Browsing Tag


Resonance and Resilience: Navigating the Independent Music Odyssey An Interview with Sean MacLeod

In the dynamic realm of music, Sean MacLeod stands as both an architect of melodies and a sage of musical wisdom. With a rich repertoire of albums and singles like “Let the Light In” and “That’s When the Earth Becomes a Star,” MacLeod’s sonic journey transcends boundaries. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the inspiration behind his current single, “The Sweetness,” explore the narratives of his past releases, and gain insights from his latest book, “Behind the Wall of Illusion: The Religious, Esoteric, and Occult World of The Beatles.” Furthermore, MacLeod shares invaluable advice for aspiring artists.

Your current single, “The Sweetness,” carries a unique resonance. Can you share the story behind this track and how it fits into the broader narrative of your musical journey?

‘The Sweetness’ is a song I wrote many years ago. Originally, I tried to record it with a band I had some years ago, called Cisco. The song funnily enough was written when I was going through a Brian Wilson ( of the Beach Boys) stage and the lyric – ‘don’t let that worry you’ – is borrowed from Brian’s song  ‘Don’t Worry Baby.’ I was also listening to a lot of Britpop bands at the time too, so it has that pop guitar feel to it. I have always been influenced by good melodies and electric guitars so the song is pretty much what Brian Wilson might have done had he been in Oasis rather than the Beach Boys :).

Lyrically, it deals with a theme that often crops up in my songs which is the kind of bitter sweet symphony that is life. I mean it is such a mad, sad, crazy, exciting, paranoid, happy, tragic, soulful, beautiful inexplicable thing we all have to go through . I mean its like we are all characters in some Shakespeare  play and I think Shakespeare is ultimately right we are all just actors on a stage and if we can remember that it kind of allows us to relax a bit and not get so caught up in everything we are doing. I think the song kind of explores that idea a bit. There is a line in the song which I should really have accredited to the Romantic poet Shelley – We fall upon the Thors of life- because it is his line. I’m far from being a poet like the Romantics or Shakespeare but I like the idea of pop songs being poetry at the same time. I guess Lennon and Dylan did that really well.

Production wise I was very happy with the final result because I had decided to go into the best studio I could afford- which was Westland in Dublin. It’s a rather old study which had its main successes back in the seventies when it was recording groups like Thin Lizzy and Van Morrison. Because now a days you can get pretty good recording quality on home studios I always feel there is a kind of polish missing from the end result and that can often make the difference between an ok record and a great one.

Unless you have a big record company behind you you have to try and get it right first time round if you are going to use a studio like Westland because you can’t really afford to go back in and do it again. So, I’m really pleased I did that and I got the song sounding as good as it should

With albums like “That’s When the Earth Becomes a Star” and singles like “Let the Light In,” you’ve demonstrated a diverse musical palette. How does the upcoming album continue this exploration of different styles, and what themes can listeners expect to encounter?

Apart from the albums and singles I released with Cisco, quite sometime ago now I have released now five solo album and quite a lot of singles- which sadly very few people have heard. I don’t know really how much things have changed so much from the first solo album Cool Charisma I just try and write three-minute pop songs essentially and hope that they mean something to people. They are very much in the songwriter tradition of the Beatles, Bowie, Dylan, right through to the Stone Roses and Blur and that kind of thing. I often have lots of different types of styles and songs but mostly in the pop/rock/singer-songwriter genre. I kind of think if its a good melody and good arrangement and well produced that’s good enough and hopefully it makes people feel something, something positive about themselves or their life because that what music has done for me ever since I heard the Beatles’ ‘Penny Lane’ when I was 11 🙂

I like the idea of music progressing and I think as an artist one should always be exploring but at the same time things cannot be forced and there is no point in just trying new things for the sake of it or to be different, because that’s not really being truthful to myself and what I do, which is write simple songs.  But I do play and listen to lots of different music lots of classical music which I like playing on the piano and things like minimalist composers and microtonal music which I have been exploring a lot over the last few years. Actually, the last album ‘We Don’t See that We Don’t See’ was purposefully applying different tuning systems and microtonal music to the 3 minute pop song. I was very happy with it but I haven’t actually released the album yet just some track from it because it was a bit underground and experimental and I got caught up doing the last album. But I think I’ll release it in the new year.

