's voice to. But with the combination of these two, Etaoin will stun you. Let her.


1. What was it that got you into or inspired you to become a full-time musician?

My parents always were super encouraging of my interest in music, they bought me my first guitar for Christmas when I was 11 and my mum taught me my first guitar chords. Taylor Swift had just released her first album and I remember listening to it after school on the way home and going into daydreams of “imagine if I could do that” - that’s when knew I wanted to write songs.


2. With the events of this year being very different now, what motivates you currently?

Ugh, the whole Covid situation is mental isn’t it?! Genuinely like something out of a movie?! At the moment I’d say just having a lot of time alone with my imagination has been so productive for me. I'm super excited for the coming year so that in itself is a huge motivator, but also it’s so motivating when you receive messages from people listening!


3. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your music / life balance?

Regarding music Covid has definitely put a spin on thing as I haven’t been able to write songs with other people/artists and obviously can’t perform or go to gigs. Also I’m not going to lie, I do miss the pub. The lack of being social has been weird - I haven’t seen so many of my friends in so long! Fingers crossed that this year everything returns to normality.


4. What has been your most challenging experience, music or in general, to date?

My teenage years were spent mainly moving from hospital to hospital with a lot of uncertainty and alone time. Luckily I’m all better now but that whole part of my life makes me really appreciate things differently.


5. Have you found or had much support and encouragement from other musicians?

Oh yeah I definitely have felt support from the music community - I loooove meeting other artists and musicians and talking about our big dreams. It’s always amazing to see how creative people as a community come together to support each other.


6. Which method of distributing music have you found to be the most effective?

You know what, I couldn’t even choose. All of the streaming platforms have been been SO amazing and super supportive to my first single. They’ve been such an instrumental part of releasing for me and I’m literally so so grateful for the support they’ve given me. Proper legends!!


7. What challenges have you faced as an independent musician?

As an independent musician there are so many challenges, one of my big ones was wanting to be in music but not knowing how to get there/how to get people to listen. I literally knew no one in music. The most important step for me has just been actually getting my music online and out there, people can only help you out if they can actually hear the music!!


8. With live gigs being impacted this year, have you used social media for live performances?

I haven’t used social media for live performances yet but this is definitely something I’ll be doing this year!


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans going into the New Year and beyond?

Ah it’s so hard to know what the coming year will hold, especially with the uncertainty of Covid. One thing I definitely know for sure is that I’ll be releasing 2 EPs with songs I am so excited about. The rest of the year literally depends on the people listening, fingers crossed they all love it!!


Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Spotify | YouTube


Eve's Record Box is a band from Limerick, Ireland. They draw from trad-jazz, neo-soul and contemporary songwriting to create a unique, honest sound with free flowing instrumentals and emotive lyrical content. Forming in the summer of 2019 the band discovered a special musical connection that has lead to the recording of their debut EP, Solo Heroes.


Front woman Jane Fraser is a songwriting graduate of ICMP - London, Paddy Shanahan (Lead Guitarist) studied Jazz at New Park Music Centre - Dublin, Danny Lanham (Bass Guitar) is a composer & MD on Limerick's highly acclaimed hip-hop label 'PX Music' and Ben Wanders (Drums & Production) is one of Ireland's top session drummers previously working with Shardborne, Hedfuzy, Slave Zero, and many more. Having released two single to date the band have enjoyed support from WorldWide FM, 2XM, 8Radio, The London Jazz Review, Totally Irish, and Guaranteed Irish.


1. What was it that got you into or inspired you to become full-time musicians?

Jane: I've always been drawn to music ever since I was a kid, I first thought dancing would be my path but I changed my mind about a year after leaving school and felt singing was my thing. My dad was a musician too so I guess I got it from him.


2. With the events of this year being very different now, what motivates you currently?

Jane: I'm currently super motivated to write an album with the band and also drop a bunch of solo songs that have been either fully finished or half finished and on the back burner for some time. I feel like the world will get switched back on some time in the not too distant future and I want something to show for this time.


3. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your music / life balance?

Jane: Well there's not a lot of gig money coming in, but equally there's not much to spend money on either so there's a balance there strangely. I think it's just the feeling of being trapped makes me panic. Sometimes my logical mind knows that it will pass but sometimes I'm not feeling very logical! I have been writing a lot and that has been something positive to come from it.


