‘Dance With Me’ in Greece!! #sRated

Dance With Me in Greece!

Dance With Me in Greece!

Every so often I hear of couples who have chosen ‘Dance With Me’ for their wedding ceremony or reception. This week, I know of a couple who got married in Greece and chose it as a song for their ceremony. Things like that blow my mind a little. It’s a song I wrote in 2009 and officially released it in 2011. It did very well on it’s release getting lots of airplay on stations throughout Ireland as well as getting a live interview on The Morning Show on TV3 and a slot on the John Murray Show on RTE Radio 1. A lot of the appeal was that Ireland was pretty much in a depressed state and there is a lot of love and hope in the song.. “through the darkness we’ll find our way back into the light.”

Dance With Me Official Music Video

The song is very personal to me and it’s lovely to be able to share it in a way that it becomes a very special part of another person’s life and especially on a day as important and significant as a wedding day. I am really honoured that it has this way of fitting into other people’s lives, sometimes without me knowing. That’s why I love writing so much. The songs can live out there forever floating around, doing their thing!

Every once in a while it’s nice to give them a little push again and find ways to gain some momentum for a few weeks or months. Over the next few weeks, I am going to dedicate some time to this song to see what I can achieve with it. I’ll keep you posted on what I find, things that work, things that don’t and make an #sRated report on what I managed to do!

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Let’s Get This Party Started!! #irishmusicparty 

 So a few weeks ago I got a text from a friend in the music industry about #irishmusicparty, a new Twitter community for Irish musicians/writers/performers etc. It’s pretty much open to everyone who would like to chat about anything to do with music and I really wanted to give it a spot here on my blog! 

Being such a tough and cut throat industry, it can be very difficult to really get to know our peers or even just support one another. It can feel like an isolated place at times with everyone competing for the same recognition and success. Fact is that the more we all come together, recognising what other artists have to offer and their talents we can actually all benefit from that kind of mutual respect. It also leads to opportunities to collaborate, opportunities to take part in different events and most importantly creating a strong sense of community among us.. It’s a flippin hard industry to work in, we should be able to chat with each other about it and find ways to help change things that may need changing and chat about the things that work. The industry is so different to how it was when I was a teenager and that’s a good thing because there seems to be more space out there for all of us, so many new ways to create and build our careers however far we want to take them… Keeping the chat going and getting to know each other better is brilliant and I’m delighted to have been introduced to @irishmusicparty on Twitter! The party starts at 9pm every Monday and continues until 11pm with growing numbers every week!! Get involved if you want to introduce your music or your music business, or even if you just want to discover new music. 
Follow them here: Irish Music Party

#sRated Recording DIY Style! 

  

It’s FINALLY a bright, sunny morning here in Ireland! I’m on day three of a pretty miserable cold that hit me hard on Monday and knocked me for six. It’s one of the worst things about being self employed! You push yourself as far as you can go because you kinda have to. Ain’t no such thing as a paid sick day! 
Anyways, the point of this mornings bright and sunny post despite the sneezing is to tell you that I finally started to do something I should have done on day 1 of my music career. My good DJ buddy Dave O’Connor has been shouting down my ear for years about setting myself up to do some pretty decent home recording but I just never really took it that seriously and kept putting it on the long finger. I wish I hadn’t but I’m starting now and would like to share some of my experiences as I go through the process of buying items and recording.. Maybe my experiences will be useful to someone along the way! 

First up I was told, is to invest in a really good mic and the Rode NT1a had been suggested to me many times. There are lots out there but at €189 brand new on Thomann Ireland it’s a decent price and won’t break the bank. I did a little scan for one on the private seller sites and found a guy up the road selling his for €130 – “barely used” the ad said so fingers crossed! I offered him €110 so I’m hoping that for the €80 savings it will be a good buy! I’ll keep you posted!! 

Apparently the next not so expensive step is to purchase a pre-amp! I might as well be looking into a ditch as to knowing what exactly they do but it’s my job now to find out and buy myself one! 

I’m happy that I finally got a move on in setting myself up to home record. While nothing beats the real experience, it’s ridiculous that I am not  doing all my demos and basic productions myself here at home. Got the ball rolling now at least and I’ll share my experiences of it along the #sRated way! 

So I officially look like the back of a bus!!! :) #sRated #MatthewsArts

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I genuinely don’t know where to start!!!! Since seeing my bus advert for the first time last night, my feet feel like they haven’t touched the ground. I’ve known about the ad since last Summer when I started working on the #MatthewsArts Showcase Initiative with Matthews.ie and despite knowing what the design looked liked and that it was going on to the back of a Matthews bus from the 7th May, it took until I was standing right beside it, getting photos taken that the enormity of it all sunk in!

