Wed 14 Feb 2024

Interview with… Damien Dempsey


Ahead of his UK tour next month we caught up with iconic Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey…

How did you first get into music?

I heard a folk song that the old people used to sing at parties performed in a rock and roll style by a black Irishman.

You released your latest single ‘Hope Calling’ last year, can you tell us about the track?

Where there is life there is hope.

You’re also working on a new album that will be released this year. How is it coming along and what can we expect?

I’m actually working on two albums, an original and a traditional. I have a big amount of young fans and I know if I do an album of old songs many of the young people will learn these songs, and the baton will be passed on.

What does your writing process look like, is it always the same?

Some songs have to be cinematic for people. You take them on a journey and then you need a few sing along choruses but we do try to change the sound on every album.

You’ll be heading out on your own UK headline tour in March, are you looking forward to the dates?

I feel so lucky to be able to go to Gateshead or Glasgow or Bristol, and people will save up and buy tickets, get taxis, babysitters, hotels, flights etc and come to the shows with a full heart and sing like there is no tomorrow and I feel I’ve made it.

If someone hasn’t heard your music before, what song would you direct them to and why? Who are your inspirations and how have they shaped you as a singer-songwriter?

‘Negative Vibes’. A call to arms against the naysayers, bullies and jerk offs. My inspiration are soul singers, people who when they sing you know they’re transported somewhere else – Sinead O’Connor, Luke Kelly, Bob Marley and Christy Moore.

What does 2024 have in store for you?

Possibly a one man show in the Irish Centre in NY for a theatre show that I wrote, it already has a sold out run in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and lots of festivals and shows.

Have you got any messages for your fans?

Be kind to ourselves and look after each other.

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