4. What has been your most challenging experience, music or in general, to date?

Jane: Conquering self doubt and pushing myself out there has been hard - it's not something that comes naturally to me and I still wouldn't be the most 'on it' with social media. I find that stuff hard, I find it frustrating that so much of your progress as an artist is weighted in Social Media and self-promotion.


5. Have you found or had much support and encouragement from other musicians?

Jane: Yeah I guess it's like anything in life you meet great people and you meet people who are not so great. There can be a bitchy element but I think if you really want to make great music and that's your no.1 priority, then that shines through and you attract others who are on the same page as you.


6. Which method of distributing music have you found to be the most effective?

Jane: Well to be honest I've only started self releasing recently but I think Bandcamp is the best for making some sales. Spotify is super hard to build up and you got to invest a lot to get on playlists but it's the best way of raising your profile. It depends what your goal is when you’re putting stuff out.


7. What challenges have you faced as an independent musician?

Jane: I think it's a lot harder to be a woman in music for many reasons. I also think it's one thing to be a good musician, a good songwriter with something to say and share but it's a completely separate skill to take that work and put it inside the music industry and weather all the stuff that goes along with that. Figure out how to use marketing, get in with the right people, etc., you have to have a bulletproof self belief, you have to constantly promote yourself and your work which I personally find tedious.


8. With live gigs being impacted this year, have you used social media for live performances?

Jane: That's not something I have done yet but I will be getting into it in the next few months. I'm not sure I'll be live streaming much but maybe one or two in studio with the band would be great.


9. Is there any advice that you would give to other musicians during these uncertain times?

Jane: Use the time to do what you can... Don't get frustrated about the elements you simply can't make happen now. To be honest most musicians I know are very resilient and adaptable - we are used to adversity. It's a strange time but I've come to accept it now and made some goals that are achievable in lockdown mode.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans going into the New Year and beyond?

Jane: Finish writing the album for the band and get in to record it soon as we can get together.


Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Spotify | YouTube


Since late 2018, Irish electro-folk artist Jackie Beverly has sparked people’s attention with her uniquely strong, electro-pop sound - blending synth/laptop-driven rhythms, delicate electric guitar lines, all led by a soaring, pure vocal. Named as one of "10 Irish Rock and Pop acts to watch in 2020" by The Irish Times (Tony Clayton-Lea), coupled with the announcement of three sold-out debut headline shows this year, only further demonstrates the space that Beverly has carved out herself here on the Irish scene.


Taking inspiration from Låpsley and London Grammar, with her refreshing electro-infused writing and refined vocal, the results are ‘moody, unpretentious, captivating and a little bit special’.


1. What was it that got you into or inspired you to become a full-time musician?

I'm actually still not a full-time musician, I'm a teacher and that gives me the funds to make music. My family is quite musical - I probably got into music from my brother or my dad.


2. With the events of this year being very different now, what motivates you currently?

Being creative with cooking, and knowing that I have a very tasty dinner to look forward to at the end of the day has helped me stay motivated and get my work done during the day!


3. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your music / life balance?

Unfortunately I've had three sold out shows postponed. But I've been very lucky in the sense that we've been able to work around this and put on some really special live streams. I'm also enjoying the change of pace to my lifestyle. I'm very privileged to be able to chill out in a lovely warm house and work away on music or other projects. I know it's not the case for many.


4. What has been your most challenging experience, music or in general, to date?

Overcoming self doubt (it's an ongoing process).


5. Have you found or had much support and encouragement from other musicians?

100% - any artist I've ever reached out to has been extremely generous with their time and guidance. The Irish music scene is somewhere where this is particularly prevalent.


6. Which method of distributing music have you found to be the most effective?

I use Distrokid which uploads to all the usual places. It's very handy.


7. What challenges have you faced as an independent musician?

Financial challenges are a big one, but also the mental challenges of constantly asking yourself, "am I good enough?".


8. With live gigs being impacted this year, have you used social media for live performances?

Yeah we were lucky enough to get to put on a live stream show on YouTube just before we went into proper lockdown. Social media is a huge help for things like that but it will obviously never replace live shows.


9. Is there any advice that you would give to other musicians during these uncertain times?

Just keep going, don't give up and be kind to yourself.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans going into the New Year and beyond?

Release some new music and enjoy the process.


Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Spotify | YouTube


Jen Ella is a singer-songwriter and musician from Cork and based in Glasgow. Her music is inspired by personal experiences and her captivating vocals and story-telling talents convey these experiences.