The new album When the Earth Becomes a Star is still in the traditional songwriting tradition, but I have elements of microtonal tunings on it to just give it that flavour. The single ‘Let the Light In’ is the first song from the album. It’s a great song and a good recording but it’s kind of a blend of Oasis meets Cream meets Gospel music 🙂 It just could do with a gospel choir at the end of the song.

In addition to your musical pursuits, you’ve authored books, your latest work, “Behind the Wall of Illusion: The Religious, Esoteric, and Occult World of The Beatles,” is intriguing. Can you give us a glimpse into the inspiration behind this book and others that you have written and their connection to your musical endeavours.

When I was 11 I had quite a profound experience with hearing the Beatles’ song ‘Penny Lane.’ It wasn’t even the Beatles’ version but Jimmy Osmond singing the song on the tv show Fame. If anyone is interested, you can find it on YouTube. The song just struck me right in the solar plexus and the next day I was coming home from school and saw in a record shop that I used to pass by everyday a copy of the Beatle’s Rock n Roll Album vol 2 for 2 pounds. I got the money of my mum and rush back and bought the album. When I put it on the record player- we had an old bush record player with only one speaker, but all the songs were just amazing. I mean they were better than anything that I was hearing on radio or tv at the time and I just became a fan. I was hooked. Luckily all my friends’ mums and dads still had all their old Beatles records and so I was able to borrow them all and within about two years I think I had heard most of the albums. I was reading about them all the time and that got me into other bands like the Kinks and the Who and not some much the Stones but some of their stuff and then Motown and then that got me into Mod groups and for a while I played drums in a Mod group covering lots of Jam and Who and Motown covers and then I just got into the history of pop music two-tone and punk and new wave etc. I knew quite a lot about 60s 70s 80s 90s music and one day someone gave me a Shangrilas CD. I don’t know why or why they were listening to them we didn’t talk about music. Actually, the guy just worked in my local shop and one day I went in to buy a pint of milk and came out with a Shangrilas’ CD it was quite surreal now that I think of it. I put the CD on and again I was really impressed with a lot of the songs and the productions. There were a lot of Greenwich and Barry songs on it who were a big deal songwriting couple in the 60s but I didn’t know much about them. SO I realised that there were all these girl groups out there that I had never heard, apart from the Supremes and the Vandellas and so I started to find groups like the Ronettes and the Shirelles and the Marvellettes and I thought that these groups had more or less been forgotten by history so I began to write about them and soon I had a book called Girl Groups of the 1960s and I found a publisher. I wrote another book on Phil Spector for that publisher, and I wanted to write something on the Beatles and particular from the perspective of spiritual science. That’s a kind of research developed by the Austrian philosopher and seer, Rudolf Steiner. His philosophy is essentially that man is a spiritual being and that there is a kind of spiritual cause behind or involved in everything we do here in this world. I am very interested in that, and I think music is something that very much relates to that because it’s not quite physical or tangible in a sense. I think the Beatles were very interested in that and the whole 1960s culture was tapping into and exploring these ideas. The experimentations in music and drugs and even social changes I think can be seen from this perspective. I don’t think Steiner would necessarily have seen every aspect of the 1960s culture or music as positive but certainly we can try to understand the spiritual impulses behind the events of that period which, as I said the groups and the people of the time were dimly aware of and trying to penetrate deeper into what we might call the invisible realm or the super-sensible realm.

Today, I think this is kind of difficult because we are so much more immersed in technology and in the material world- living in the material world as George Harrison might say- that we are becoming or have become more disconnected from what I think is our spiritual nature. Although it’s quite clear, due to a lot of stuff that has happened over the last three years that people are beginning to what to know more about these things. So that’s kind of what the book is about, and I guess what my songs try to be about.

Looking back at your previous releases and forward to your upcoming projects, how do you see your artistic evolution? Are there specific moments or experiences that have significantly influenced your musical journey, and if so, how do they manifest in your work?

Yes, as I said my experiences with the Beatles ‘ music was a major point in my life which began me wanting to know more about musical and to be a songwriter. Apart from that specifically my interests are more related to philosophy and that has influenced a lot of how I think about music maybe. I think my whole life has been connected to music, so it was kind of like for me a destiny moment meeting the Beatles because they opened up something in me that was able to enter into the world of music and my journey through life has been inextricably linked to my musical journey. I think there for example is a spiritual science moment. Of seeing something happen in your life that comes to meet you and moves you in a certain direction. It has nothing to do with me its something outside me but it has a tremendous impact on my life and my life, like everyone’s, has a tremendous impact on so many other people, in fact on the entire world. So, trying to understand that event and other similar events in our lives is a way of bringing us into contact with these impulses that are kind of invisible. I guess some people might call it chance or coincidence and that all things are chance, but one thing is that it has a profound meaning for me and that as I said influences everything and everyone around me. If it is just a chain of chance events then there is no real meaning, which of course some people might say, but if there is no real meaning then why do we feel the need to give it meaning, why is meaning inherent in our lives? Anyway, the point here is to think about these things and be open to them rather than having to prove they are right or wrong. Because ultimately, we cannot really prove anything only know something is as it is or experience it as so.

