Barry Locke is a singer songwriter from Bangor Northern Ireland currently based in London. The past two years have been crucially cathartic for Barry as he has busied himself with the completion of his debut album ‘O N E ‘, essentially an auto biographical concept album. Never having a shortage of things to write about Barry has always looked deftly inward in order to explore themes and narratives that can translate well yet remain completely relatable. The through line of this introverted exploration is concerning the very danger of ‘self ‘as an endless knot of indecision and resolve.
“I have always found it difficult to ‘create’ things to sing about and so I have always looked inward to myself and my own experiences. As far as I’m concerned, I live in constant state of flux, at times moving inexorably betwixt several ‘self’s’ jostling for prime position in my past, present and future. 'O N E' refers to one and all, it's in everything I've ever done, or will do. It’s all about returning themes and contexts.”
Supported by a voice that provides power and impact Barry effortlessly endears to hold on to the comforting tonal graces of his home town whilst honestly portraying the raw emotions you’d expect to hear when a young man bares his soul.
Alternative singer-songwriter Liam Oragh brings his new album - The Arguments against Insanity - which includes the singles Oblivious and Lake Louise - on tour for a hometown gig in The Workman's Club, Dublin on Friday March 2nd - the follow up to his Jackie Hayden Hot Press Pick-of-the-Fortnight Award-Winning Debut album - Only 2 late if You're dead - and best known for his catchy quirky song 'Hey Nelson' about wanting to inherit Nelson Mandela's shirt collection -Support on the night from Maul Park and Paul O'Toole plus special guest Gillian Hamill.
Best known for his catchy quirky song 'Hey Nelson' about wanting to inherit Nelson Mandela's shirt collection, Alternative singer-songwriter Liam Oragh's new album - The Arguments against Insanity - the follow up to his Hot Press Pick-of-the-Fortnight award-winning debut album - Only 2 late if You're dead - has just been released.
Songs about madness, songs about life, love, getting older, and cryogenically cheating death ('Thaw me out when you can cure me') - with stop offs along the way that include his topical single - Oblivious - about how we're all walking around with our heads stuck in our mobile phones - and Lake Louise - about getting chased by a grizzly bear in the Canadian Rockies, and 12 Monkeys - about wanting to check himself into a notorious mental institution, not forgetting the album's opening screamer 'Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity'.
Songs to stay sane to - or songs to go insane to? He's not sure yet - but the one thing he is certain of -
Who needs therapy when you've got music!
"Fun lyrics from a song-writer that oozes quirkiness - if you like a bit of edge then you'll enjoy this!" David Dee Moore - Acoustic Yard Festival and Radio/Blues and Roots Radio
"Composer Extraordinaire!" David Halpin - The Circle Sessions
"The album sees Liam Oragh alternately channeling the musical stylings of Jonathan Richman, John Cale, Lou Reed et al with his own inimitable aplomb. The album is infused with humour, hints of punkiness, shades of Americana and just plain musical goodness despite the darkness contained within the lyrics. If you like your singer-songwriters quirky then Liam Oragh is yer man." Ralph's Life Indie Music Blog and Radio KC Indie Show.
"The Arguments Against Insanity sees Liam at the top of his game not only as a top notch lyricist but also as a well rounded musician. This is a body of work any songwriter would be proud of." Niume Music Blog
In 2018 The prodigiously-gifted Susan O’Neill and best known as the beautiful husky-voiced backing singer with acclaimed Irish acts King Kong Company and Propeller Palms launched debut album Found Myself Lost. She’s going by the name of SON... and Bono is already a fan.
Susan released her bluesy debut album, Found Myself Lost, in the second half of 2017 showcasing her truly phenomenal husky voice, “often reminiscent of Amy Winehouse, Janis Joplin or a ballsier Adele” according to Hotpress. This Irish songstress has indeed been inspired by an eclectic range of influences, including KT Tunstal, Stevie Nicks, Norah Jones, Simon and Garfunkel and numerous Irish folk legends.
Susan has summed up her younger years in an energetic debut that focuses on the passage of time. “Found Myself Lost is as a collection of songs I wrote over the space of eight years,” she explains. “It’s really the story of a female going through adolescence and reaching adulthood.
Things are already seriously picking up for SON. Having raved about her album, Ireland’s iconic Hot Press magazine chose her as the female singer that was most ‘Hot for 2017’. They didn’t specify where, but SON has the talent to make it happen in just about any corner of the globe. When the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree came about in March, she was invited to cover one of U2’s songs from that album for hotpress.com Always up for a challenge, SON opted for that album’s edgy penultimate track ‘Exit’ and totally nailed it. The day after her stunning version went online, Bono himself sent an unexpected email to “black eyed Susan.” The U2 singer told her that her version of his song “took me aback in its simplicity and power... stark and still until it wasn’t... He signed his email off with, “Your fan, Bono.”