Active in both the Irish and Scottish music scene, she has received a great reception of her music back along the years being featured on RTE Radio's recommended list and receiving support from BBC Sounds, RTE 2fm and local radio stations within Glasgow and Ireland. She made her debut at one of the biggest festivals in Scotland which was Celtic connections and had been recognised by Celtic music radio as ''highly recommended'' at the festival.


Her latest release, Lipstick Queen, made into the local paper in Cork, ''The Evening Echo'', and has been featured on many blog posts with YMX. stating Jen Ella as one to watch for 2021. She is currently working on another EP set to be released during 2021.


1. What was it that got you into or inspired you to become a full-time musician?

I grew up in a musical family and music has always played a huge part in my life. I wrote music from a young age and when I was exposed to other songwriters and began gigging, I got a real love for being on stage and just knew that I would want to pursue this path. I began to get positive reactions to my songs when I was starting out and this definitely encouraged me to pursue music.


2. With the events of this year being very different now, what motivates you currently?

I think being fortunate to work virtually with a lot of positive creatives. I think if you have a creative mind you are used to adapting. A positive outlook is also very important. I began exercising and practising meditation more and this helps me with my creative process.


But honestly, I struggled to write during the first lockdown and I was hard on myself about it but once I took a step back the lyrics came. So be good to yourself is my advice the music will come.


3. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your music / life balance?

It’s been okay - I am lucky to be working just now so I have a routine which helps for sure. But I miss the gigs a lot. I was out most nights during the week either playing gigs or attending open mics and I miss that element of connecting with other like-minded folk. But I have used this time to get projects finished that I may not have got finished before so that is a bonus!


4. What has been your most challenging experience, music or in general, to date?

To be honest - I haven’t found any experiences that challenging, I mean I suppose I always say to myself that when you are in this industry, you have to have self-belief and be confident in delivering your music and I think that does help when I face any challenges. I think as a musician/writer you can be very hard on yourself at times and I think it’s important to recognise what you have achieved.


5. Have you found or had much support and encouragement from other musicians?

Yes - for sure. I am fortunate to be amongst a really supportive community of musicians and I have worked with some amazing talents so I am lucky to be amongst a supportive music community.


6. Which method of distributing music have you found to be the most effective?

So I have always used Distrokid to distribute all my music on platforms such as Spotify, iTunes etc. I have always found it great - it’s easy to use and it’s quick too and you can get folk to pre-save your music which helps with securing playlists and getting in to the charts. I think it’s important for people to know that these simple knacks like this can make a huge difference to your music being heard especially as an independent artist. Also I used Bandcamp and I find Soundcloud great to put up demos to hear too.


7. What challenges have you faced as an independent musician?

I think sometimes getting your music radio play. It is all about making those connections, networking and selling yourself. There is a huge business side of music and promotion is a huge thing. So I try to keep my promotional tactics fresh. Social media is a great platform for musicians especially Instagram, I have made a lot of connections through Instagram.


8. With live gigs being impacted this year, have you used social media for live performances?

Yes I have! I was part of a few open mic live streams. But I also did the Sofathon singalong and featured on the venue page of St. Lukes in Glasgow which was a great experience. We raised funds for the Music Venue Trust and it was a 24hr music festival. But I am always looking to play - I am currently working on a EP so maybe a live stream would be a good launch party :)


9. Is there any advice that you would give to other musicians during these uncertain times?

Yes lots. I think a huge thing is don’t give yourself a hard time if you are not playing enough or writing enough. These are serious uncertain times and I think as musicians now that we are faced with more time than usual and we are put under this pressure to achieve these goals but it’s not always easy. You can’t force it - for example I have written songs in the most ridiculous places because it just comes to me at that moment in time.


Being kind to yourself is so important and make sure you do something nice for yourself. Looking after your mental health is so important.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans going into the New Year and beyond?

I have lots of plans coming up which is very exciting. I have a new single hopefully coming out in spring time. I am working on an EP. Lipstick Queen music video and Common People music video shall be coming out in the next couple of months. I have also become part of a new band of absolute talents and we will be writing as a band and developing this further - there are so many ideas of what sound we would like to bring so it is super exciting. And with that I really want to collaborate with more artists and get involved in different projects. Also hope to get my album recorded by the end of this year.


Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Spotify | YouTube


Incredibly talented 19 year old Irish singer-songwriter Jess Reinl is proving a force to be reckoned with. Propelled into internet fame at just 17, following the globally viral video of her co-cover of 'Shallow' from blockbuster movie 'A Star Is Born', Jess was soon inundated with messages from around the world - from both fans & industry alike.


Building a highly dedicated international following of her own, Jess has gone from strength to strength continuing to deliver regular covers to her vast online audience. Capturing the attention of a number of highly acclaimed publications, blogs & radio stations across Ireland, UK & indeed the rest of the world, Jess is no stranger to profile, yet remains humble and focused. Having appeared on national TV in Ireland, performed live at the Proms & even collaborating on a recent charity performance with the likes of Gary Barlow, it's no surprise that Jess has been dubbed one of Ireland's 'Rising Artists' for 2021.


1. What was it that got you into or inspired you to become a full-time musician?

When I was about 7 years old, I joined a local stage school and got involved in many shows around Waterford. This is mainly where my interest grew from. I did this for many years then joined the Mount Sion Choir here in Waterford. We put together a Christmas show where I performed in a duet of “Shallow” from the movie A Star Is Born. This went viral and gained over 100 million views on Facebook. From this exposure, we were offered many opportunities to perform live gigs all over Ireland and it was from performing these live gigs

that I realised that this was what I truly loved doing and wanted to continue for the rest of my life. I released my first original song in November and plan to have an EP out sometime this year!


2. With the events of this year being very different now, what motivates you currently?

I think what motivates me most is my genuine love for music and performing, this is what drives me to put out covers for people to enjoy and work on releasing more of my own original music. Also all the support and love I get from my followers really encourages me to continue, it pushes me to try improve with every cover I upload and to grow more as an artist.


3. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your music / life balance?

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on everyone’s life. For me, it means not being able to perform live which I love to do. Also after releasing my song which was actually delayed by Covid-19, it means that I can’t gig anywhere with my first original or try find events around Ireland or even further abroad to perform at. I am currently studying music in Waterford Institute of Technology so I have to balance my own music, college work, a job and time for myself. I really enjoy my course so, I never find it a chore to have to study what I love. I also find it very beneficial as we are taught all the mechanics of music and we are also given one on one vocal lessons so I find it a huge help! Being in all of these lockdowns has actually been of benefit to me, I have more time to myself and because we’re stuck at home, I have nothing but music to focus on!


4. What has been your most challenging experience, music or in general, to date?

Gaining the confidence to perform in front of crowds of people I think would be one challenge that stands out for me. After being involved in a stage school for many years, I got plenty of time to think of ways to calm my nerves. Even though I have performed on many big stages and in front of huge audiences, I find that I will still always get nervous before a show. I think it is something that everyone experiences and although I think it becomes easier the more you perform, I don’t think these nerves will ever not be present. I feel it’s important to try and channel these nerves and work with them when performing and try change them into energy when on stage.


5. Have you found or had much support and encouragement from other musicians?

I have had huge support from members in the Mount Sion Choir and especially our choir leader, Ms. Kearney, they never fail to post up my covers on their social medias and help me spread my music. I think it’s very important in the music industry to help others grow and they will then return the favour. I am friends with other Irish artists and they are also very supportive, they share my music, and I share theirs. I feel that without all of this support, my music would not have spread as far as it has today!


6. Which method of distributing music have you found to be the most effective?

To date, I have only released one original song with CDBaby and found that it was a very easy and straight forward process for putting out your first song. With my covers, I feel like Instagram gets a lot of comments and views, but Facebook gives you the most shares on a post. I have great followers on all social media platforms and couldn’t thank them enough for all the lovely feedback and encouragement they give me, it really means a lot to me to think that strangers who have never and may never meet me still take time out of their day to comment and support my music journey.


7. What challenges have you faced as an independent musician?

I think the biggest challenge I have faced is spreading my music. My followers are great to share my posts and help as much as they can but obviously if you were signed to a record label, they have the money for advertising and links with major people in the business that would know all the best ways to gain more traction on your music posts and releases.


8. With live gigs being impacted this year, have you used social media for live performances?

Before Covid-19, I would have gone live on Instagram, TikTok and sometimes, Facebook. I think it’s brilliant that even though people can’t perform live at the moment, there is an option to do the next best thing and go live online. I love being able to interact with my followers and answer questions that they would like to know about my life.


