In an exclusive interview with singer songwriter Aoibhín from Co. Wicklow, she shares with us her recent and future musical endeavours and talks about her favourite musicians and where she draws her inspiration from.
- Your song ‘Drifting’ is bursting with melody and is highly original. When did you start writing songs?
I think I’ve been writing songs to myself all my life to help express my feelings. I only really gained the confidence last summer to start sharing my songwriting to my family and friends, who strongly encouraged me to follow my dreams after winning a songwriting competition with the first full song I wrote! This was also the same time myself and my brother Oisín started performing together after we won a busking competition!
- Earlier this month you released a music video for your new song ‘Rose’, this happens to be the third music video you have released. I believe this video was filmed in America? How did you go about making the video and why America?
My friend Alexander Kuribayashi happens to be a writer and a cinematographer, and Oisín’s partner has American family members in the same area; so we decided to make the trip over there and while we were there make music videos for our upcoming EP! Our fourth one, ‘Distant’ is now released on YouTube as well! It was a fantastic experience as the locations were all so different and beautiful, we had a low budget and just used as much creativity as possible to make some fun, enjoyable videos to match the fun we had in the studio recording them!
- Your upcoming EP, ”Don’t Look Down” will be released in October. Can you describe the recording process of this EP and what it was like being in the studio?
We decided to record in Orchard Recording Studios, based in Enniscorthy. I was accepted into a free music course the studios put forward for teenagers each year called ”Room to Record” in which to learn more about studio engineering and live sound. I had so much fun at the course we thought it’d be great to record an EP there! Being in studio is always so much fun for myself and Oisín, it’s a time where we can listen back to ourselves and layer over what we’ve done to include harmonies and other interesting snippets, which we both always have great fun with messing around!
- The title for this EP is ”Don’t Look Down” and it’s quite an unusual one. It’s as if you’re standing on a great height and whispering to yourself “whatever you do, just don’t look down!” So it strikes me as maybe having something to do with conquering fears? Can you tell us what the meaning behind this title is and what made you decide on it.
The initial phrase ”Don’t Look Down” comes from my song, Drifting, which is all about being positive and taking an adventure away from home for the first time. It’s definitely meant in a positive way and an encouragement to conquer your fear and step out of your comfort zone, which is what I had to do when I decided I wanted to perform gigs and record the EP! That’s why we thought it’d be a great name for the EP, because it’s a reflection of how much my brother and I have grown over the past year since we started doing so many gigs!
- You’ve played quite a lot of gigs so far. What was your favourite venue that you played in?
Over the summer we were playing a gig basically every night in an array of venues! One of my favourite venues was definitely playing in The Avenue in Temple Bar or in the Whelans Ones To Watch Festival! We also really enjoyed playing in The Workman’s Club for the Funzo Showcase, and we can’t wait to headline our EP release there on October 6th!
- What is your favourite aspect of playing live? And do you ever get nervous before a show?
My favourite aspect is definitely the exhilaration and performance aspect of it! I love telling my story to an audience and connecting with new people! I used to get extremely nervous before every show, but I’ve learned with practice and being special guests in almost every session in Dublin that the nerves become easier and easier to handle!
- Writing songs can be a tricky craft to master, where do you draw your inspiration from?
From a young age I grew up listening to the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, Blondie, Motorhead and Rush. A mixture of hard rock and flower power encouraged me to listen to a huge variety of music as I grew older and I definitely draw inspiration from the likes of David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Aimee Mann and Kate Bush!
- As a singer songwriter, you seem to be pretty attached to your acoustic guitar. When did you start playing the guitar and do you play any other instruments?
I started playing the guitar when I was around 13, I began to learn musical theory myself on the piano but my main instrument is for sure my guitar! I recently started playing the Guitalele, a mixture of a guitar and a ukelele so I could bring it to America for our gigs! It’s really fun to learn new instruments and have a challenge!
- What type of music do you find yourself listening to regularly? And who would be your favourite artist/band?
I listen to as many different artists as possible on a regular basis! I never want to limit myself to one style, but recently I’ve found myself listening to the likes of Neil Young and Black Sabbath a lot ! I can never decide on a favourite artist because there’s so many I like! If I had to narrow it down it’d be the likes of The Gorillaz, Marina and The Diamonds, Lily Allen and David Bowie!
- You have had a lot of exciting things happening this year from recording an EP to filming music videos, can you tell us what you have planned for next year?
I start studying Songwriting Professional Musicianship in BIMM this September! On top of that we are releasing our EP on October 6th, we are also working on a secret project right now for September! We have a lot of gigs coming up and I update my social media regularly so be sure to check it out!