Episode Two

Artists
The Hit

Ryan O'Shaughnessy

'Entertainment and warmth' are the only two necessities for a positive lifestyle as far as Ryan is concerned. Entertainment through music and warmth through love.

At the tender age of four, Ryan O'Shaughnessy first heard the combination of metal tapping off a hard wood floor in sync with the Jazz piano. Which fused together became the basis of his rhythmic inspiration.

Growing up in an environment which allowed Ryan's musical abilities and creative streak to blossom proved extremely important in the long run. "My mam has always had the voice of an angel, I think I learnt all I now know about harmonies and melodies from her". And it was his fathers guitar that he picked up for the first time to learn Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven.

Ryan recalls singing, 'Where is Love', from the musical Oliver when he was 5 years old to a crowd of teary mothers as his very first memory. However there is footage to prove this was not his first public performance. Sitting tall in his high chair, Ryan can be seen singing a Boyzone classic at his sisters Communion Party.

After 9 years acting in Fair City, Ryan left school and the world of acting to joing a band. But after a year in the band, Ryan left, returning to education. During this year, Ryan began penning lyrics to vent his feelings. When the year was complete, Leaving Cert in hand, Ryan applied for a place at Bimm Dublin and was accepted on a song writing course in 2011.

Summer 2012 was a turning point in Ryan's career when he was offered a recording contract with Sony Music RCA. His Debut Ep with lead track 'No Name' reached No.1 in Ireland and No.9 in the UK.

"It never hit me until I began my first live tour. People were actually paying to come hear me play".

Ryan is currently working on his much Anticipated Debut Album, which is projected for release in Sept 2013.

The Hit

Brian Kennedy

Brian Kennedy survived a childhood on the infamous Falls road, west Belfast at the height of its hellish history against all the odds to carve an extraordinary career in Music. In his own words he says, " I shouldn't have become a singer really, given where and how my life started, but my voice had other plans and saved me in the end." That Voice changed the course of his whole life forever.

From harmonising with Ambulances as a child to finally overcoming stage fright, his gradual ascent was nothing short of miraculous. He busked on the dangerous streets of his hometown whatever the political weather until a sudden escape to London when only 18 saw him surviving in the only way he knew how. He sang unaccompanied in the underground stations and outside the dominion theatre, sometimes literally in order to eat and until he finally saved up enough money for a guitar. He lived in various illegal squats before eventually being discovered by the now legendary Svengali Simon Fuller -[ Pop idol, Annie Lennox, The Spice Girls] His constant touring from Ireland and the UK to Australia, Germany and the USA, including the major global festivals, has resulted in an every-growing international fan base the old fashioned way over a phenomenal twenty-year career in the rollercoaster ride that is the unpredictable music industry. Brian's recent album 'VOICE' entered the album chart at No. 3 and the single 'Best Days' is his lyrical reaction to the Recession & the album only cements Brian's reputation as an exceptional vocalist, Guitar player, songwriter and interpreter. On 'Best Days', Brian says "I wanted to write something from a positive perspective, that gives us all a flicker of hope amongst the negativity we have to deal with on a daily basis."

His work with Van Morrison has been well documented. The Belfast Legend invited Brian to a rehearsal one day that resulted in him being featured as guest lead singer on the now Unforgettable 'Blues & Soul Revue'. Courtesy of Vans continuing mentoring and generosity, Brian ended up sharing Vocal duties on stages across the globe over a six-year period with Morrison and a breathtaking cast of some of the greatest artists in history: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Ray Charles and John Lee Hooker to name but a few. Madison Square Gardens was a far cry form the Falls road. That unique Irish Voice can be heard harmonising and answering Van on five of his major hit albums. As if that wasn't impressive enough, you might be less familiar with Brian's impromptu performances with Stevie Wonder at Ronnie Scotts in London. Incredibly and proudly he is one of only a few to have also sung with the late legendary Jeff Buckley at Sin É in New York. www.briankennedy.co.uk For further information contact: jane@briankennedy.co.uk

Throughout the relentless touring with Van Morrison, Brian somehow managed to maintain a stream of chart-making albums. 'A Better Man' (1996) and 'Now That I Know What I Want' (1999), both went platinum at No.1 and earned him the awards of Irish Best Male Artist and Irish Best Male Album.as did the highly acclaimed 'Homebird' (2006) and cover album 'Interpretations' (2008). But it was Brian's heart wrenching LIVE performance of 'You Raise Me Up' at the Funeral of Football Legend George Best that earned him a spot in the top 5 of the UK charts.

He is a Natural TV & Radio host as well as lead performer on diverse international stages, from New York's Riverdance on Broadway for 9 months of over 300 performances to Eurovision 2006 in Athens. Remarkably Brian also found time to publish 2 fiction Novels that were as instant success and he continues to receive many prestigious awards, including the 2010 Ireland Meteor Lifetime Achievement Award for Music, and an even rarer Honorary Doctorate Degree of Letters by the University of Ulster, for his contribution to the Arts. When asked what else is left for " Dr Kennedy" to achieve he simply answers playfully, " Ah sure I'm only getting started!"

 

Songwriters

 

The Hit

Songwriter: Yvonne McCarthy (26)
Song: You're No Good For Me
Location: Limerick

Yvonne is a young single mum to one year old Daithi. She comes from a very musical family and works part time doing gigs around Limerick. Her dream job is to write, produce and record in a studio full time.

 

The Hit

Songwriter: Sean Redmond (41)
Song: Try
Location: Co.Kilkenny

Sean is an accountant with the HSE like his father. He is happily married for the past 11 years to Natasha and is a proud Dad to six year old Calvin.

 

The Hit

Songwriter: Gavin Doyle (19)
Song: Blush
Location: Tallaght

Gavin is currently a student at Pulse College in Windmill Studios, where he is studying for a BA Hons degree in Music Production. His love of music has been encouraged, and nurtured from by his former secondary school teacher, Mr Dempsey. It's his most important musical relationship to date. This song has been inspired by those awkward feelings at the beginning of relationships.

 

The Hit

Songwriter: Mark Graham (38) and Francis Mitchell (21)
Song: Who Do You Love
Location: Antrim/Down

Mark is married to Julia and they have 3 boys. He works as a full time musician, mainly playing covers around bars etc to pay the bills but his main passion is songwriting.

Francis is a recent graduate who just finished her 3 year degree in Media Production. She has a boyfriend of 5 years Tommy who she plays in a band with.

Mark and Francis' love of songwriting brought them together 3 years ago after they met at a gig in Lisburn.

 

The Hit

Songwriter: Paddy Sharkey (35)
Song: Falling
Location: Dublin - Originally from Donegal

Paddy is married to Natasha and is Dad to one year old Clara. When he was 22, Natasha taught him a few chords on the guitar. That combined with his lifelong love of poetry and story writing saw him make the natural progression into songwriting.

He currently works in Personal injury claims but the dream is to be a professional songwriter so he can write songs from home in Donegal.

 

The Hit

Songwriter: Pat Silke (53),
Song: Dream be over
Location: Dublin - Dublin

Pat is married to Bernie and has three grown up children. He started writing 20 years ago with his friends for a bit of fun. His goal is to have and leave a body of work that he's proud of and inspire his children and grandchildren to keep real music alive.

 

 

 

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