9. Is there any advice that you would give to other musicians during these uncertain times?

The best advice I can give other musicians is just to try and look at the positives and use the time being stuck at home to focus on their music and then when Covid allows, they’ll be ready to go with gigs that they have thought of and release songs that they have written etc. All musicians are in the same boat at the moment so just try and look at what you can achieve and not what you aren’t able to because of Covid.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans going into the New Year and beyond?

I would have loved to be out doing gigs and performing this year but due to Covid, I plan on

just working on originals and getting more of my own songs out there and hopefully releasing an EP later this year. My ultimate goal would be to have my own tours and be able

to travel a lot while performing, maybe even meet some of the followers that are now

supporting my journey while at these shows! It would be a dream come true to become a

recognised global artist and maybe even get the chance to sing alongside some of the artists that I look up to and get inspiration from.


Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Spotify | YouTube


Megan Nic Ruairí is a singer-songwriter from north west Donegal, telling stories of romanticised love and self-exploration. Megan Nic Ruairí embodies a massive sense of pride for her Irish heritage despite being born in London and raised in Nottingham, England. Her Irishness resonates confidently in her compositions without swaying far from a unique contemporary sound. You can clearly sense a patriotic love for the Irish language and poetry which enriched her young life in Donegal.


The musician is deeply influenced by nature, sense of place and its effects on one’s soul. With most of her songs written from a piano facing the sea, the musician has always struck inspiration from the beautiful landscapes of her home in Rann na Feirste. So much so, that

the seascapes heard on her debut single were recorded below her house tying her art to that which inspires her, accentuating an integral aspect of the song.


1. What was it that got you into or inspired you to become a full-time musician?

Music in some shape or form was always going to be my definitive career choice from a young age. In honesty, I couldn’t even begin to imagine myself doing anything else. I’m extremely lucky to have parents that have always encouraged this choice and have always nurtured and supported my desire to become a musician full time. After receiving my degree in commercial modern music in 2019, I knew it was my chance to devote my time to my career.


2. With the events of this year being very different now, what motivates you currently?

Motivation is something I struggle with, especially in this current lockdown. Every day though, I try and do something that will spark or inspire something. I live in the most beautiful place and getting out for walks has been a saviour for me. Taking in the landscapes and the fresh sea air always motivates me to create.


3. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your music / life balance?

I made the decision to return back to my homeplace to be with my family during the lockdowns to protect my mental health and escape the city. I am usually based in the capital so returning to the Gaeltacht in Donegal has meant that I am away from my independent life and have had to adjust to being home after living away for years. This has been the absolute best thing for me, but I would have to admit it has definitely affected my life balance. Being so far away from my band and physically not being able to be together and practice has obviously put a dent into my life, musically, so that’s been hard. But I’m looking positively into the future


4. What has been your most challenging experience, music or in general, to date?

I would have to say, recording. Not necessarily in a negative way though. It’s been such an incredible experience and I’ve worked with the best of the best and my favourite people in the entire world, but it can be overwhelming and challenging at times. Trying to work with numerous schedules, worrying about money, trying to perform to the best of your ability and essentially being the ‘boss’, I suppose, can be intense, but wow is it rewarding when you can look back and see what you’ve created. I’ll forever be grateful for these experiences.


5. Have you found or had much support and encouragement from other musicians?

There’s an amazing community of musicians in Ireland and we all look out for each other both personally and professionally. The fact that we’re all like-minded people has made it such a safe and encouraging environment to be in and I’ve definitely felt supported during these strange times.


6. Which method of distributing music have you found to be the most effective?

I have personally only ever used DITTO and that was a very easy experience. It had been recommended to me by other musicians and was very easy to use.


7. What challenges have you faced as an independent musician?

I think that, trying to have your music reach all the avenues it needs to reach can be difficult when you work as an independent artist. Having that catalogue of all personnel in the industry is crucial and necessary to be in some way ‘successful’. I do think that that will come naturally the more you grow your profile. It’s remembering to do all the little things behind the scenes that people don’t always see. Although it’s challenging, it’s incredibly satisfying.


8. With live gigs being impacted this year, have you used social media for live performances?

For my own original music, I didn’t do any live streams. I just don’t think it suits my personality. I would have been far too nervous, and I think the anxiety of numbers and who would be watching on the other end took over the desire for me. What I did do though was roughly record originals during lockdown and made videos while I was out walking to accompany them. Very rustic and homemade but I really enjoyed the process.

My family group Clann Mhic Ruairí did some live streams that were a great success. Performing with a group felt a lot more organic to me and they were great craic.


9. Is there any advice that you would give to other musicians during these uncertain times?

Mind your head. Everything will always work out okay and it’s important that you’re in a good place to tackle it. At the end of the day all you have is yourself. Musically, take this time to write from the heart and never be afraid to say or try anything, you will always bring something to the table that will resonate with someone else and that’s what it’s all about.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans going into the New Year and beyond?

Finally, new music. I was incredibly lucky to get into the studio just before Christmas to record and I’m currently in the mixing stage and I’m beyond excited. I’ve put my heart into this EP so I can’t wait for it to be put into the world.


Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Spotify | YouTube


Rachel Barror is a singer-songwriter, originally from Dublin, who now lives in London. Surrounded by music from a young age, Rachel developed her talent as a singer and songwriter, taking inspiration from artists and producers that include the likes of Prince, Erykah Badu, Alicia Keys, Jill Scott, India Arie, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Tori Amos, Cinematic Orchestra, Hans Zimmer, Bonobo, and SIA.

With a background in classical piano, Rachel’s compositional talent has seen her work with a plethora of songwriters and producers that include Steve Dubs – Chemical Brothers, Ruadhri Cushnan – Mumford & Sons, and Ed Sheeran. She also co-wrote 'Chameleon Life' for Sony Music, resulting in a nomination for the Meteor Choice Music Prize Irish Song of The Year. Most recently she has taken part in various songwriting camps with lables such as 23rd Precinct/Nottinghill Music and Fairwood Music honing her writing skills. With regular work coming Rachel’s way as a session singer and performer in London, it’s fair to say that her success as a solo artist has only begun.


1. What was it that got you into or inspired you to become a full-time musician?

I studied piano from a young age but what came naturally was singing. I was always listening to Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston or Michael Jackson in my room. At a later stage I started listening more to artists such as Earth Wind & Fire, Eykah Badu, Stevie Wonder, India Arie and Alicia Keys. My family were always playing records of songs from musicals and they both performed on stage so it certainly was all around me. But the most natural inspiration for me came from singing pop/soul music, always in my room so no one ever really knew. Prince became a huge inspiration to me as I got older, there was just something so unique and free about him. Overall I just loved the feeling that singing gave me.


2. With the events of this year being very different now, what motivates you currently?

Having the time and space at the moment is a real motivator. So I have put my energy into sharing my music and creating more visuals, as I have more time now to build on what I already have. I’ve always been more drawn to the slower, laid back pace but now that I don’t actually have a choice and there is no travelling or commuting it feels nice to be able to enjoy my time rather than just filling in the gaps. I’m feeling more grateful now than ever so I’m able to spend my energy now more wisely.


3. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your music / life balance?

I’m able to choose where my energy goes so I have been sharing my music and creating more visuals, as I have more time now to build on what I already have. It’s certainly a time to reflect on everything so being able to reflect on myself as an artist and what it is that I’m putting out into the world has been really valuable.


4. What has been your most challenging experience, music or in general, to date?

I think overall, the journey itself can be challenging and it certainly has its highs and lows. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way and finding yourself as an artist can be challenging at times as it’s tied into your being so you tend to take things personally. Keeping faith and belief in yourself is what keeps you going. Feeling the fear but going for it anyway is one thing that’s taken me a long time to learn.


5. Have you found or had much support and encouragement from other musicians?

Yes I find online there’s a lot of support from other musicians when I release something. I’m always grateful for musicians sharing my music on their page or just giving me words of encouragement, you would be surprised at how much of a boost it can give you.


6. Which method of distributing music have you found to be the most effective?

Using an online distribution company is so effective. They’re very organised and efficient in how they do things. I have control over where my music is being sold and streamed. After so many years of depending on other companies and trying to get my head around contracts etc., I’ve found doing it this way has really taught me a lot. You can really build your brand yourself and find out who is listening and where.. The more self sufficient I am the better I feel and the more confident I become. I’m directing my music in a way I feel is authentic to me as well as making choices rather than depending on other people to do it for me. It’s a great way of learning about yourself and puts you in a stronger, more confident position when the right opportunity comes along. These online platforms really give you the tools and insight into growing as an artist so it’s better to embrace it and make the most of it rather than shying away from it.


