It’s less than nine months since Dublin singer songwriter Keith Cullen graced the stage at youbloom LA last November. In that nine months Keith has been working the scene in Dublin, London and LA . He’s juggling time zones and body clocks to be in the right place at the right time. Thankfully, it all worked out. So far.
The big news from Keith is that he has signed a management deal with Phil Quartararo – Former CEO at Virgin records, Warner bros and EMI. Phil is credited with numerous musical legends like Madonna, Smashing Pumpkins, Rolling Stones, Janet Jackson, Eric Clapton, Red Hot chilli peppers. He was the guy who was instrumental in breaking U2 into the American market.
Keith managed to get double Grammy winner Bob Cutarella to produce his new album. Bob has worked with musical heroes like Chaka Khan, Michael Jackson, Sheena Easton, Air Supply, Melissa Manchester, Whitney Houston, Michael Henderson, Diana Ross, Deborah Allen, Dolly Parton, The Police, Elton John, REM, Culture Club, Human League, ABC, Linda Rondstadt, Frank Sinatra to name but a few. This heavy hitter has produced records with Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Joss Stone, Sting, Billy Gibbons(ZZ TOP), Allison Krauss, Joe Perry (Aerosmith), John Rzeznik (The Goo Goo Dolls), Keith Richards and Cyndi Lauper He won two Grammys in 2005 and currently is soliciting music for American Idol, X Factor, and the Voice.
The KC dream team is ready. Keith, Bob, Phil and the woman behind it all Jennifer Cullen. Jennifer is Keith’s sister and manager. They both ran a highly successful commercial business back in the boom, they have both given it all up to follow the dream to see Keith succeed as an artist. Keith lists off his highlights since youbloom LA as having his song “ Say Something” placed into the film “High Strung”, signing the management deal with Phil, working with Bob and his longtime sonic companion JJ Daly and hanging with Hozier during Grammy season in LA.
“It’s really weird hearing your music on a film, like sitting there watching the movie, then your song comes on. It’s amazing, don’t get me wrong but it takes time to actually take it in, when it materialises. I still can’t believe it when I think about it”. Keith found himself in the artistic company of Jayne Seymour and “Inception” and “Batman” actor Andrew Pleavin, both of whom starred in the film.
2015 has been really productive for Keith so far, but it didn’t happen overnight. Keith has been chasing his musical ambitions since 2010. He quickly realised that the music scene in Ireland was too small for him to succeed. Controlled by a few key players with a significant challenge to get airtime on Irish radio, it’s a story many Irish artists will relate to. Keith and Jennifer began sussing out the scene in LA and London.
Funding trips to conventions, meetings and festivals they both networked every opportunity. Wading through the swamps of bullshit to eventually find key people and big chances to make an impression. The impression seems to be working, but as Keith will tell you “ we treated it like a business. We quickly understood who could deliver and who was bullshitting. You can bluff all day, but it’s the ones who deliver to make the grade”. And the grade has been made. There’s no big label news yet, but I get the feeling… it won’t be long now.
If you have a musical niggle that won’t go away, take a look at the apply to play form for #youbloomLA2015. You never know, it might be you we are writing about in 2016.