1 Please tell us a little bit about your background;
A: I’m currently twenty one years of age. I’m from a small town called Fermoy in North Cork in the Republic of Ireland. I grew up in Tralee, County Kerry until the age of nine, where I and my family made the move to Fermoy. I loved Kerry and always will, most of my family are from Killarney and I would consider there to be my home away from home. I am currently a student in the University College of Cork where I am in my last year of my Bachelors of Commerce Degree. Music is my passion, my everything and it’s what I want to do in life and graduating with this degree - it’s not that I necessarily want to pursue a career in business but I believe it is the responsible thing to do and all knowledge ascertained can only enhance the success of my future endeavours be it my music, acting, writing etc.
2 You are a musician and an actor. Have you always wanted to be an entertainer or did you aspire to do something else when you were younger?
A: I can’t think of any time where I ever wanted to be anything truly other than a performer. Okay, maybe at times you would watch like a cop movie or ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and you’d be like those guys are awesome but that was just a phase. I also wanted to be a part of the 'X-Men' and 'The Fellowship of the Ring' ha. Throughout my life I’ve played sports competitively with a love of Gaelic Football and soccer but my heart always firmly rested in the arts. I have for as long as I can remember had the ability to just turn on the stereo, close my eyes and really just get lost in my own world for endless hours - without moving. It’s hard to explain the effect music can have on someone. That feeling of transcendence it gifts you, allowing you to be something bigger than yourself. I would listen to these artists like Ray Charles, Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Luke Kelly (to name a few) and I would be in awe. These weren’t just fantastic musicians but incredible and fascinating individuals. They meant something to people, to the world. I suppose that’s the ultimate aspiration for anyone, well for me anyway, that when your time comes the world will look back on you as someone who generated change and was better off for having you in it. James Taylor once said: ‘I believe musicians have a duty, a responsibility to reach out, to share your love or pain with others’. I hope to just stay as honest as possible giving and showing all aspects of myself whether it be the good or the bad, the deep emotional side, or that wild side which I also possess. I don’t really know how I found myself doing it through the form of rap but it just seems to work. It allows me to show the real me and connect with people through storytelling and imagery. I wouldn’t dare say there is any real reason why people should listen to my music or watch my performance, I’m not any more amazing than any other musician or performer, but I believe everyone has different thought processes, experiences and genes which makes for a complete unique perspective in performance, sound and story.
3 Is anyone else in your family and/or friends in entertainment?
A: All my family are very musical. In typical Irish fashion a family get together wouldn’t be complete without a sing-song. My family has always been heavily involved in musicals - Killarney musical society would account for the majority of them. My grandparents, aunts and cousins all took part in various musicals on multiple occasions. I suppose that’s where my love of the stage came in. From an early age I was doing pantomimes and plays which allowed me to perform numerous times in productions in Killarney, Siamsa Tire in Tralee and Fermoy. My family and friends have repeatedly shown me incredible support even at times where I feel they do not understand what it is I’m trying to do or achieve. I couldn’t fault them for misunderstanding, however, as that which I am trying to achieve is completely alien and unprecedented to them. There were periods where I feel like I was just trying to find myself and often over indulged in alcohol or misbehaved, during these moments my friends showed exceptional patience and stood by me. People may stray apart for whatever reason but I read a beautiful quote before that said: ‘We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere’. I honestly believe I wouldn’t be the person I am today if it wasn’t for them and whatever success I may achieve in life they can derive some responsibility for it.
4 Are you professionally managed or do you represent yourself?
A: Currently I’m representing myself. I would be open to the idea of management in the future but it would have to be the right fit. I think it’s important that he/she would have a similar vision of what I want to achieve and where I want to take this.
5 What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: Seeing as I’m in college at the moment, any spare time is really just dedicated to my music. I try and devote whatever is left in the day to writing, producing and recording new songs. I enjoy working out and try to do so as much as possible - I feel it’s important to keep my energy levels up and clear the head. Other than that I might catch a movie every now and again and hang out with friends.
6 Do you have a stage name?
A: I never felt the need to. I think when I set out on this I did so with the premise of being completely honest and truthful to the audience, revealing all of me and not hide behind a mask. I would look to the greats such as Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, John Lennon etc. none of whom needed a stage name. I really don’t have anything against people who use stage names, with a lot of them being favourite artists of mine, but I don’t know just as an Irish man I’m proud of who I am and if I make it I want to make it for being myself.
7 Have you ever been bullied?
A: I can thankfully say no. Where I grew up I was very lucky - in school we had such a close-knit class all the way through, everyone helped each other out. Okay we would still have that mocking banter going on like in any school but people knew when it was too far and if someone was going to get hurt. I think sometimes it might be different for guys or maybe it was just my class but if there was any ill-feeling between two students, a little bit of punching and jostling and it would be all over. Two female students the same age however could be radically hurtful and mean spirited to each other. I may not have experienced it myself but through observation and the age of social media you can see the horrible effects it has on others. It’s a very real and potent epidemic which exists in our society.
8 Whether you have been bullied or not, do you feel that the governments and schools around the world are doing enough to try to combat this problem?
A: Unfortunately I don’t think they are. There are many cases where children are too afraid to go to school and their education is affected. Trauma a child could endure from bullying can very well haunt him/her right into adulthood where their quality of life is reduced and they aren’t enjoying all that life has to offer. You have to be careful too at the same time, as on the other side of the scale you don’t want to shelter a child so much where they aren’t prepared for sometimes hard and difficult experiences that arrive as they get older. The key is to find the right balance where ultimately each child can grow up in an environment which encourages learning and harmonious living. I wish I had the one golden solution as to how we would go about this but I feel every school and community has different pupils and children and a different method must be applied to each accordingly.
9 What more do you feel that the above could do to try to either decrease this problem hugely – or eliminate it altogether?
A: With relation to the previous question I’m honestly unaware of any fool-proof method to decrease bullying. I am of the belief no child is born to hate it is installed in us from those before us, so I would really just encourage all parents and parents-to-be now to preach and teach patience and kindness for others. Show what it is to be a kind person and set a good example. Other than that maybe more group exercises where the children are forced to work as teams, hence form a bond etc.
10 On a personal level, what would you like to do to help in the fight against bullying?
A: I suppose all I can do is spread awareness continuously and try to lead by example. I can only promise to never knock someone else and show compassion for those who have been wronged by others. If there are those who are suffering if they contact me through my facebook page, twitter or email I’d be more than willing to talk to them and let them know they have a friend. I’d love nothing more than to get to know the person and show support on a more personal level.
11 What advice would you give to someone who is suffering through this nightmare at the moment?
A: It’ll get better. The greatest thing you can do to combat a bully is raise your head and keep smiling. Show them no fear - they can only hurt you as much as you let them. Know that somewhere there is someone who is suffering the exact same thing - you are not alone.
12 What is on your professional agenda for the rest of 2014?
A: I’m finishing my last year of college and I’m going to just write, record and release as much music as I possibly can. This year is really all about raising my profile and putting myself on the radar of as many people as possible. There’ll be a few side ventures as well - hopefully with a couple acting projects on the cards and I’m currently planning on writing a screenplay, so who knows. Next year I hope to graduate and begin production of my first studio album.
13 Is there anything else you would like to include in this interview?
A: This is for a great cause and I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to help in the fight and spread awareness.
14 Do you have a special message you would like to share with the world?
A: Live To Dream.
‘Do one thing every day that scares you’ - Eleanor Roosevelt