Award-winning composer Victoria Johnston releases her new song, Land of Hope, this Friday across all digital platforms. We asked her the BIG questions . . .
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Land of Hope is co-produced by Grammy-nominated producer Denis Woods (Clannad, Enya, AC/DC), Ferdia Walsh-Peelo (Sing Street), and multi-instrumentalist Oisín Walsh-Peelo/O Deer (Hudson Taylor).
Speaking about the song, Johnston, who has been called "the next Enya", says, "Even in our darkest hour, when we find ourselves journeying through times of immense uncertainty, loss and grief, there is always hope, peace and a brighter future to be found."
Tell us three things about yourself?
I'm a singer and composer from Dublin.
I launched my solo artist career in March 2020 with my two debut singles, Tar Liom and You Are the Peace, and both went to No. 1 in the Irish iTunes Charts. I’m delighted that both of my songs are currently being considered for nominations in the upcoming 63rd Grammy Awards.
How would you describe your music?
As a songwriter and composer, I often find myself relating to John Lennon’s quote 'The greatest artists always come round to simplicity’.
In song writing and composing melodies, less can be more. It can be the elements you leave out, that make the difference to the song.
A simple and catchy melody goes a long way. A big thrill for me is overhearing someone humming the chorus to one of my songs after one listen.
Music and genres that influence my sound are pop, traditional Irish, Celtic, Christian hymns and classical music.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Barbra Streisand, Sting, U2, Elton John, Leonard Cohen, Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush, The Beatles, Debussy, Chopin.
How did you occupy yourself during the coronavirus lockdown?
Tar Liom and You Are the Peace were released in March, on the same date that Ireland went into lockdown. Thankfully, they were scheduled for digital release, and I didn’t have to cancel a live concert launch. I was kept busy during the lockdown months with radio airplay across Irish radio stations (including RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ RnaG), interviews in Ireland and the USA (via Zoom and phone calls), and a virtual TV performance.
I’ve also kept busy composing new material, including Land of Hope.
What’s your favourite song right now?
I’ve really enjoyed listening to the cover arrangement of The Cranberries’ Dreams by Irish Women in Harmony. Ruth-Anne Cunningham has done a fantastic job putting the project together, and I’m sure further superb releases are on their way with this initiative.
Favourite lyric of all time?
‘See the bird with a leaf in her mouth, after the flood all the colours came out’ - Bono. He is one of my favourite lyricists and Beautiful Day was the first U2 release that I was introduced to as a child and it made a huge impression on me. I feel these lyrics also resonate with what we are faced with currently in this pandemic, and the hope that lies ahead.
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
Lovely Day - Bill Withers. An absolute classic!!
Where can people find your music/more information
My music is on all online platforms including iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify.
My music and video links can also be found at www.victoriajohnstonofficial.com
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