Afterword Interview: Roisin O

In this month’s Afterword, Claire Fox chats to Irish singer-songwriter Roisin O


You played Indiependence and Electric Picnic this year, which festival is your favourite one to perform at?


I absolutely love Indiependence. I didn’t get to play there last year so it was great getting a chance to play this year. I absolutely love Electric Picnic but there’s something about Indie. It has that small vibe but it’s not tiny. It’s probably the second biggest festival in Ireland after Electric Picnic, but you still have that personal vibe and real countryside atmosphere which I really like. I’m from Dublin so I always love playing there and the Galway Arts Festival was amazing but Indiependence and Electric Picnic are the ultimate festivals.


Your single If You Got Love was released in April and got great radio play, do you have any plans for a second album?


I’m taking my sweet time when it comes to the second album. I went over to London to work with a producer called Elliot James. I got on great with him and recorded three songs that will be on the album. Hopefully when I get back from touring in Dubai I can get back into the studio and have the album ready for 2016; four years later after the first one!


The second album can often be a tricky one to master, are you worried about how your sound will progress?


I wouldn’t say I’m worried. My sound has definitely developed with the songwriting and arrangements. Even when I was over in London with Elliot I used electric guitars whereas I’m used to using acoustic instruments. So I can feel myself moving that way, I still love and always will love folk music, but the next album will be the next step to a rockier vibe and maybe more mature. I don’t know. I’m not worried about it. I think it’s just a natural progression when you grow older you grow as a musician too.


Your mother is obviously the famous Irish singer Mary Black, do you ever shy away from the fact that you’ve such a well-known parent in the industry?


I definitely do. It’s important for me to be judged on my own merit rather than people hearing who my mother is and making a judgement on me based on that or having never heard my music. I’m very proud of her. She’s an unbelievable musician and a legend in Ireland. I love that she’s my mother and I obviously wouldn’t change it. Her influence on me is there, undeniably, without me even realising it.


There’s been a lot of talk about streaming and Apple Music in the media recently, are you a supporter of streaming as a means for fans to access your music?


I am, yeah. I sort of feel at this stage and with the way the internet has come up over the last number of years that it’s sort of inevitable that streaming was going to happen. If my music is getting to people and people are listening to it, that’s a plus for me. Obviously, if they pay for it that’s great, but if it’s getting out there and people are enjoying it, I’m really happy with that.


Male acts like Hozier, Kodaline and even your brother Danny’s band, The Coronas, are ruling the Irish Charts at the moment; do you think it’s harder for female acts to get noticed in the Irish music industry?


Ah, I don’t know. There’s a lot of great Irish female artists as well like Wallis Bird, and Soak is coming up there. I don’t think about it, maybe it might be seen that way because there is less women in the industry, so ratio-wise it might look that way. I just see us as musicians, rather than a male/female issue.


Roisin O plays Cyprus Avenue in Cork on Thursday 8th of October at 8 PM