Life and death. Oh my gosh. My relationship with all of my early songs has changed. I only get them out on very special occasions. When I listen back to the songs and the lyrics, I do feel a bit silly at some of the lyrics. I feel like they’re kind of immature and they’re a real marker of that time, where I feel like I didn’t know anything about anything and I would write a very naïve perspective of what I thought love was. When I think back to those situations, I think that actually was me a lot of the time in the raw or me doing something stupid. In the song, I maybe portray it as differently or the other person’s fault. I do think about my old songs a lot in that way, but I don’t regret writing them. Once time has passed, I keep having to move on with songs. They’re real markers in the book that I keep writing. It’s very hard for me to go back in time with them, but “Anything Could Happen” is a big favorite because I just remember being in such a happy place when I wrote it.
Global star on-the-rise Dermot Kennedy today releases his incredible new single ‘OUTNUMBERED’, alongside the release date for his debut album ‘WITHOUT FEAR’ – due September 27th – and his biggest ever UK and Ireland tour in December. Pre-order the album by 12pm BST on June 18th and receive a unique code that will allow access to a ticket pre-sale for upcoming live dates in the UK & Ireland. Tickets go on general sale via on June 21st, with pre-sale starting June 19th. ‘Outnumbered’ is available now via all DSPs LINK.
Folk singer-songwriter Dermot Kennedy has quickly taken the world by storm, rising from a small town in Ireland to release a number of charting singles as well as work with revered musicians and producers like Glen Hansard and Mike Dean (Kanye West, Travis Scott). In 2017, the dynamic performer went on the U.S. festival circuit and played Lollapalooza, South by Southwest, Austin City Limits and Bonnaroo, making an international name for himself with his high-energy shows. The following year, he went on a world tour and played shows in the U.S., Australia and Europe, hitting Coachella and also playing an NPR Tiny Desk Concert after being voted NPR Slingshot Best New Artist of the Year. Kennedy’s live shows flesh out his intimate tunes with a full band, bringing the audience fully inside his expressive songs. Kennedy’s tour in 2019 took him across multiple continents as he incorporated tracks from his sophomore album, Without Fear, into his set.
Convincing listeners has never been something Kennedy’s struggled with. He sings with a fire in his soul and writes with raw, unfiltered honesty reflective of both his emotional and musical maturity. It’s a rare combination that enables both his recordings and performances to cover such a wide and potent spectrum. Celebratory and solemn. Playful and serious. Analog and electronic. Dermot Kennedy has always been fascinated by extremes.
Now selling out shows in the US and Europe – without even releasing a debut album first – it seems Kennedy is on an ascending stairway to success. STG Presents & Live Nation Welcomes Dermot Kennedy to The Paramount Theatre on Sunday, January 26, 2020.
Yeah. I think I have a couple of changes that I want to make to the set. I’m excited about Lollapalooza. I’m excited about all of the festivals. And I’m excited about Lollapalooza because of the history that it has and there’s so many people playing there. There’s going to be a lot of artists that I’m going to get to see that I have never seen before, so that will be great. I’m just trying to go into with an open mind.
One of Ireland’s biggest successes of 2019 has to be Dermot Kennedy. He’s been working hard and honing his craft for the last few years, but this year Dermot has reached new heights and really hit the big time.
It was melancholy because I had just broken up with somebody, which as we all know is for some reason the most painful thing in the world, but at the same time I was back in my hometown writing with somebody that also lives in my hometown and we just came up with this song, and whenever I play it live it just has this euphoria and brings everyone together and I see people in the crowd just so happy and it has some kind of rave element to it that makes everyone go a little bit crazy. Yeah, so I have such good memories of that song and it was also just one of those songs I wrote in half an hour. It just happened. I also am very proud of the song “Flux,” which I played earlier. I was just proud of myself for the honesty and the way that I managed to capture what I was feeling.
It was awesome. It’s the first time in a long I’ve performed at a festival and the first festival I’ve done in the U.S. When I first started making music I had the opportunity to do a couple of festivals abroad. But those are actually tented, so it felt like I was inside. This is the first festival I’ve played that was open air. I had a great time. I’ve never been to Napa before, it was beautiful.
They line up in a way. I wrote the song quite a while ago, and it was one of those lovely things that kind of came together in a day, almost. It was this really organic thing where—my favorite days in studios are when you don’t second guess everything. I didn’t know it was going to be a single, and I didn’t know what the plan was for it, so I guess it was a good thing I was just there to make music. If it worked, happy days, and if not, then it was fine.