Embarking on a career as an independent artist often involves navigating uphill battles and overcoming challenges. Can you share some of the significant hurdles you’ve faced in your journey and the strategies you’ve employed to surmount them, providing insights for emerging artists grappling with similar obstacles?

There are so many uphill struggles and failures and disappointments and challenges.
Playing live on national radio and putting your capo on the wrong fret on the guitar and then singing the song in one key and playing the guitar in another is a pretty embarrassing moment – though I did manage to get my voice intone after a few seconds 🙂

Playing gigs to nobody is hard. Making records that no one hears is not very satisfying trying to get gigs and find other outlets for your music is hard. Feeling at times you aren’t any good is a struggle at times. But strangely I find as I said at the start if you see it as a space to learn and grow and see yourself as an actor on the stage it suddenly doesn’t seem as bad as you thought. You can actually enjoy it all. That’s what I have learned and every day you get better as a performer, a writer, a recording artist. You get to the point where you can say I am a musician. I am a songwriter. I am a recording artist. And it’s a bit like being able to do something around the house like cut the grass or something. You just do it and enjoy doing what you do and try and get better at it. That bit requires concentration. I mean to concentrate on what you cannot yet do and keep at it focusing even for ten minutes a day until you crack it. Mostly likely if you keep at it, you’ll do it. But of course, you need to know what you can do and what is the most realistic step to take next. That I think is important. So, I know that I am a songwriter. I have been honing that craft for many years I know I can play various instruments and that I can sing to a certain degree. So I stay within that comfort zone but I know that If I spend ten minutes a day playing a certain thing on the piano that I cannot quite do so well yet I will be able to do it in a few weeks and I keep doing that until in a years’ time I can do all the things I could do a year ago and now I am on a higher level and can do more things as a musician and feel confident do that. But I need to give a few minutes every day to it. Steiner would say that it is not so much spending hours every day doing something that helps us master something but doing something even only 5 minutes is what is important because this activity we absorb into our being and after a time because who we are. I think this is true. So, you just keep doing the thing you want to do every day.

Unfortunately, if you want to be successful in a materialistic sense like be famous or rich from it then you might be forever disappointed because these things are often nothing to do with our own inner capacities. Fortune is just that something that is gifted to us from the gods but if we focus on our capacities that will give us joy and others joy too and then who knows the gods might smile on us.


Skillfully original Dublin-based Swedish creative Skull The Pierre opens up the BEBEYX3 on insightfully enjoyable interview

Showing more creativity in his left pinky finger than most of us will ever feel in our whole lives, Skull The Pierre took time out from getting some rays and baking scrumptious banana bread to lead us into his new much-anticipated release BEBEYX3. Fresh from cooking up a treat with the wine-filled cherry tree nibbling LABUM, the massively inventive Irish-based Stockholm-born artist tells us all with one of the best interviews we’ve done all year. Get those glasses on and let’s roll.

Llewelyn: Skull The Pierre, how in the world are you? Firstly, welcome to A&R Factory and our virtual couch. Would you like a beverage and what can we get you? Firstly, how did you get your artist name? It’s a fantastic musician’s name.

Skull The Pierre: Hello Llewelyn! I’m feeling fantastic thank you and I’m honored to be here for this virtual chat! I’m good for a beverage for now thank you, friend. Ah my artist name, it all started with me balding back in secondary school. My friend started calling me Skalle Pierre (Pierre being my real name) which is a pun on the fictional character Skalle Pär from Astrid Lindgrens ‘Ronja, the Robbers Daugher’. Skalle is Swedish for skull, but it’s also a balding reference, hence why my friend thought it was hilarious. To be honest, so did I and so I made it into my artists name. A couple of years later I decided to give a more international flare and made it Skull The Pierre!

