After a short break, Under The Street Light returns with singer-songwriter, Ailbhe Reddy. Ailbhe was chosen to play on the bill for Whelan's Ones To Watch 2015 and we agree, so we decided to dig deeper and find out more about this talented lady.
When did you first realise that you wanted to be a musician?
I've wanted to be a musician since I was a little kid listening to Queen in the back of my mum's car.
How did you get started?
I was far too shy as a teenager to play any gigs, but after I finished college I started playing in a band with my friend Matt and he gave me the confidence to finally start gigging.
Who did you listen to when you were growing up?
Pretty much everything. I'm the youngest of four kids, so I would have had a huge amount of influence from my older siblings on what to listen to growing up. My mum also had great taste so I listened to a lot of Simon & Garfunkel, Jeff Buckley, Queen, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and David Bowie. I also listened to a lot of Blur and whatever CDs I could steal from my older sisters' rooms.
How did it feel when you released your first EP “Dwell”?
It felt great to just get something official out there and I'm looking forward to releasing something else.
How long had you been working on getting a release out?
Less than a year, I really wanted to get something out as a basis to work from in the future. Its great to have CDs to give out at gigs and just to have a release out there.
Do you have plans to release another EP or are you working on an album?
I am starting a new EP in the coming months hopefully.
How do you chose who to make music with or does it just happen?
It has always just happened for me. Usually with friends, its always so nice to work with friends on music. I make a lot of music with my good friend Callum Orr, who produced my first EP and its always just naturally worked between us.
When and where did you play your first gig?
I played my first gig in Mother Reilly's of Rathmines in 2013. It was lovely, a bunch of my friends came along as a surprise.
What has been your favourite venue to play?
I always really love playing Whelan's, the sound is always great there. I also love Bello Bar.
What has been your worst concert experience?
I use a lot of different tunings in my live set, which is a complete pain in the ass. I was playing a gig last October and I was chatting away while tuning and broke a string. So a friend of mine grabbed their guitar and went to give it to me.... While tuning their guitar I managed to break one of their strings. It was quite embarrassing, but I just played the rest of the gig with a missing string and it was grand. There's always a way to make it work, I guess!
What was your favourite concert that you went to see?
I saw Rhye playing at Longitude in 2013 and it was absolutely amazing. There was only about 20 people in the tent and we were right up front. Fantastic experience to see such a beautiful live show up close.
How much do other musicians influence your music?
Other musicians have a huge influence on my music, its great to listen to a new song and feel suddenly inspired.
Who has caught your attention on the Irish music scene recently?
Plenty of amazing bands on the Irish music scene, I think Basciville and Mongoose are going to crush it this year. They're both amazing bands to see live. There's plenty of others but those are two that have done a lot already in this year!
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
It was amazing to be picked to play at Whelan's Ones to Watch in January too. Releasing my EP and having tracks played on radio was fantastic too.
I'm afraid I can't pick out one highlight, just yet!
You have played a few festivals around Ireland, which has been your favourite?
I absolutely loved Knockanstockan, such a great atmosphere. I really enjoyed Spirit of Folk too.
"Cover Me" was used as the official song for Today FM’s Shave Or Dye campaign, how did that come about?
It was as simple as people sharing it on Facebook and it being heard by the right people. I was just very lucky.
Who do you currently listen to?
I'm listening to a lot of The Man Whom, Basciville, Callum Orr, Novo Amor, Punch Brothers and Keaton Henson at the moment.
What are your top 5 albums of all time and why?
Grace by Jeff Buckley, Flaws by Bombay Bicycle Club, Illinois by Sufjan Stevens, Hounds of Love by Kate Bush, Woman by Rhye.
That was very difficult to pick out, but they are the first ones that jumped into my head as being very influential and that I would listen to the most at the moment.
Whats the best advice you have been given in your career?
Decide what you want to sound like and just do it.
What do you have lined up for the future?
Hoping to start work on a single to release during the summer of a song I actually recorded with you guys at Street Ceol TV.