We introduced you to Miriam O’Shea a few weeks back, with the release of her debut solo single, ‘Dance With You’. Now she answers a few questions for us.
EP: In the book on your life, how would you sum up the Miriam O’Shea story?
MO’S: The first few chapters have been 23 eventful years. I was born in London, I grew up in Ireland with some years in Morocco, I returned to London for University and then moved to Iceland. I would sum up my story as a quarter century full of culture, nature and unusual experiences, both bad and good. I’ve always been enchanted by indigenous folk, pop and nostalgic music. If I’m lucky, I’ll be full of wild tales and wisdom when I’m 90+.
EP: You’ve worked both as a solo artist and as part of a duo – what are the pros and cons of each?
MO’S: When you’re part of a duo, there are two brains to bounce musical ideas off. By combining the workload involved in the PR, everything is driven forward a whole lot quicker. The producer I worked with before this was phenomenal and we would often write whole songs and had the demo for it recorded within an hour.
But I’m quite a stubborn perfectionist. Every nuance is important to me. A lot of the time it’s an intangible feeling rather than a solid sound so I have a real connection with the people I work with.
Luckily, among those people are my sisters, Elaina and Emer. Elaina writes lyrics and Emer directs and films my videos. So in many ways, I will never be ‘solo’ because the people in my life inspire me every day.
EP: Talk us through your new song, ‘Dance With You’. What’s it all about? What’s going on in the video?
MO’S: ‘Dance With You’ is about the good memories you hold on to after a relationship has broken. That no matter how bad it seems at the time, you can always take something good from it.
The video moves from an internal darkness to the sunrise, which brings the realisation that things will be ok.
It was filmed on Silverstrand Beach on the west coast of Ireland where I grew up, so in many ways it means a lot to me that we got to film in such a beautiful and personal location.
EP: Having worked in professional music for a while, what’s your take on the current situation in the music industry? And do you have any advice for anyone getting into it right now?
MO’S: Your music is not for everyone so if a radio DJ says it’s ‘not for him/her’ don’t take it personally! You’ll meet a million managers and producers who will tell you to be more like this/that but in the end you have to make the music from your heart. Good things only start to happen when you stop caring what others think and start doing your thing. Because your fans will only ever love your music as much as you do.
EP: If you could do it all over again, what, if anything, would you do differently, and why?
MO’S: I’ve made every mistake you can make in the industry. But this is key to learning and growing.
The only piece of advice I would definitely give is to not keep toiling away on a project that’s not working because it ends up just wasting time. And every year you realise a little more that time is actually worth more than money.
EP: What is it about Ireland, do you think, that so many great artists come out of such a small country?
MO’S: Such a small and beautiful country with an even smaller music community! Once you know one person you know everyone, which is wonderful because as long as you put out great quality music people in your network will want to help you promote it.
EP: What’s next for Miriam O’Shea? Where will you be next year? In 5 years? In 10?
MO’S: There are plans to release another single and an EP later this year. We’ll also be filming another music video soon. I’m working on an album so in 5 years many of those songs will have been released and, although I don’t like to plan these things too far in advance, in 10 years I imagine that I will be as happy as I am now and never giving up on my musical passions.
EP: What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview but nobody ever does?
MO’S: What is your method for dealing with rejection in the music industry? To which I reply:
My family motto, in Gaelic, is “Tada Gan Iarracht” which means Nothing Without Effort, and it has gotten me back on my feet every time I have fallen.