Young Irish singer-songwriter Jamie O’Reilly describes his music as Dream Folk and draws inspiration from artists like Ben Howard, Leonard Cohen, Fleet Foxes and Father John Misty. His fragile, soothing voice, together with his poetic and evocative lyrics and soft, whole some guitar picking will cleanse your soul and offer an escape from reality.
How did your musical journey begin?
I started singing when I auditioned for a musical in secondary school called ‘ALL Shook Up’ based around Elvis Presley’s music. I then became a singer-songwriter when I studied at ‘The Rock School’ in Ballyfermot College of Further Education, this is where I began to create my own songs. In my second year of BCFE I went to Germany as part of an international band camp and when I was there I got offered a scholarship to stay and study in Mannheim at the Popakademie. I moved to Germany and there I met my band, we rehearsed the songs I had already and when I wrote new songs we then arranged them together as a band. I never thought that I could create music the way I have with this band. We as a band then decided to record an album which will be released this year. The songs on the album all began with just me and my guitar and then the band came in to make them as they sound today. I couldn’t have been luckier to have a band as good as mine as they all felt the music and knew exactly what the songs needed. I previously just arrived in Germany to record music videos for the album and I was meant to fly home twice but I decided to skip both of my flights and now I am living in Germany. I just finished my Degree in Media Production Management and now I have moved back to Germany to focus on the album release which will be released on the 11th of December.
How would you describe yourself and your music?
I find myself as a friendly person and I feel that my music represents me very well because it’s honest and genuine. My Lyrics are based around my personal thoughts and how I might have felt at a certain stage in my life. I write poems firstly and then I put music to them. Leonard Cohen is a major influence on my style of writing and that is why I write my songs in this style, as he was a poet before he was a songwriter. The genre of my music is Dream Folk and the album also has some incorporations of indie and pop.
What kind of evolution has occurred in your music?
I used to be a one man show but now I have a full band backing me and they know what’s right for the music. they understand it and feel it and have helped me to create this album.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Moving to Germany to study at the Popakademie where I recorded my Album was the biggest highlight of my career. It opened up so many doors for me. I’m now back in Germany where I’m going to release the album and also write and record new music.
How has the lockdown affected you? What was it like to release music over lockdown?
Lockdown in Ireland was difficult, after the first lockdown it really had an impact on everyone’s everyday lives and still does. Life wasn’t normal and no gigs were being played and the musicians are just being left to one side. In regards to releasing music, I have been very fortunate as I am currently living in Germany with my two managers, so we have daily meetings on what our next steps are and this has been great in regards to planning and releasing music. Now that I’m back in Germany, I can record with my band, have meetings with management and release new music. So living in Germany is definitely what’s best for me right now.
What challenges have you faced as a musician?
I get nervous before gigs and a bit anxious but it’s something I can overcome. A challenge that I faced in Ireland was looking for ways to make some sort of a living from playing music. The challenges now are that there are no gigs due to COVID 19. I was hopeful for a release gig for the album but now that is not possible so we will have to come up with an alternative option.
What challenges do you think the music industry face going forward?
To get musicians a fair deal on their music and for Spotify to give musicians more money per stream because right now it’s just not reasonable. With COVID 19 there is no way of seeing how the music industry is going to survive. Gigs are not an option and this is a main source of income for most musicians.
What plans do you have going forward?
I plan to release my album and hopefully begin recording some new music soon but firstly to focus on this album release.
What hopes do you have for the industry in the future?
I hope that musicians are treated fairly and for music to be seen as a vital part to everyone’s everyday lives, this should be recognised. Musicians deserve to live from what they do and not to be told otherwise.
Jamie’s debut album‚ “Me and Only Me” will be available from December 11th 2020.