Susan entered January and February of 2018 touring with the legendary Sharon Shannon on her full tour of Ireland. March takes Susan further afield on her first Australian tour where you can find the multi instrumentalist spreading her songs at the National Folk Festival Canberra, the Blue Mountains Folk Festival and St Patrick's day in the park in Sydney. From Australia to New York City in April Susan will recording and shooting some videos to her new E.P which she is currently working on. Home then to begin her own tour of Ireland for the Summer months, it promises to be an electric and exciting year. Yes, she’s sometimes brash but always beautiful. You should be a SON fan, too. Truly, this SON is rising fast..
Cian Rock is a 22 year old singer/songwriter from Kiltyclogher, Co.Leitrim. From as young 10 years old Cian always fancied himself as a writer and began creating and performing original songs.In his early days he fell in love with old blues music like Muddy waters,Robert Johnson and Jimmy Hendrix . However his influences progressed to more alternative artists such as David Bowie , Mick Flannery, Alt J , Bombay Bicycle Club and The Arctic monkeys. Today his music can be described as alternative indie/folk/rap/rock and creates raw and honest lyrics often talking about governmental , societal and introspective things,
Complimented by intricate finger-picking.Cian studied music performance in Cavan where he was also awarded residency in “Cois Tine” by the arts council.More recently he has been gigging back home in Leitrim where he played at the Balinamore free fringe festival , stoneywoods festival, supported Lisa O'Neill and played in the dock arts centre. In addition to this he was the closing act for Sligo Live festival in the summer of 2017 .
In 2016 Cian released a single for the Stoneywoods festival about dealing with the grief of loosing his older brother who died tragically of sudden adult death syndrome.The song called “Another Way” was in aid of the matter foundation and turned out to be a huge success selling 100's of copies and reaching over 8 thousand views on youtube.Most recently he performed three songs on the live performance series “project 82” which can be found on youtube.In addition he was interviewed by Ocean Fm and played on their show called “Arts house sessions”.Currently Cian is working on his EP and is fully concentrated on his original work and the creative exploration of his own personal journey.
Philip Dunne is a 25 year old Irish Singer Songwriter from Dublin. . He plays piano and guitar and has only being writing music for about a year and a half now. He applied for the Thames TV competition " Britain's got talent " and reached the televised stages in 2017 with an original song called he wrote "Another Life ". This song was very close to his heart as he wrote it for his late sister who passed away when he was very young . Unfortunately his audition was never shown on the TV series and the journey continued. .
He formed a four piece band after this and called them 'Waiting for May' .The EP " Empire " will be released in march or April of 2018 and he will be launching in a top Music venue in Dublin city centre. The EP " Empire " was recorded by his good friend and producer Shane Curran in his home studio in Co Meath Phil has also been working with many other musicians and producers to get the feel of the recording/writing process .
Philip dunne is an exceptional musician and attended the " Cork school of music" where he honed his skills and is now ready write , perform and produced the music that he is writing . This is only the beginning of his journey and expect to hear more of his Music in the years to come. He is here for the long hall and is enjoying every minute of it ..
I was very sad to hear Philip Passed away in 2019. He was a close Friend of my family and such a lost to everyone at a very young age. I was debating whether to keep his page up after this but I think people should hear his music . May Philip rest in peace. Michael - Musibiz.
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Setting up a digital Marketing funnel in the Music Industry is a critical part of Music promotion today. Each one has its part to play and with all of them working together , you can create many successful Campaigns .
I have worked in Many Bars and Music venues for over 25 years and have seen many great acts pass through me . I have also immersed myself in the Music Industry for 11 years and want to share with you all the tips , i have learned throughout the years .
There are only a few Artists or acts in Ireland that have a real understanding of the Marketing process required to successfully manage their act and get the recognition they deserve . This is a very great pity as Ireland is stuffed with talent and artists either don't know what to do about their act or and not prepared to put in the required work ..
I will organise this in steps so artists are not overwhelmed with the amount of work that is required to properly set up their own marketing funnel. We are living in an independant age and we must row our own boats and no one is coming to rescue us . Your careers are in your own hands but you must have the knowledge first to move forward more successfully ..
Your Music has to be good with people raving about it . I've seen many acts raving about their own music but not a whole lot of interest from others. Not a good sign . Save yourself a lot of wasted time and make sure that your Music is relevant and people actually like it. Ask people for their opinions and make sure you have a salable product in the first place . Selling Music is the same as any other business. If the product is not good enough then it will not sell . Be realistic , be real and be the very best you can be before considering going any further.
Now that you believe your Music is good enough and people are raving about you , it is time to think about the next step . Finding a local Venue the supports Original Music is Vital . You need to stamp your ground locally first and work with the venue to build your fanbase . There is an old saying in the Music community " If you can't make it in your own backyard , you are not going to make it anywhere". This is very true . You build at home first. I see acts and bands screaming out for gigs all over Ireland and they are barely known in their own locality . Locality is your home base and it has to be strong with a solid foundation. Weekly events is a Must and while you are there invite other local acts or acts from outside the locality . This is how you create your network for the future .It is critical to involve yourself with the local Music Venue.