Llewelyn: Alrighty. Where do you live on planet Earth? I’m currently in SW London and it’s supposed to be summer but it’s raining. Why do you stay where you do…what makes it special for you to reside in?

Skull The Pierre: Llewelyn my fellow earthling, I’m not too far away from you, I’ve been residing in Dublin since 2020! I moved here from Stockholm to study music at BIMM Dublin which I am still doing, and I’m absolutely loving it. Not only do I love my college and course but I’m totally in love with the beautiful people of Ireland, and the intimacy of Dublin. The Irish, are -in my experience- so well versed in the fine art of welcoming and embracing the new and different, and they greet strangers with ease and compassion. There’s also excitement and enthusiasm in the Dublin music scene that can’t really be described, only felt. The hard-working and incredibly talented youths of the city only leave space for love and understanding, and the city is small enough that if you want to be a part of it then all you have to do is come along. But hahaha yes it’s like only raining here at the minute as well!

Llewelyn: Ok, let’s chat about music. BEBEYX3, hip-hop and LGBTQ. How do all 3 mix and what was the inspiration behind the new release? LABUM is doing quite well it appears so we’re biting our lips here in anticipation. Also, there’s a music video? Even more excitement! Please…the floor is yours.

Skull The Pierre: Thank you for the great question! How does BEBEYX3, hip-hop and LGBTQ mix… hmm…effortlessly, I’d hope and say! That’s not intended as a braggadocious statement by the way, I love the fact that I’m a gay rapper but I and my life is so much more than that! Ultimately, all my creations are a part of my lifelong task of documenting my life, a life I believe to be well lived, and so I write about it, which embodies all aspects of me. That includes my love and desire for men, but not more or less than any other part of me. I am everything! Besides, things are way cooler when they’re more like easter-eggs anyway.

I can’t remember an exact song or artist that inspired me to make ‘BEBEYX3‘ to be honest, a lot of times the process of making the beat is what inspires the theme, lyrics and the feel of my songs. I can confidently say though that the weather’s hint of summer and career milestones achieved at the time inspired the song. And yes there’s a music video to go with it and it’s gorgeous, if I may say so myself! It was shot by my very talented friend Joe Kelly and together we made something I’m very proud of, it’s definitely my prettiest music video to date!

Ah thank you LABUM and the world I created around it is without a doubt my craziest project to date and my friends and fans have been incredibly kind to it and me.

Llewelyn: Sounds From The Secret Orchard Sessions. These sound like a dream! What’s the energy field here and were you illuminated by being involved?

Skull The Pierre: That was my first ever real interview and to be honest with you, I was giddy beyond belief, and it shows. It was completely a dream come true, and getting to be there with such talented acts, crews, event coordinators, managers etc was such an incredible experience. I might even have something exciting with the SFSOS family in September!

Llewelyn: Music production. Some think it’s easy and some think it’s hard. What’s it really like and what tips would you give youngsters who are keen but aren’t sure about it all?

Skull The Pierre: What a lovely question! I think it can be both but if you don’t find it to be that much fun, then it will definitely be more hard than easy. If I was in a position to give advice, then I would say start with the very basics of what it is you want your DAW to do for you. If you make beats learn how to sample, if you write indie-pop songs on guitar learn how to record guitar and vocals. All the fancy plugins and mixing tips and effects will follow as you grow, learn, and explore. Getting the basics right is all you need, and I think that’s true for most things. Also, give it time, don’t be a perfectionist and love yourself.

Llewelyn: How was the launch party at Crow Bar in Dublin? It looks like we missed out on a big party! Were you happy with the response and the overall vibe from the night?

Skull The Pierre: I think I only understood in retrospect how much it actually meant to me that so many friends and friendly faces were there, and that they were there for me, for something I created. It is still hard to grasp to be honest. It was beautiful, a night I’ll always remember and cherish, and most importantly, it was so much fun. To all the people that came, to everyone that bought merch, posters, books, to everyone that helped on the night, to the bartenders, just to everyone there, thank you, ya’ll are crazy and I love you.

Llewelyn: Lastly…and once again thank you for blessing us with your time today.. who inspires you most in the world and who do you look up to? Who is your team and what advice would you give yourself 5 years ago if you could zip back in a time machine quickly?

