BN1 chats with KINGFISHR ahead of The Great Escape

What inspired you to pursue a career in music and how did you get started? 

We got started back in college when we were studying engineering in Limerick. We all played music quite a bit between house parties, trad sessions and cover gigs. When COVID lockdowns hit, Fitz and Eddie happened to be living together and rather than study or do any assignments we started writing tunes and just loved it. We wrote Eyes Don’t Lie first and McGoo lived down the road so we asked him if he’d just improvise over it. Instantly we knew between the 3 of us we had something, hard to describe what it was at the time but we really loved the process of writing the tunes and everything just kind of exploded from there. 

Can you share a memorable experience from a previous live performance that  has stayed with you?

In the last couple of months, we got the opportunity to headline the Olympia Theatre in Dublin. For an Irish artist the Olympia is iconic, and it was one of the first goals we set out to accomplish as a band. I think standing on the stage and hearing every person sing our songs back at us is something none of us will forget.

 How does the music scene in Brighton influence your creativity and style? 

One of the first gigs we’d ever played was a Sofar Sounds session in Brighton. We were very young and inexperienced at the time, but the crowd gave us a standing ovation. That was one of the first times we felt we had won an audience and gave us a lot of confidence going forward.

 What message or emotions do you aim to convey through your music to your audience?

Hope is probably the most dominant emotion. Even when things are as shit as they could be, there’s always a way back. I think everyone has had experience in that department so it’s something we feel strongly about. 

Who are some of your musical influences and how have they shaped your sound? 

I would say all 3 of us have different answers for this. Eddie would be strongly influenced by Ben Howard’s first album, Snow Patrol’s Fallen Empires album, anything Bon Ivor does, and Fitz takes a big influence from Dermot Kennedys debut album and Walking on Cars. McGoo has a strong connection to Trad music in Ireland. He brings a very different influence from people like Gerry O’Connor and Bears Den. The combination of those we find really interesting and puts us in a cool space. 

 How has your music evolved since you first started creating and performing?

It’s funny, I remember the first time we walked into studio we didn’t know what we were doing. We wanted to be exactly the same live as we were on records. So we set ourselves a 10 track limit for each song, nothing but the instruments, vocals and some harmonies were to be recorded. That is still true but completely unrealistic. We also love film soundtracks and how they can take you on a journey. We wanted our songs to do that which is why a lot of them now will start small and quiet but will finish very loud and full.

 What do you hope the audience takes away from your performance?

I know it’s quite the cliche answer but honestly we’re on stage to have a good time. There’s a lot of hard work goes into preparing the live show but once that’s finished and you get up in front of the crowd all you want to do is enjoy it. And all you want from the audience is to enjoy it as much as we do. 

 How do you stay motivated and inspired to create music, especially during challenging times?

It’s like a lot of things, sometimes you’ll be ultra motivated to create and you’ll write 2 songs a day for a week. And some weeks it gets harder. We are really lucky to have a base of operations in the countryside in Tipperary on a Farm, it really helps to go back there and reset when there’s been a lot happening. We always seem to be able to write songs there.

If you could collaborate with any musician, living or deceased, who would it be and why?

Another question that’ll have 3 different answers, Eddie’s dream Collab would be Bon Ivor, obsessed with everything the lad does. Fitz would love to work with Johnny Cash and McGoo coming out of left field would love to work with Childish Gambino and Louis Armstrong. 

Lastly, what advice would you give to aspiring artists looking to break into the music industry?

Having a group of people you can trust is so important. Friends who will honestly tell you when a tune is good or when you might be doing the right/wrong thing is so important.


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