Meath singer Siobhán McAleese has released her cover version of Sia's Chandelier. We asked her the BIG questions . . .
Arranged and produced by Mark Cahill, producer at Crookedwood Studios in Slane, Chandelier is the seventh and final song performed as part of Siobhán’s "dedication" series which saw her post some of her favourite songs to her social media pages during lockdown.
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"Singing Chandelier is no mean feat," says Siobhán. "I have worked very hard on my vocals to bring something new and exciting and really look forward to performing Chandelier on stage to a live audience."
Tell us three things about yourself?
I am a changed person (for the better!) since undergoing surgery to remove a benign tumour on my pituitary gland in 2019. I don’t take things for granted and want to live life to the full!
One of my most important jobs is being a good mother and role model to my two children, Maisie (6) and Dylan (3) and inspire them to believe in themselves, to trust they can do anything they set their minds to, if they work hard.
I want to make the most out of every opportunity that comes my way so that I can continue to grow as a person and a musical artist and inspire others. Two years ago, I would not have believed I would be releasing a third studio single for example so it just goes to show, if I can do, so too can anyone!
How would you describe your music?
I think and write with a classical ear because I trained classically on the piano but what ends up getting produced on a track, might be more towards classical crossover or musical theatre or cinematic. I love to mix genres! I write melodies on the piano based on how I am feeling. I love to play and sing with emotion. I am still discovering my sound as an original artist.
Who are your musical inspirations?
I listen to so many genres that I am inspired by everything I hear, but if I was to pin down some key musical inspirations over the years, then these would be Queen, Beethoven, Puccini, my aunt Dr. Íte O’Donovan, Maria Callas and Andrew Lloyd Webber (see told you it was a mixed bag!).
What was the first gig you ever went to and the first record you ever bought/downloaded?
My first gig was an outdoor Radiohead Concert in Dublin in the 1990’s! My brother Barry and I got the bus up from Kells in County Meath (where I am originally from). This was a big adventure for us as teenagers! We lost one another after I got lifted over the barrier during the gig, due to being near the stage and we were tightly packed together in the crowd. I walked straight into the pit (pure luck that no-one stopped me!) but my brother Barry didn’t get it. He was turned away and told to go back into the main area. I was so close to the stage. I’ll never forget that gig! Barry and I managed to find each other somehow after the gig (a miracle with no mobile phones back then!).
I remember buying my first album, The Bends by Radiohead, before I went to see them in Dublin. I sang my heart out at that gig, albeit all alone in the pit!
What’s your favourite song right now?
I would have to say it is probably O Holy Night at the moment as I have been singing it around the house all over Christmas while in isolation with my hubby and two children. I can’t wait to sing O Holy Night on a stage to an audience next Christmas. I find it so moving.
Favourite lyric of all time?
"Don't you cry for him, said Mama" - it’s my favourite lyric at the moment as its the opening lyric to my original song that I am currently working on in studio, set for release in 2022. This song will be titled Mama and dedicated to my Mam. My Mam doesn’t know this yet so will learn this when she reads this interview! Surprise Mam!
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ahhh that is so hard to choose just one, but it would need to be a song with huge emotion and some high belter notes. So likely something classical like, O Mio Babbino Caro by Puccini. I love this Aria.
Where can people find your music/more information?
You can find out what I am up to across my social media pages on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @siobhanmcaleesemusic and you can download/stream my music across all major streaming platforms.