After years performing on the sidelines, Draperstown songstress Celine Murphy will take centre stage when launches her solo career in her first gig at Glasgowbury’s Cornstore.
Featured in Mid Ulster Mail and Derry Post September 2015
After years performing on the sidelines, Draperstown songstress Celine Murphy will take centre stage when launches her solo career in her first gig at Glasgowbury’s Cornstore next month [SEPTEMBER].
The 26-year-old trained classical pianist has always had a passion for music, she is constantly songwriting and has featured previously in Derry singer Paddy Nash’s band, as well as other folk bands.
But as she explained, it took a while before she decided to put her work out there as a solo artist.
“This is the first time I’ve decided to start sharing my own music,” she said.
“I had been writing but hadn’t been playing it for anyone except my own enjoyment. I had a passion for it for years and then I just decided to go for it.
“I have loads of material, it’s about promoting that and getting it out for people to hear it. I never joined social media until last month, I always had an aversion to social media, it was a kind of a running joke with my friends and family.
“I suppose it’s just a balance, not all singer-songwriters are all outgoing extroverts, it’s just about being comfortable and saying ‘this is me’.”
Last month she released ‘Kind to Me’, recorded by Lisburn producer, Michael Mormecha of Mojo Fury fame.
“I went to start recording with Mike but with the view to having other singers, I thought I really want to get my music out there and maybe what I could do is explore recording other artists, other singers, and that’s why I went down and met Mike.
“But It just didn’t feel right, I just kept coming back to the conclusion that I needed to do it myself. I wanted to do it myself and I just needed to take that wee leap of faith.”
The song is a hauntingly sad song with a beautiful mix of piano and strings and Celine’s perfect vocals. Her sound has progressed through her classical training with influences of pop, Irish and folk.
“I don’t know how important it is to put a name on it either, I suppose it just comes from a really natural progression over many many years, people say they don’t know where to put it and that’s a good thing,” Celine added.
“My music started from a really young age, I actually have a twin sister, called Angela and Angela and I, we both started learning music at the same age, only she learned the violin and I learned piano.
“I think throughout my teen years, that was probably where my sound developed, finding my own style and playing piano and Angela playing violin and I started to really love that string and piano sound with vocal harmonies.”
Celine said she is in the unique position of having a lot of material to choose from as she has spent so much time songwriting.
She said: “I can tell you there are songs that aren’t quite as sad as that, there are songs that are more up tempo, but they are really personal stories and all of them are based on my own life experiences. They are all really honest.”
The video for Kind to Me was put together at the Glasgowbury Cornstore hub, by filmmaker Tiarnan Larkin and dancer Caitríona Groogan, both from Draperstown.
“Paddy and Stella [Glasgow] got a video meeting together for us all, there was going to be some of the students from the Cornstore there learning and watching it being made,seeing how it was done to open it up as a learning opportunity for young people,” Celine explained.
“I went on to do the video with the dancer Caitríona, that was a total dream for me. I always had in my minds eye that it would have a female dancer but you don’t think that you’ll be able to get a dancer and make such a beautiful video with your first single.
“She was so beautiful and her dance was so incredible. I just got really lucky that three of us bonded so well together and Caitríona got the emotion of that song, she got it straight away.”
It was only fitting then that Celine’s first solo billing would be at a gig in Glasgowbury’s Cornstore Loft.
“It’s such an amazing venue and the work that goes on there, the people that I met there and what they were able to do, it is incredible,” she continued.
“We’re really lucky, I don’t know if I lived in a different town and it’s such a small place, I wouldn’t have the same opportunities necessarily.”
She is supporting breakthrough Irish singer-songwriters Ciaran Lavery and Marc O’Reilly in their double headliner gig on Saturday 19 September.
“The artists I’m on with look absolutely amazing, I can’t believe it,” Celine exclaimed.
“I love performing so when I’m playing my music or when I’m singing I’m at my absolute happiest so I don’t feel nerves in that way.
“There’s no point wanting to do something and then just saying ‘oh god’ and not allowing yourself to enjoy it.”
“It’s just a privilege to be playing in front of people who want to hear your music.”
It will be a test for the young woman, who hasn’t aired her songs publicly before.
“I’m really looking forward to it. It’s great, these songs that I’m playing, I’m playing them for the first time live, so I actually have no idea what people’s reaction will be to them,” Celine added.
“I’ve just been playing in my own kitchen for years and I’ve loved it but it’s not that different if you love what you do.”
Ciaran Lavery & Marc O’Reilly with support from Celine Murphy, Saturday 19 September, in Glasgowbury’s Cornstore.