It’s just surreal.. This has all happened as a result of writing the first company song for Matthews.ie and the project just keeps growing into something more and more special. Every six months, another artist will win a spot on the bus showcasing what they do, whether it’s pottery or jewellery making etc. It’s a brilliant initiative and deserves to be really celebrated. I am so proud to be the first artist on the bus even if it means being told I look like the back of a bus 😉

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Credit also goes to Martin McElligott photography for the wonderful shot, Element Design for the incredible graphic design and Euro Antiques and Collectibles Dundalk for the lend of the beautiful chair! Also to Coyles Graphics Monaghan for the wrap!!

‘MATTHEWS TAKE YOU THERE’ – My first company song!! #sRated

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So after months and months of waiting to share the news with you, I can finally reveal that I have written my first ever company song for Irish transport and tour operator Matthews.ie!!!

http://MATTHEWS.IE

I was delighted that at the end of 2013 Paddy Matthews CEO of the company, asked me to write a song for them. I was a little scared to be honest, simply because of the nature of the song he wanted. It had to showcase the company services and sentiments and also include the company name. Now, as anyone who writes songs or poems know.. rhyme whether it’s in your face or barely recognisable, some words are nearly impossible to use. The vibe and momentum of the word and how it moves and fits into the song and with the music is also a massive factor. Anyways, without boring you, the point is that ‘Matthews’ is a very difficult word to fit into a lyrical sentence!! 🙂 I wrote a blog post at the time describing my experience of writing to brief, which you can read here: https://sineadmcnally.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/do-these-briefs-fit/

But I decided to give writing the company song a shot and after a few days of pulling my hair out and revisiting lots of different ideas, Matthews Take You There finally came together!! It is being launched on May 7th in Dundalk in conjunction with the company’s 20th anniversary, alongside another project that I have worked on with Matthews.ie called the ‘Matthews Arts Showcase’ and it deserves a whole blog post of it’s own, which will be posted soon!

Matthews Take You There Song and Video

Website Revamp!! #sRated

http://sineadmcnally.com/

With everything that’s happening at the moment, including a whole new outlook on the music end of things, it was inevitable that my little personal space on the world wide web badly needed a revamp!! I bought my .ie and .com webspace back in 2012 when I launched my debut EP ‘10,000’ and Ross at Electric Kiwi http://electrickiwi.co.uk/ designed the site for me. I called on Ross again this time round as he is super efficient and I love the looks he creates.. He spends time getting to know what it is his clients and customers do and works on creating something that really suits them!

So within a matter of days, after I supplied some content and imagery, it was all done and dusted. From this, we will build a site with different pages but for now, hope you like the new and improved site!!

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The First #sRated Milestone!

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My own dressing room and a cup of tea…. well if that isn’t a good way to start back on the road gigging, I don’t know what is!! 🙂 Last night was such a buzz. I hadn’t gigged in such a long time and I was mad to get back out there and sing my songs, telling the stories and doing my usual mad leg movements that happen under the piano as I play. The venue was incredible too. It was the Íontas Theatre in Castleblayney, Co.Monaghan and from everything to the dressing rooms, to the main theatre and foyer, it’s just a fab place to play. The sound was also superb! When you arrive somewhere and know that you are dealing with top class facilities, it makes you feel so much more relaxed, confident and excited. Iontas Theatre

As a performer, the audience cannot be seen at all from the stage. You can hear them shuffle and cough and clap but you cannot see a soul. It’s a little weird singing out and simling at a black canvas but it gets you into a zone and its ALL about the performance.

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I did a 25 minute set that included my opening piece that includes a section of a Mendellsohn piece of music that develops into one of my own songs ‘Showtime’. Its a little opener to my set and I really enjoy the blend of genres. Following that I did an old number ‘Fix You Up’ and managed to get the audience singing along with me.. After that was my newest song and with the lyrics only finalised about 4 hours before the gig, I wasn’t convinced I could pull it off but for a first performance, it went better than expected!

After that, I read out my poem ‘Northern Borders’ https://sineadmcnally.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/northern-borders/ which I accompany with my own take on the well known ballad ‘Hills of Donegal’. It’s a difficult one as the emotion is high throughout but people got it and that’s what’s special about sharing it. I finished up my set with ‘Ship Street’,

one of my favourite songs that I wrote last Summer after a visit to Brighton to attend a female songwriting workshop with Fiona Bevan and Kal Lavelle. Fiona wrote One Directions ‘Little Things’. Hence the line in the song that says “I got lost in love and loss and all those little things..”

I finished up a very enjoyable, emotional and buzzing set with one off my debut EP ‘Something Has Changed’, a piece in 6/8 time that is a lot of fun and quite tricky on the fingers!!

Thanks to Barry Jay Hughes, to all at the Iontas Theatre and to all who bought and ordered my CD’s. Over the next few years, I will work towards a changing room of my own in the 3 Arena!! Dream big!! Chat soon x