Yeah, I came home one night and I was a bit drunk and I think we’d been out camping somewhere in a field. I grew up in the middle of nowhere. I switched on the TV. Tiny box TV at the time and Björk was singing on stage somewhere. I think maybe at the Albert Hall in London. I just remember being completely transfixed. I’d never seen anyone sing or perform like it before. All of a sudden I’d gone from listening to pop singers. I loved Lauryn Hill I loved Alicia Keys I loved Beyoncé I loved Destiny’s Child I loved girl groups, and then I saw this singer and it resonated with me because people had always told me that I shouldn’t sing because I had this really unusual voice. It had such a lack of control and I could sing high, I could sing low, I could sing hard, I could sing soft. I could do these crazy things with my voice, but it didn’t ever really seem to have a place anywhere and I couldn’t write the right songs and nothing seemed to sound right.
Dermot recently appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for his debut US TV performance, quickly followed by an appearance on one of America’s top talk shows The Ellen Show, wowing both crowds with a performance of powerhouse single ‘Power Over Me’. The track has also reached #1 airplay charts in France, Germany and Belgium and reached Double Platinum in Ireland, Platinum in the Netherlands and Switzerland and Gold in Canada.
The first CD I ever bought, it was a live album by an Irish band called The Frames Do you know them? It’s Glen Hansard’s band from when he was like 19 to this day. Every now and then they’ll play a show in Dublin, they’re the best. Couldn’t tell you what age I was, maybe 11, 12, I saw them on TV. I barely even owned a guitar yet, so I hadn’t awakened that part of my brain where I would judge music, but just whatever Glen Hansard was doing, I was locked in to him expressing himself. I was so drawn to that, so I bought the album the next day. Just incredible.
Kennedy made the most of his time in the spotlight, performing a stunning rendition of his 2016 single “After Rain.” Praised by the BBC and hailed by The Irish Times as “woodsy romantic folk pop,” the track would go on to rack up a staggering 19 million streams on Spotify, where Kennedy averages nearly 2 million monthly listeners these days.
Just don’t expect him to abandon his roots entirely. “Considering the lineage we’ve got in Ireland in music and the songwriters we’ve had, I’m so glad to be part of that. I don’t want to go too far. The trick is to be able to strip a song of all its production and for it to still tell a good story that makes you feel something. Certain things run through all sorts of music that appeal to me, whether that’s a hip-hop artist or a singer-songwriter: honesty and a good story.”Dermot Kennedy’s story, you get the feeling, is just beginning.
Goulding recently stopped by the Recording Academy headquarters for an in-depth conversation in our latest episode of Up Close & Personal, which you can watch above and check out on our YouTube page for a longer version of the video , as well as the other recent episodes Read on to learn how she feels when she looks back on the songs she’s written over the last decade, what it was like to work with Diplo and Skrillex and how she’s always loved electronic music. She also explains her reaction to hearing GRAMMY nominee Björk for the first time, why environmental activism is so important to her and more.
Teasing his fans with a tiny snippet of the track a few weeks ago, Dermot revealed that The Corner is the ‘most honest’ song he’s ever written, and you can feel that from the first note. This song is a whole journey is just three minutes – opening with just vocals and a few picks of acoustic guitar then slowly building, as many of his tracks do, to a full band before ending as it started, with nothing but Dermot’s flawless voice echoing the touching last line – let me keep you from the cold.” ‘Lost’ and ‘All My Friends’ are two more songs that will not be new to fans, with the latter getting the tiniest little revamp for the release of the album. They are both big songs with the potential to win over big crowds, and Lost offers a welcome burst of energy at an otherwise increasingly melancholy moment in the album.
Streaming success stories might be increasingly commonplace, but it’s not often artists build a global following solely off the platform, before getting signed or even having management. Put into perspective, Kennedy is still more popular across America than he is in his native Ireland. He is, of course, now signed to management (which, by the way, he shares with Dua Lipa and Lana Del Rey) and he also has a label. But as with so many shrewd young artists these days, he waited until exactly the right time to sign. Sign too early and musicians are at the mercy of overbearing execs who at best can push their own vision for the music and at worst can shelve them completely. But build a brand first and artists like Kennedy get to call the shots in their careers. The leverage you can have if you are already growing and proving it is massive. The shows we did in LA and New York sold out. No one else unsigned was doing that,” he says.
Sometimes I’m like, “God, do I really want to write this about this person?” but sometimes I just have to tell the truth and even if it shows how emotional I am or shows my true colors or whatever, it just has to happen. That was one of those moments with that song. I’m proud of all the songs I’ve written. I’m proud of the huge cheesy pop songs and I’m proud of the more obscure weird ones, like when I first released a song called “Under the Sheets” on an EP with a song called “Fighter Plane,” and I’m proud of how I was thinking at that age. I was maybe 20 and I was already writing in a somewhat mature way. Laughs. I’m having a proud moment.
