Irish singer-songwriter Gavin Fox has released his debut single Make Me Believe. We asked him the BIG questions . . .

Fox says he forged his craft out of the need to tell his unique story. Growing up in an environment that was very restrictive, dominated by an extreme religion that controlled his life, where he was told what to think, what to believe and what to do from a very young age, he was never allowed to freely express himself or to choose his own path.

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Tell us three things about yourself?

My name is Gavin Fox, I’m from Dublin and, while I’ve had music inside me for many years, I am late to the party in terms of playing or making my own. When I was younger, for several reasons, I struggled to identify with who I really was. I always felt forced to conform and to be the person other people wanted me to be. So, I never really allowed the 'real me’ to surface and to be expressed. It was only three years ago, aged forty, that I picked up a guitar for the very first time and started teaching myself some chords. Just last year I started writing songs of my own and discovered I had an ability to tell stories through music. It was the most incredible thing, the biggest release I have ever experienced. I am living proof that it’s never too late to find out who you really are and to be the person you want to be.

How would you describe your music?

Honest storytelling. I’m a fairly deep thinker, so I put a lot of time, effort, and energy into finding the right lyrics. Of course, it’s important the music and melody deliver a sound that’s pleasing to the ear but, for me, there also needs to be depth and meaning in the lyrics. I honestly don’t write to sound like any other artist, or even to fit into a particular genre. I just write what I feel and afterwards ask the question ‘right, so what is it?’. I think it’s probably a blend of folk and indie? Others have said they hear bits of David Gray, Ryan Adams, The Stunning, Damian Rice, even Johnny Cash. When I listen back, I just hear Gavin Fox. The real Gavin Fox. My own thoughts, emotions and stories expressed in a music form. It’s original. But most of all it’s honest.

Who are your musical inspirations?

I enjoy listening to so many types of music, but I’m always drawn to artists who write their own stuff and write well, artists that are real and true. In terms of Irish acts, I grew up on the likes of The Stunning, The 4 of Us, Glen Hansard and then later came to love the madness and mayhem created by Jerry Fish and the Mudbug Club. But I would have to say my biggest inspiration is Bob Dylan. I have been listening to his music for so much of my life and have never tired of it. Much of his music is simple, the magic is in the lyrics. His lyrics have so much depth and meaning. He is, in my opinion, the best lyricist that ever was, a musical poet.

How did you occupy yourself during the coronavirus lockdown?

Well, it was actually during the time and space of the first lockdown last year that I started writing. Without it, who knows when, or if ever, I would have discovered this hidden ability I had for song writing. After writing my first song, it was like the floodgates opened. I wrote the three songs that feature on my debut EP On Second Thoughts and then just kept going. Once I started, thoughts and stories just kept flowing out of me in the form of songs. So much so that I plan to record an album this year. It’s incredible really, I feel like I have started on a new journey. And when I say ‘journey’, there’s no fixed destination in my head. I’m just going to see where it takes me and enjoy the experience as it happens.

What’s your favourite song right now?

In terms of stuff that’s on the radio right now? I heard Ed Sheeran’s new song Afterglow recently and really liked it. But away from the mainstream, I came across a beautiful recording of Undertow by Lisa Hannigan, where she sang with Loah for Other Voices (I think it was recorded in the National Gallery of Ireland). It was mesmerising, I keep going back to it. I love Lisa Hannigan’s music. And her voice is so soft and beautiful, I just get lost in it.

Favourite lyric of all time?

I would have to call upon Dylan for that one. In his song Like a Rolling Stone he wrote "Ah you never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns when they all did tricks for you. You never understood that it ain't no good, you shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you". People are not always feeling on the inside, the image they portray on the outside. Contentment and happiness come from, not comparing to, or relying on others, but from something deep within yourself. That’s the meaning I take from it anyway.

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?

Oh, that’s a really tough question! I love the variety music brings to life and what I listen to depends very much on my mood. I can’t imagine a life like that. Just one song? Okay, I’ll go for Brewing up a Storm by The Stunning. It’s a great song and, no matter what my mood is, when I play it loud it always gives me a lift.

Where can people find your music/more information?

My debut single Make Me Believe is available now, with my three track EP following on March 26th, on Spotify and Apple Music. And for more information on everything else I am working on, people can follow me on Facebook (@gavinfoxmusic), Instagram (@gavinfoxmusic), Twitter (@gavinfoxmusic) and on my YouTube Channel (Gavin Fox).