Damian McGinty’s new album, ‘Young Forever’, is released today, 22 March. Lisa caught up with him ahead of the release to ask him Six Quick Questions.
Hi Damian! Lovely to meet you! We published an article about you late on the evening of March 1 and it immediately took off, which surprised us a bit! Do you ever have to pinch yourself to think that a boy from Derry is living in LA and known all over the world?
Hi, nice to meet you. I pinch myself a lot of the time, I’ll be honest. But in a healthy way, this has become normal for me. Not normal in a sense that i can take it for granted, but normal in that I don’t let myself get carried away. Working hard for results in this business is something that has been ingrained in me since the age of 14. So I think I’ve learned to chase being better at a craft, rather than a profile.
You started out with Celtic Thunder when you were still only 14, and then moved onto ‘Glee’ a few years later. How did that come about? What’s been some of the highlights of your career so far?
Celtic Thunder came about when the original musical director Phil Coulter got a copy of an incredibly young, amateur record I made. A good friend of mine Jim Roddy gave it to him. Phil listened to one song out of obligation to his relationship with Jim, they are best pals, but he ended up listening to the whole album. He then cast me in Celtic Thunder off of the back of that and meeting me, alongside the producer Sharon Browne. I did that for 4-5 years before really taking a chance on the glee project. 40,000 kids when into that, and I ended up winning, which got me on Glee. The Glee experience all in was about 3 years. It was an incredible time, but I don’t reflect on it. I am driven for what is next, always.
Your new album ‘Young Forever’ is out on on 22 March. Can you tell us something about that? Where can people get a copy, and what’s your favourite track on the album?
Yes, it’s a debut original album for me. I can’t wait for people to have it. I think my favorite song is either ‘Saltwater’ or ‘Forever I Do’. What i love about this album is that it just feels like a first record. It doesn’t feel forced. I had to let some things go on the album which I felt could have been better in some areas, because the idea was that this shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be perfect. It has character, energy, flaws, vulnerability. Everything that I think is needed on an album, and i think it has that. I am excited to get it out there and to start writing the next one.
You wrote and co-wrote most of the songs on ‘Young Forever’. What’s the writing process like for you – do you have to have a particular setting, like absolute quiet or whatever?
Do the lyrics or the music come first? What sort of subjects do you most enjoy writing about?
It always looks different, I’ll be honest. I write a lot at 30,000 feet, which is referenced on the song ‘Blue And Red Lights’, which I cowrote with my buddy Ryan O’Shaugnessy. I get a lot of inspiration in the air, from the idea of being so insignificant. I find that empowering. I haven’t figured out why. A lot of songs came from just dedicating time to writing sessions. My producers are in Ireland as are a lot of my co writers, and they’re really fantastic and I believe the first group of people I’ve met who really understand what I want to be as an artist.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to get into the music – or rather the entertainment industry as a whole – and what, if anything, might you have done differently if you had the opportunity?
I would drive home the idea of really trying to stay disciplined, focused and work on your craft. Nobody deserves anything in the industry, once you begin to feel sorry for yourself because you think you deserve more, is where you really begin to lose focus of whats important. There are so many talented people in the world. Find what makes you unique, work on it, polish it, package it, and let the music do the talking. Good music that people listen to will do more work for you than anything else.
What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview but nobody ever does?
Would you like a coffee? (Because I always want coffee.)
‘Young Forever’ is out today. For more information, visit Damian’s official website. You can buy, stream, and download all of Damian’s music here. You can also find Damien McGinty online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.