After he self-published on Spotify, some of Kennedy’s music found its way onto Discover Weekly playlists, which helped him get noticed by a wider audience. His first charting single, “Young & Free,” reached No. 82 on the Irish Singles Chart, but his breakthrough came with 2018’s “Power Over Me,” which reached No. 10 on the Irish Singles Chart, No. 21 on the U.S.’s Hot Rock Songs and No. 5 on Adult Alternative. “Power Over Me” has since been certified gold. Kennedy signed to Interscope and, in January 2019, released his self-titled debut album, which hit No. 5 on the Irish charts.
It took a long time before I really felt a shift, like oh, this is the right decision. I think sometimes I often even now that I’ve been on tour and I’m not playing in parking lots anymore. Even though I still would. I’d do whatever I had to do. But even now sometimes I have doubts. I’m like, was this the right choice? But I think when I got to meet John Mayer, the person I looked up to and who he’s the guy who inspired me to make music. So when he was like, “You done good,” I was like okay, cool. That’s dope. Because I was like, “I want to be you.” And then he said, when I was doing his “Current Mood” Instagram show, “You’re kind of like a version of me.” I was like, “Dope.” That’s what I’m trying for. That moment I was like, okay cool. This was not a terrible decision.
Dermot’s had a pretty stunning three years or so. Having began his musical career busking on the streets of Dublin selling eight track CDs for a fiver, he’s since play multiple shows at the Olympia Theatre and Vicar Street respectively.
Well I think the first person that kind of opened me up to songwriting was Adele. I was like 12 probably when that first album 19 came out. And I feel like that was when I first realized that you can actually write a whole song. And before that I was always kinda writing jingles and stuff like that. But I didn’t really realize that you could express an emotion. And I feel like Adele was the first person that made me realize that humans have emotions that you can relate to. And then I think, you know, when I was a teenager, the older I got the more into like pop music, I really started to just like grow really fascinated with and I was just obsessed with it.
Every online ticket order of two (2) or more tickets comes with one (1) CD of Dermot Kennedy’s upcoming album, Without Fear.” After your ticket purchase you’ll receive an additional email in the coming weeks with instructions on how to redeem your album. US residents only. One CD per online order. Not valid for Fan to Fan Resale. Please Note: Not all events will be participating in the album bundle offer. Maximum of 4 albums redeemed per household.
I think it’s their honesty. That’s why I like certain hip-hop artists and writers. You can just tell when someone’s not being real. I think that’s why I like Stormzy so much because he’s got super heavy songs that are taking shots at everybody, but then there’s a song about his mom. Laughs He just has this unashamed sensitivity, so I feel like he’s telling his truth all the time. He feels like a real person. Artists can do what they think people will like, but if they get good results by just doing what feels right then that’s the jackpot.
Tickets priced from €30.90 including booking fee & €1 restoration levy are now sold out, that went on sale via , usual Ticketmaster outlets nationwide ( list here ) including The Olympia Theatre Box Office, and by calling Ticketmaster at The Olympia Phone Bookings on 0818 719 330. Please note; only 4 tickets allowed per transaction.
Without Fear can be homogenous or overwrought, but at best Kennedy wears his heart and guts on his sleeve to powerful effect. An Evening I Will Not Forget offers a hand to a friend experiencing desperate times: that’s no way to be living, kid, the angel of death is ruthless.” The beautifully stripped-down The Corner tackles urban homelessness: Holding, waiting for something that will keep you from the cold.” The title track’s ethereal strings and juxtaposition of imagery – a sky of royal blue” and a graveside – are particularly startling, and even the album’s more machine-polished moments can’t deny the raw humanity or that colossus of a voice.
That was cool. Mike Dean was on his laptop texting Travis Scott, because that was in the middle of them working on Scott and Quavo’s collaborative album Huncho Jack. He had to mix that as soon as I was gone, and so he was in constant contact with Travis Scott. He was actually texting Travis Scott while he was doing his remix of Moments Passed.” If I were to play a song for Travis Scott it would be that one anyway—it’s got this crazy intro of these pitched vocals. So, Mike got on FaceTime with Travis Scott, and then I was on FaceTime with Travis Scott, just talking about music. That was the best for it to happen, with Mike Dean just handing me the phone, because otherwise I’d freak out.
2019 is set to be Kennedy’s year. His global streaming numbers continue to rise (over 600m across all platforms) and with 6m+ monthly listeners on Spotify alone, as well as recent praise from the likes of the Evening Standard, British GQ, Complex Magazine and The Independent. All success points to Dermot Kennedy.
Global star on-the-rise DERMOT KENNEDY today releases his incredible new single ‘OUTNUMBERED’, alongside the release date for his debut album ‘WITHOUT FEAR’ – OUT NOW – and his biggest ever UK and Ireland tour in December.