Skull The Pierre: Oh thank you for all the wonderful questions! You know, I wholeheartedly believe that I am the luckiest man alive, and that’s almost solely because of my outstanding friends and family that have inspired me every day of my life with their wit and humor, love and compassion, wisdom and foolishness, sensitivity and anger and everything in between. The one that inspires me most in the world though is most likely my grandma Lena. She is an author and writes mostly children’s-books, and her childlike, optimistic, and playful interpretation of the world is probably the greatest gift of all. She also gave me my armor in solitude, my love of writing. Wax (rapper), is my musical idol though, and the one that made me want to make music when I was 14.

My team consists of myself, my manager and friend Josse, my DJ and friend Alvaro, my cameraman and friend Joe, and all my other friends I have the privilege of sharing this life with. Five years ago I’d tell myself to come out of the closet already hahaha!

Check the video out on YouTube.

Feel more of the genuine vibes wash the pain away on IG.

Interview by Llewelyn Screen

Not Foolish to Check Out This Track

“Foolish Things” by Felim is an outstanding folk rock anthem that blends elements of funk and soul to create an irresistibly catchy and uplifting track. The song features a captivating tenor vocal that’s pitch-perfect, with equally ornamental backing vocals that add depth and richness to the arrangement.

The acoustic guitar in “Foolish Things” provides a solid foundation for the rhythm section, creating a tight and cohesive sound that’s impossible not to tap your foot to. The song’s catchy chorus and infectious groove make it an instant earworm, with a sound that’s both familiar and fresh.

On Felim’s website, the artist describes his music as “a celebration of life, love, and the human experience.” This sentiment is evident in “Foolish Things,” with its upbeat and positive energy that’s impossible not to smile and dance along with. Felim’s music is deeply rooted in the folk tradition, but his unique blend of genres and styles gives his sound a modern edge that’s both fresh and timeless.

“Foolish Things” is a prime example of Felim’s exceptional songwriting skills, with a melody that’s both catchy and sophisticated. The song’s lyrics are poetic and introspective, exploring themes of nostalgia and regret with a sense of empathy and understanding. Felim’s ability to capture complex emotions in his music is a testament to his talent as an artist and his dedication to his craft.

“Foolish Things” by Felim is a fantastic folk rock anthem that’s both uplifting and introspective. The song’s catchy chorus, infectious groove, and sophisticated lyrics make it a must-listen for anyone who appreciates high-quality music with a modern twist. Felim’s music is a celebration of life and love, and “Foolish Things” is a perfect example of his exceptional talent as an artist.

Pretty Day: HARRIS stets his eyes on the secrets with Strange Behaviours

Sung with a heightened intensity and so much inner knowledge, HARRIS has just dropped one of the more fascinating tracks the world shall hear today on the mysteriously created, Strange Behaviours.

HARRIS is a Wexford, Ireland-based indie singer-songwriter who has recently released his debut single The Fire Lights Itself and backs up the momentum gained with another gem.

Since he was 16 HARRIS has honed his songwriting craft and has gone on to perform countless gigs on the Dublin open-mic and acoustic showcase circuit while opening for renowned Irish musicians such as John Blek.” ~ HARRIS

Superbly introspective to the core and never letting go for a second, HARRIS is that underground artist that many wish they were. With stunning stories and taking us for a ride of a lifetime, this is a terrifically original release.

Strange Behaviours from Wexford, Ireland-based indie singer-songwriter HARRIS is a darkly webbed ear-stinger which might need medical attention. This is raw stuff and will shock many minds into place, and soar so high with a must-listen song to turn up rather loud.

Stream this new single on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Excellent Irish electronic artist Coex drops a modern-day classic on Hold Me

Transcending through the tempers and finding a happier place, Coex shows us the hype is real on the superb new track to play rather loud on Hold Me.

Fused fantastically by Cormac Crehan and Feargal, Coex is an Ireland-born, West London-raised indie electronic artist and visionary creative with a particular skill set which is only getting better.

”’When writing this track it just seemed to flow as if I was making a DJ set’ explains Cormac, ‘then the rest was just getting the sound design to emulate what I was hearing in my head’. There’s a whole raft of new Coex material in the pipeline, but please don’t expect any consistency in the musical direction, he operates in almost polar opposition to those ideals: “I tend to make music that just encapsulates what I am feeling in that moment as best I can. Being quite an intensely temperamental person, this tends to change quite dramatically from song to song.” ~ Cormac Crehan

Floating into our minds with so much foot-tapping happiness, Hold Me from Coex is one of the best singles of 2023 without doubt.

