Every Monday we will be bringing you an unsigned singer or band as part of our Independent Music Monday feature. This week, we caught up with unsigned artist Chirpy find out more…
Where are you from and how did you first get into music?
I am from Dublin, Ireland and I first started playing music as a child. My grandfather was a piano teacher and clarinet player but he died when I was very young - before I ever knew him properly. I learnt piano from a young age and began playing flute, guitar and attended vocal coaching. I then went on to study for a bachelor and masters in music but it was only after taking a break from the Irish music scene for a couple of years in 2011/2012 that I decided to work on my own projects.
Who were your musical influences when you were growing up and who are your influences now?
Growing up in the 90’s, things were obviously wildly different from today - I was listening to the tapes that my parents listened to: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Rory Gallagher, Air, The Kinks, Leonard Cohen, Eric Clapton, The Free Design. Amazing music to grow up on. When I could afford to buy my own CD’s I went for RHCP, Nirvana, Metallica… Nowadays I listen to tons and tons of music. Although nothing on repeat - I absolute love discovering new music (or music new to me). I feel the sounds I produce come from somewhere else though - not directly influenced by anyone in particular but maybe a cumulative mass of sounds once heard. I can’t say for certain.
How would you describe your sound?
Although I’ve read lots of comparisons naturally over the past week (I’ve just released my debut album), I still feel that the sound is difficult to categorise. When you are genre hopping or sitting between multiple styles, it can be very difficult to find your home in terms of genre. Some of the tracks have a folk element but this recent release is more downtempo / shoegaze / indie-pop. The sound is definitely very alternative and could even be a kind of soft rock given the direction rock music has gone over the past few years. I use washed vocals, echoes and waves that give an ethereal feel throughout the majority of the album. There is definitely something traditionally ‘Celtic’ there too.
What is your latest single called and what was the influence behind it?
My album single is called ‘Breathe’ - it’s the first track on the album. I wrote and produced this track about a year ago. My lyrics can be quite vague and once they are written I never change them. The meaning behind the song calls for a pause. ‘It’s a miracle to be here’… So what are you doing? Are you living in truth? Most people can’t answer these questions, or feel the need to come up with excuses before they do. Is this your best life? Because, it’s your only life. Breathe… I’ll tell you the truth. It’s dark, but it’s the truth. We spend so much time looking for the answers off other people. The only person who has the answer for me is me. The same way the only person to have the answer for you is you!
What’s your local music scene like?
Ireland is an amazing place to be at the moment for music. There is so much happening. It has changed incredibly over the past 6/7 years. I am open to almost anything when it comes to collaboration or production so I meet really interesting people all the time: the ones you don’t read about on the daily blogs. There are lots of different groups in Dublin at the minute, I’m still waiting for the right festival that will bring them all together and display the ‘best of Irish’. I feel we are still making waves, the best is yet to come from Ireland - there are some serious players hiding behind the scenes.
What do you have planned for the next 12 months? Any albums or festivals?
I am producing a few videos at the moment for different tracks on my album that I want to highlight. I’m working with two different singer/songwriters producing their albums for them - both of these will be released in 2018. Alongside writing a score for a short tv series, I am making some small appearances in variety concerts before working on my own headline show in Dublin. Which is hopefully going to be announced within the next two weeks when the venue has been finalised.
Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?
I would love to perform with anyone who is a demon for loops like myself - maybe Leslie Feist or Tash Sultana. The other great musicians I would have had on my list have unfortunately passed away.
Any funny stories surrounding your live performances?
I could tell you some mad stories about groups I’ve performed with in the past… they’re not my stories to tell though. Unfortunately Chirpy hasn’t yet performed enough solo to have a ‘wet your pants’ type funny story - next time!
What is the one thing that you want readers to know about you?
I am addicted to buying new guitars… I’m not even really any good at the guitar.