Kara O’Brien was born and raised Colorado, USA. In 2016 she graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with a double-major in Vocal Performance & Music Business and a minor in English. She then moved to Limerick Ireland to pursue her M.A. in Irish Traditional Music Performance at the Irish World Academy (IWA). Upon completion of her M.A., she returned to the IWA where she is currently undertaking a Ph.D. studying folk belief and figurative language in Irish traditional hunting songs. In her spare time, she sings, reads, and drinks enormous quantities of tea.
“My name is Ian Delaney I am an independent Irish artist from laois. My single ‘A Mans Mentality’ was a song I felt like I needed to write for a long time but I didn’t feel like I was brave enough. The song talks about the struggles men face with mental health which is not always talked about. It talks about times of feeling so low and questioning everything you thought you knew. This song is so personal to me as since lockdown began I have struggled with mental health and I wanted to release this song and have others hear it to know that so many people are feeling the same way and I have always believed there is strength in numbers. Men’s mental health is something I have always been passion about and I have always wanted to try and break the stigma of talking about men’s mental health or mental health in general as I don’t want to grow up in a generation where we think mental health is a weakness or something that we shouldn’t discuss. Out of every song I have wrote this has been my favourite just as it brought me back into writing and releasing music as I took a break and I just love the message behind this song. My co op has started with root strings and the main things I would love to gain from this is more connections with musicians, more support on gaining gigs, and releasing more music for more people to hear! ”
RootStrings Management is delighted to announce the release of a new original song from Irish singer-songwriter Mary McLaughlin. “I’m Looking for Sanctuary” is a stirring reflection on the plight of refugees everywhere.
Mary says: “‘I’m Looking for Sanctuary’ was recorded at home in Ireland during the Covid lockdown of Winter 2020-2021. The song began its life twenty years previously in 2001 on the occasion of my visiting Ellis Island in New York and empathising with the hopes and fears of my ancestors who had emigrated from Ireland to the USA. The first slide in the video tells the story of how I came to write the song and why I have waited so long to actually release it. I recorded the guitar and all vocals on Garage Band and sent the files to producer Stu Wilson who added the keyboards and blended the vocals. Please wait until the end of the video to see details of charities that you might consider supporting.”
My name is Alison (Ali) Hayes and I am a 19 year old singer-songwriter and instrumentalist from Co. Clare. My musical journey in terms of instrument playing began in primary school where I was first taught how to play the tin whistle as part of the school curriculum. I took so much joy in it that I wanted to take extra lessons outside of school. My teacher at the time, Michael Grogan, also played the fiddle which I then picked up and further went on to be classically trained on the violin by Bryonie Hopper. I played classical music for 6 years and completed grades 1-5 in ABRSM. Since 2017 I have learned how to play banjo, guitar, piano and a few others in between. My journey to becoming a singer was never really as prominent as my journey to becoming an instrumentalist. I was always part of the school choirs and musicals growing up but I never really wanted to be a solo singer. It wasn’t until I entered into the Irish World Academy of Music & Dance that I realised I had such a passion for singing. I initially entered first year wanting to play trad music but towards the end of the year I decided to swap over to the voice class. I sing mostly Irish and pop songs but I can adapt and suit my voice to other genres if I put my mind to it.
The soul purpose of my musical journey is to share my stories with others and hopefully heal people in the same way other artists and musicians have healed me. I want to combine my knowledge of and ability to sing and play multiple genres to produce music that will bring me to the fullest joy imaginable. I have always said that artists shouldn’t be confined to create or perform one specific genre and I am going to live by that statement. My ideal performance would be a mix of me singing and playing instruments rather than just doing one or the other.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with Rootstrings thus far. I feel as though it is giving me a really good foundation and preparing me to tackle the business and financial aspects of having a career in music. In my opinion it’s helpful to have some bit of knowledge before you go jumping in the deep end signing contracts and having no idea what you’re getting yourself into or what they entail.
Last time we heard from Limerick artist Abby Butler, she was releasing her fabulous debut single ‘Experiment.’ A lot has happened since then. I mean, a lot. But Abby’s been keeping plenty busy.
Despite there being a global pandemic on, Abby is keeping the music going. She has been studying online at Berlin’s prestigious Hochschule der populären Künste (School of Popular Arts) as part of an Erasmus program through the University of Limerick.
This week, Abby will be performing as part of HDPK’s “Flatten the Curve” online live music series. Join Abby on instagram (@hdpk_berlin) or youtube (https://www.youtube.com/user/hdpkde) on Tuesday, July 14th from 5pm to 6pm for an evening of music and craic.
Abby’s next release ‘Electricity’ will be coming out soon…so keep an eye out for more!