Righly lauded on the underground and flowing to the top, this is the kind of song which causes drinks to be spilt. Maximum vibration and packed with much might, moving eyes from all current fights and into a much more welcome light.

Hold Me from West London-raised indie electronic artist Coex is one of the more mood-boosting experiences anyone is likely to hear. There is a mass abundance of quality here on offer to heal the heart and get those feet tapping joyously again. Each second is rather riveting and will excite many who crave new heroes to look up to.

Listen up on SoundCloud. See more on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Leave It Behind: Keelan X is ready to embrace himself again on The Other Side

After using this abominable pandemic to rediscover his love for music again, Keelan X got those synths and drum machines striding rather sweetly together on the fine new single to play on loud, The Other Side.

Keelan X is an Ireland/London, UK-based indie synth-pop singer-songwriter who is inspired by those David Bowie-like classics to warm the heart with.

The song has its origins in one of those 3 o’clock in the morning conversations I have with myself. Thoughts bubbling up from the unconscious, nudging at me. The song is essentially about me tentatively embracing my “other side” and dipping my toe back into musical waters – writing and recording music again. I think most people have some other side to themselves that they draw a veil over, another side we bury or let slip as life progresses. That part of you is always whispering in your ear and tapping you on your shoulder, waiting for you on the other side.” ~ Keelan X

Formulated so well and constructed with tailored class, Keelan X returns to great heights and shall improve the mindset of so many lost souls. Feeling that fire again after going deep within to find his purpose, we find a newly reinvigorated spirit to shine brightly with.

The Other Side from Ireland/London, UK-based indie synth-pop artist Keelan X is a rather striking effort for anyone who knows where their love is. Unlocking so much effortless charm and vocals to marvel at like it was the 80s again, this is a top song to be inspired by when the appetite is still there for more.

If you are hungry enough, anything is possible.

See this fab new music video on YouTube and see more energy on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Dublin’s Jamie Dean eases our busy minds with tranquil masterpiece Alaska

Enhancing our mindsets into a better frame of connection to the earth’s beauty, Jamie Dean is rather special on this soaring new single made with so much love and care towards humanity on Alaska.

Jamie Dean is a Dublin, Ireland-based indie electronic music producer who assembles those exquisite melodies to feel free inside its kind coating.

He plays piano, synths, guitar, bass guitar and drums and has emerged as one of Ireland’s most innovative musical artists and composers.” ~ Jamie Dean

Helping our spirits renew so naturally after so much heartbreak and tragedy, Jamie Dean is the modern day superhero who has just walked rather smartly into our lives. Calm to the core and grabbing us onto a riveting ride to a better place in time, it’s hard not to be completely enticed into this box of relaxation.

Alaska from Dublin, Ireland-based indie electronic music producer Jamie Dean is a simply majestic single with so much elegance and light. Taking us all into the clouds and into happier climates, this is a superb single to swim swiftly into when your soul needs a boost.

When you need to be clear minded again, it’s best to close your eyes and imagine somewhere beautiful.

Listen up on Spotify. See more news on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Leila Jane Interview on A&R Factory: Gracefully easing into her excellent release Revolve Evolve

Showing us deep within the right mentality, Leila Jane is at her authentic best and tells us more about her brand new album, which drops tomorrow, Revolve Evolve. Brushing off those fears and doing things her way this is an interview filled with so much insight.

Please let us know more about the 20th November and all its magnificence at the legendary Whelans in Dublin?

Leila: I am very excited about the 20th November as it will celebrate the launch of my new EP Revolve Evolve. I have seen many great bands play in Whelan’s over the seven years that I have lived here and am delighted to have my own headline show there with a full four-piece band behind me. My friend Chris Wilson DC will be playing support on the night!

A little birdie told us it’s your birthday 3 days after the show. Actually, that’s perhaps a tiny fib. You told us. Any plans for your big day or shall you be spending it locked away in the studio?

Leila: That’s right! Well, getting to play Whelan’s with some of my great friends around will be the perfect celebration for me. As for my actual birthday, I have a dentist appointment and then I am playing a pub gig in the evening! :’)

If you had one superpower for 24 hours, what would you be and what would your first mission be?

Leila: I would time travel back to the 1950s and go and find Elvis to have a jam with him!

The music industry is a wild place with many shapes and forms. How do you navigate its vast challenges and stay focused?

