Veteran Cork DJ and promoter Stevie Grainger, AKA Stevie G, introduces Magic Nights By The Lee, a series of music shows in Cork's outdoor parks, which runs from August 20th to September 4th.

As a DJ and producer who has worked with young people from all backgrounds in Cork for the last number of years, I was delighted to be asked to present a showcase of some of my favourite local up and coming music acts as part of Magic Nights By The Lee.

This series of shows, produced by The Good Room in association with the Cork City Council Arts Office, is bringing live music to a range of city parks at a time when our music industry needs every support available. Despite the obvious difficulties we faced during the pandemic, our music community have continued to be active behind the scenes, and the amount of new music being created is incredible.

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Listen: Stevie G talks Magic Nights By The Lee on RTÉ Arena

As a DJ and promoter who’s always had a reputation for breaking new music, it’s extra exciting, and on August 28th at Fitzgerald’s Park I’ll be presenting a line-up of young artists who all have terrific potential. My own musical styles and background lie very much in hip-hop and r&b and the acts reflect this, along with some of my other favourite genres which are closely related including jazz, pop, afro beats and dancehall.

Music really is just music, and the melting pot of styles comes naturally from the melting pot of cultures who will be taking to the stage. Up and coming musicians performing on the day include Meghan Murray, who was born and raised in Belgium to a South African mother and Irish father but studied music here in Cork before moving to Dublin. Minnie Marley, King Koko and AbbiLee, all Cork girls of African descent, and Jena Keating and Blakkheart add to a very female dominated line-up alongside Cork youngster Sam Healy, a multi-talented 16-year-old who is already releasing his own music.

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There has been a lot of debate of about festival line-ups in recent years, and on radio and on stages it has been correctly pointed out that most of the faces are white and male. As a DJ who plays music which mostly derives from black culture, my line-ups have always been naturally multi-cultural, and I also feel strongly that women should be represented more, not only behind the mic but in other areas of the industry too. Blakkheart is one artist I’m extremely excited about. She’s not only a producer and singer but also an engineer, and we are blessed in Cork that many of our best women are operating successfully in these areas of music too.

I’m working with two of these artists, AbbiLee and King Koko, both on original music, and on developing their pathway to the industry, and I’m excited to be hosting Minnie Marley too, another really good performer who is comfortable in the afro, dancehall and soul realm. Jena Keating, a newcomer who has released some stunning singles in recent months, is returning from London to perform her first ever live show, and she is another great writer, singer and visually creative young artist, but I’m really looking forward to seeing and hearing them all!

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I used to run shows at Fitzgerald’s Park a few years ago and every summer we would draw big crowds for our Summer Jams, organised by myself and Gemma Sugrue of Voiceworks. Lots of young artists performed there, and it was one of the first times the world heard young Cork singer Allie Sherlock, who has since become a big name in music both here and abroad. Allie used to roller skate around the park and asked us could she sing, and she was amazing!

Our parks are for our people, and it’s gonna be great fun hearing some of our best artists performing in them this August in Cork City.

Magic Nights By The Lee runs from runs from August 20th to September 4th - find out more here.