Be nice and respectful . Be humble and leave the ego at home . Always remember that you are trying to attract a fanbase and a big ego is a No No along with bad manners.So many artists do not get this and it is their downfall in the end .I've seen this many times over the years. Music is about sharing something special with others and always be there to receive gratitude with respect and thanks . Spend time with anyone who approaches you about your Music and collect their online information so you can keep in touch.. How many times i have seen Bands telling people " you can find me on facebook" bla bla and that's it . Then Pack up and leave . A very bad idea and this habit will get you nowhere in the end . Take the time to spend that time with any fanbase . Its vital for your survival .
Email Marketing is the least used tool in the Music industry today in Ireland ? Email marketing is the most successful way to keep in contact and communicate with your fan base and its not being used enough . An email marketing platform is basically a place where you can save all your emails and contact your fans . You can send 10. 100 and 1000s of emails individually to each fan. You can write a blog , update , send music , a video direct to their email address . All you need is to create one post or blog and simply press send and the email platform will send this to everyone on your list of contacts . You can even personalise it to each with their name at the beginning of their email . If you want to get personal with your fanbase then this is the best possible way to do it and I can't understand why artists are not doing this ? The crazy thing also is that it is FREE up to 1000 to 2000 email addresses .I can tell you that any artist having this amount of email addresses for a fanbase is seriously ahead of the game and will reap the rewards . You may have a few to begin with but follow the steps and you will see it grow ..this is how you build a business. They are your customers and must be treated with the utmost care and consideration. If you do this right they will follow you to the ends of the earth .You should have you email platform subscription available in all your social media, website and blogs . You should also be prepared to put any new fan you meet into your email list by asking them for their email address . once you have that you never lose contact with them and you can continue the relationship. You have reports after you send the email out , telling you how many opened the email etc so you can see how the email went. keep them short and to the point with maybe a clip or demo of your work . Maybe an important blog that you would like to share ete etc .. The one i use is Mailchimp . Its free and has some lovely features to play around with .. Finally did you know that major labels see a strong email list as gold when considering you for a signing . Along with your Music of course , your email list shows them proof the you have a real following and this can be built upon with their team. they value the social media platforms very low in their overall calculations . It is wise to consider this if you are an act that is looking to be signed by one of the majors . Its is also a very strong bargaining tool for you to use when ironing out a fair deal for you. The fact that you have a business already has great value and is your own asset .
Social media sites are the weakest way to connect to your fanbase and should only be used as the face of your Band or act. Unless you have 100s of 1000s of followers these platforms do very little . I see artists making the huge mistake of using them as their main focus of communicating with their audience . No one really cares on these platforms . You have to be on them all the same and sharing updates or blogs once or twice a week is plenty. These platforms are becoming more and more restrictive every year and i can see, to have any impact , you have to pay for it. Paying to promote a business works very well for a traditional business but it has a very low success rate for promoting music. There are many reasons for this and the main one is their isn't a need for your music at your present time. You need to create that need by following these steps and building that awareness so Its poor value at the beginning and you should only use them for sharing information, building awareness and answering any queries. The best ones are facebook and linkedin in my opinion . Connect your email subscription to all your social media platforms .
A simple website is very important with all your information on there . A blog facility is also vital so you can write about the act and share on the social social media websites on a weekly basis . It's important to blog as it keeps you focused and keeps your fans informed and interested in your act. You should also consider opening a google plus account . Sharing your blogs to google plus ranks higher in the Google search engines and your blog will be seen by more people on google . Google also likes weekly blogs coming from your website and will reward you with an overall higher ranking . You can build your own website for peanuts nowadays so there is no excuse for Acts not having a decent website . The cost to maintain a website is about 200 euros a year. That's less than 4 euros a week.
Now that you have set all this up and are now plugged into all areas of your marketing,you can start your rituals . Looking at all this seems like it will be impossible to keep up and you will not have time for your music, This is not the case .
An hour a day is plenty when all this is done . One blog a week and maybe one update to be shared on your social media. An email once of twice a month to your fanbase email list. A weekly local gig to ensure a solid platform to work from and improve your skills and fanbase . Get these basics right first and get into the habit of doing them on a weekly/ monthly basis . It is only then that you will have made the first step in your overall Marketing funnel to success .
I have written a few more blogs the go into a bit more detail about certain areas of this process . The most relevant one would be Reality check for the Irish Artist . It's the basics about starting out and building from there. Its proved to be very popular with the Music community here in Ireland and ive had a few review about it abroad too.
I have a few more blogs related to this also but i will add more to them as i go. Music is not easy guys . It takes an incredible amount of talent and you have to be playing regularly on stage . Never mind what everyone else is doing and focus on yourselves . Get the basics right first and then start looking out a little . It's a slow process but with the right digital marketing in place , you will get there much quicker and learn the business . Remember a "solid performing Base" first . Next comes the " Solid Marketing base " with all your contacts in the one place and can be informed with a press of a button . with these in place , you are giving yourself the best possible chance of success . Don't waste your opportunities chasing Dreams when you haven't put in the basics first. get this done and watch it grow..
My sincere wishes to you all .