Leila: I focus on what is meaningful to me and try not to get too caught up in comparing myself to others or losing myself trying to ”make it”. I please myself first and foremost and have a specific list of my own goals. That way I can carve something out that’s more sustainable, authentic and hopefully connects with people on a deeper level. I am also very grateful to be part of a lovely network of creatives in Dublin, which inspires and supports me.

Please tell us more about your connection with Bleeding Heart Pigeon’s front man Mícheál Keating?

Leila: I found out about Mícheál as I was Googling, as you do, and trying to find a producer that I could work with. Soda Blonde is a great Irish artist and I saw that he had made a remix of one of her tracks…. then I got in touch with him on Instagram and he responded so we eventually organised the recording sessions after some zoom calls. During the lockdowns I would get the bus over to Limerick to record in his studio. I also became a big fan of his band Bleeding Heart Pigeons and their dreamy synth vibes. I was delighted that their drummer, Brendan McInerney got to play on my tracks during the recording process. Mícheál is a very skilled musician and mixing engineer. He was able to translate my demos by ear and understood the style I was going for. So I challenged myself to have the full arrangement planned out on my home demos, because I knew he would be able to hear what was going on and help me record everything to a better standard.

Who inspires you most in the world?

Leila: It is hard to pick one person who inspires me as I get bits of inspiration from people everywhere I go. I’m always admiring traits in everyone I meet and thinking about what I can learn from them- even if they are someone I don’t quite like, I still appreciate our differences. Perhaps that is the actor in me- as I am beginning to explore that side of myself more now. Having said that, I do get inspired by actors like Joaquin Phoenix and Alice Lowe as they bring a lot of humility to their performances and I would hope to be able to do the same, whether it be in my music or any other performances. I admire artists like Mac Demarco and Big Thief for keeping it real. I also think it is important to inspire oneself, and I get great joy from overcoming my fears and achieving things that I didn’t initially think I was capable of!

Last of all, do you have any plans for a tour and what does the future hold in 2023?

Leila: I would love to go on tour, but I will have to wait and see what unfolds. I have connections in the UK and US where I have gigged before, so hopefully I will be able to expand on that in the future. Right now I am really enjoying getting my music videos made as it combines my love for acting and songwriting, and really helps communicate my music. I have been discussing it with some of my videographer friends and I am definitely going to be having fun making more music videos in 2023!

Listen up to this excellent single on Spotify. See more on her IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Ireland-based experimental artist Guilherme Cosme is at his mysterious peak with Fantasia

Including a world class dance that will have you feeling all giddy with intrigue, Guilherme Cosme returns with probably his best song yet on the music video for his new single, Fantasia.

Guilherme Cosme is an Ireland-based experimental singer-songwriter, music producer, composer and founder member of the post-punk act, Mary Bleeds.

Found solace in art at a young age. Born and raised in Brazil, in his teens the self-taught musician begun to write songs. He trained his voice by studying the work of Jazz greats like Andy Bey and the legendary Nina Simone.” ~ Guilherme Cosme

With a real precision and a decisive nature, Guilherme Cosme seems to make special music that has that timeless edge you don’t often hear.

Fantasia from the courageous Brazilian-born alternative creative Guilherme Cosme is a mesmerizing track that shall take your mind away from the messy world and transport us into something different. Caressed with care and wrapped in love, this is a splendid single that might fascinate us more than first expected.

Listen up to this fine track on YouTube and see more vibes on IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Know Me: David San Clair recalls being treated by royalty by that special human on Better Than Myself

Dropped from his brand new 6-track EP Anything Goes, David San Clair returns with a stunning song that might get you in the mood to smile again after so much darkness with Better Than Myself.

David San Clair aka David O’Brien is a Louth/Dublin, Ireland-based indie folk singer-songwriter who performs all the country with his loyal band.

Beating with beauty and showing us his extraordinary lyrical detail, David San Clair sings with such joy and shall certainly enliven up your day. His quality is easy to fall in love with and there is a ray of hope attached here, from a tremendously skilled musician who hasn’t even remotely found his peak yet.

Better Than Myself from Louth/Dublin, Ireland-based indie folk singer-songwriter David San Clair is a delightfully performed song from a world class talent who uplifts us away from any previous sadness. Opening up the door and letting us into the bedroom to that memorable moment that he shall cherish forever, this is a terrific song that feels like is from a different era altogether.

Genuine in nature and steaming with that pure warmth you have either felt before or wish you had, we find an artist who has blessed our healing world with an outstanding single for the ages.

Hear this fine song on Spotify and see more via IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen