Navigating in a universe influenced by Lana Del Rey or Lady Gaga, Áine, the very talented Irish singer recently released her EP Blue Valentine and the single “Let Me Let You Down” featuring Courage. She is the new talent to check out.
Could you tell me more about your musical background?
I am from Ireland. I started teaching myself piano when I was 16 years old. Before that I was singing in my bedroom and started writing music when I was 19 which was when I also started doing some gigs as well. Before I was working as a waitress to pay for demos. I self-released an EP in 2014/2015 and did some random gigs in the country, few gigs in London. I played at Glastonbury BBC Introducing where I found my manager in 2016. Then I was picked up by BBC who invited me to play which gave me the opportunity to be signed by the record label Warner Music.
When I was young and up until teaching myself piano I was a tomboy. I wanted to be a soccer player before, GAA also. And I switched completely once a teenager. I was very sad and I started to listen to music more. The biggest artist that I was listening to when I was 19 years old was Lady Gaga, that had a big influence on me. I also listen to a lot of Lana Del Rey, lot of female pop artists.
Now I am 24 years old and I just want to make music and want people to listen and connect to it. I would also like to release an album.
What do you think shaped you? Which kind of music, events, arts, fashion…
I always have been inspired by American Horror Story. But also I write about things that happened to me. It’s more about what’s happening to me or to my relatives.
How did you find your musicians?
A friend got me in touch with my guitar player, Alex. He graduated from BIMM in Dublin, he asked Colin and Jake to play. They have a great chemistry as is.
I wouldn’t be rehearsing with them unless I have a gig on. I have been writing constantly since November 2017. For a while I was doing writing sessions five days a week. Now I have cut that down a lot.
What did you want to express in Blue Valentine?
A lot of those songs were written 2 years ago. I wrote a lot of them about people that are fake. I think of myself as a very honest person therefore I appreciate honest people. I didn’t realise that a lot of songs came from the same place because I was writing whatever I wanted to write.
At the moment there’s no more fake people around me no, not anymore. (she laughs) I would train myself more to spot how people are. I do have a few close friends but that’s kind of it.
I have more “cup-on”, I am more mature and emotionally stronger than I was before. Though I have lost a lot of confidence from not doing a lot of gigs since touring few years ago. I don’t know why there is so much pressure. Maybe in the last year I have been getting anxious for a lot of things.
But I feel like I am a different person than who I was last week, I am always evolving and I think people always evolve. That’s human nature.
What did you want to express in your new EP? And in Let Me Let You Down?
Courage is the producer for Let Me Let You Down that produced the track Blood Diamond before. He got in contact for me to sing on that song.
The song Bigger Bed was written when I was pissed off. I just wanted to write a song that was more empowering.
I wrote Ghost Train for one of my older sisters. I went into the session and I felt bad about my sister. It was about her own relationship. This song is about realising things come to an end and that you have to come to peace with it.
I wrote Dislocated when I was on tour and was doing songwriting stuff. I was away for one month and I was feeling homesick. The songwriting session was in the middle of two gigs. I remember the team asked me what was going on with my life. I felt homesick but also I told them about the fact that my brother dislocated his shoulder. They thought it was a great name for a song.
What are your expectations regarding your next tour?
I think it might still feel homesick but I will be away and then come back. Now being older and with more experience I am over the initial homesickness. Touring is a weird thing because you need to be in a different headspace. When you come home you need to try to be a normal person again. I haven’t been on tour in a long time and I miss it.
I am happy if I have a room with people that hear my songs and appreciate what I do. There’s no better feeling than people singing your songs.
What did you think of your London gig earlier this year ?
I was in a weird mood, then I saw some people coming, lot of heads of people from my record label. It was hectic. I was just in a weird headspace the whole day. Usually when I feel weird I normally “kick out”, start singing, and it goes away. It wasn’t the case this time but I enjoyed playing and singing live at Paperdress Vintage in Hackney.
What do you think of the current music scene in the UK but also worldwide ?
There is less of people, musicians, singers and/or producers that are told what to do music-wise. Now people aren’t changed by the record label. I think music lovers want to hear what people have to say.
It’s more about the actual songs, people who have more their own voice. Authenticity.
Where do you see yourself in the future as an artist? Which genre?
I think I will change over and over. If you think about it when you listen to an artist you always find new things. You always change. There’s going to be something similar in everything that you do but things grow and evolve.
You mentioned wanting to release a LP, have you started songwriting and producing?
I am still writing for it now. I want it to be the best ten songs on the album. I have been writing songs since I was 19 years old so I am trying to pick the best ones and write the best songs.
Though I don’t want to force anything about the release and I want to take time to feel and write songs at the same time.
Sarah-Louise Maillet | WRITER