7. What challenges have you faced as an independent musician?

Trying to make decisions for myself has been the most challenging. Knowing when to say yes or when to say no is really tricky. You don’t want to be blocking off any potential opportunities but on the other hand you’re only going to learn and get your music out there by trying things. I tend to go with my gut on things but I’ve learned not to make decisions or sign anything too quickly.


8. With live gigs being impacted this year, have you used social media for live performances?

I performed live a couple of times online but then I decided to put all my energy into writing and releasing songs as I felt more productive being in lockdown, I was less distracted overall. Certainly I have uploaded some live performances of my songs but it hasn’t been a huge thing for me.


9. Is there any advice that you would give to other musicians during these uncertain times?

I would advise them to just learn as much as they can while they have the time. It doesn’t necessarily need to be about music, it could be an online creative writing course, but for me I did learn a lot more about the industry and which direction I wanted to take. Be open to experimenting with making your own videos, play around with things and just have fun with it. I think this is the time to explore and experiment. Also a great time to go through any ideas you might have stored in your phone or diary or maybe revisit old songs.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans going into the New Year and beyond?

My plans are to just focus on releasing more music and creating more visuals/content even if it’s from my home.


Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Spotify | YouTube | Website


Sive is a songwriter and musician who was recently dubbed 'one of the most inspiring and exciting artists of our time' by Female First UK. Combining haunting, multi-layered vocals with delicately woven musicality and an undeniable charm, Sive has carved a truly compelling style of alt-folk that is not afraid to differentiate from the norm.


Sive first began to delve into songwriting when she was 15 and an old bandmate showed her some songs she had written. She thought to herself, “Hmm, maybe I could do that too”, and so off she went with a head full of excitement and an old tape recorder.


In mid 2018, Sive started working with Veta Records. She recorded a series of songs in their studio space in Berlin that summer and released her self-titled EP in May 2019, receiving praise from music critics both at home and abroad. After an Irish tour, including a sell-out EP launch in Anseo Dublin, Sive heads into the studio this autumn to work on her follow up record. Her latest single, Storybook Moon, a lullaby inspired a series of sleepless nights, was released on 5th June 2020.


1. What was it that got you into or inspired you to become a full-time musician?

I always loved music, for as long as I can remember, but from the time I started learning the guitar aged about 13 I just couldn’t imagine doing anything else. At first I didn’t have a clue how I was going to make music my full-time job, or whether that was even possible, I just knew I wanted to give my life to it. It did feel like a slog most of the time for the first few years but I think what got me to the point I’m at now, where it really is full-time, was just sticking it out and discovering that there are so many different ways to make a life in it, if you’re open to exploring different things.


2. With the events of this year being very different now, what motivates you currently?

In the beginning of lockdown, what motivated me was that there was this palpable need for connection and the arts out there. I did quite a few livestreams in the early days, and the sense of togetherness and camaraderie that developed through those was something quite unique.

Now, what’s keeping me motivated is the fact that I’m halfway through an album, so no matter what hurdles throw themselves up (and there have been many, the current one being that my computer has just died), I feel a great desire to finish that and do the songs justice. I also have a Patreon where I’ve promised my patrons a demo a month, so that’s a great motivator to keep writing and sharing ideas.


3. What impact has the current situation with Covid-19 had on your music / life balance?

It’s had a huge impact. I had a tour planned, which had just kicked off last March, so that was disappointing. Outside of my own music I work a lot in the community sector, leading singing for wellbeing groups and doing projects in healthcare settings. All of that had to completely change shape, so myself and my colleague set up a social enterprise called Embrace Music. We ran over 40 livestreams for nursing homes and home carers throughout the year, released a charity album where all of the artists recorded their contributions from home, and have a few other projects in the pipeline which have had to be tailored to a world where we can’t do things in person.


When you’re self-employed, it can be hard to stop working and separate your work from your life - there’s always more to do, and for me certainly that was exacerbated by working from home all day in 2020. It was a tough year, in that I felt like I was constantly working and still broke. But I think all the work will pay off. I noticed during the pandemic that a lot of people were making the assumption that musicians had endless time on their hands, but that hasn’t been the case at all!


4. What has been your most challenging experience, music or in general, to date?

In a way it’s a constant challenge, but the challenges of Covid are freshest in my mind! Trying to learn how to properly record so I could keep working on my album, without enough income to invest in equipment or a quiet place to record, has been a massive source of frustration.


Prior to that, getting to grips with playing live was a huge challenge for me. I started playing in bands when I was 16 and started doing my own thing when I was about 19, but it took me years to get to a point where I actually enjoyed it. Even still, I go through phases where I’m too nervous to truly be in the moment on stage. Hopefully when things open back up I’ll get into the swing of it without too much difficulty!


5. Have you found or had much support and encouragement from other musicians?

Yes, absolutely. I think there’s a great community of musicians in Ireland, and in general people are fantastic for lifting one another up.


6. Which method of distributing music have you found to be the most effective?

I used CD Baby for years, as they charge an initial fee to distribute to all of the online streaming platforms, and after that they take a percentage of sales. There are other distribution services who charge the initial fee and then a yearly fee instead of a sales percentage, but I think that would only work out well if you were selling a lot of music as the fee can be quite hefty. Since signing up with the Veta Music group in 2018, all my music is distributed through a company called Believe.


7. What challenges have you faced as an independent musician?

I think having to manage every aspect of your career and still find the time and enthusiasm to make the actual music can be tough. And if you’re not working on the music, you very quickly lose sight of why you’re doing it at all. Or I do, anyway. I find dealing with social media a huge challenge. Of course it’s a great help for getting your music out there, but it’s very difficult not to be comparing yourself with others all the time. Sometimes it can take over your mind and you can start to feel this horrible sense that you’re making music just for social media. There’s so much that goes along with a release - making different kinds of ‘content’ (I hate that feckin’ word) for every different platform. Of course that side of it, making the visuals, can be a lot of fun, but artists are now expected to modify content in so many different ways every time we release a song and that's really time consuming. Sometimes I just...want to shut it all out and make music, y’know?


8. With live gigs being impacted this year, have you used social media for live performances?

I sort of got ahead of myself and answered this question in a previous answer, but yes, absolutely! It’s been a lifeline. And in the early days particularly, I just loved it - not only doing my own, but watching other people share songs from their kitchen or bedroom or sitting room and joining in the chat. There was something very comforting about it.


9. Is there any advice that you would give to other musicians during these uncertain times?

It’s very hard to give blanket advice, because everyone’s situation is so different and I’m still constantly learning to adjust. Some people are using the time to undergo creative projects they mightn’t have had time to focus on before, whereas others might not have a space to do that. Some people have invested in equipment to make themselves more self-sufficient while they can’t get into studios, others might not have had the means to do that. So I’m very careful about doling out any one-size-fits-all nuggets of ‘advice’. I read this article about Taylor Swift in the paper the other day, in which the journalist wrote about how she’d put the rest of us to shame with how prolific she was in 2020. And I thought to myself: what an irresponsible piece of writing! Fair play to Taylor, but I’m sure lots of us would have been only too delighted to put everything into working on albums last year if we’d had access to home studios and didn’t have to do a million other things to pay the rent!


So I suppose what I’m getting at is: my only advice is to go easy on yourself. Work hard where you can, but don’t blame yourself for the things you literally can’t do. And when you see how other people’s lives appear to be going on social media, take it with a pinch of salt.


10. Looking ahead, what are your future plans going into the New Year and beyond?

Well I’m working - or trying really hard to work - on this new album, so I hope to get that released in the autumn. In the meantime, a couple of the songs are already close to being finished, so there is a single release in the pipeline for spring with Veta Music.


Despite what I said about live performance before, I do really look forward to it coming back, as playing my own songs in a room full of real humans definitely brings a sense of meaning to my musical life that I don’t get anywhere else. I do have a few gigs lined up, though it’s likely that most if not all of them will be livestreamed, which I can’t mention yet. But if you follow me on social media, I’ll be sure to keep you up to date about those!


Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Spotify | YouTube | Website

Tina and I would both like to say a huge thank you to each of the 10 Irish Artists... Bobbi, Cat, Etaoin, Jane, Jackie, Jen, Jess, Megan, Rachel, and Sive for being a part of this blog post and for taking the time to answer our questions and allowing us to share their replies. We hope to continue this blog series even more over the coming months so please keep checking back for our updates in the near future.

Please click on the image below to check out all the other posts in this amazing blog series...


#10FROM10 #IrishArtists #SingerSongwriters #IndependentArtists