“Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music.”
One of the most influential composers of his time and to this day, Sergei Rachmaninoff’s name might not exactly conjure images of blazing guitars and hot tubs full of topless, adoring groupies. Yet the Russian musician kept his nose to the musical grindstone despite repeated tragedy in his early life, eventually rising to fame as one of the Soviet Union’s biggest names.
The topless groupies would come later – Sergei was reportedly a regular at Los Angeles’ notoriously debaucherous Garden of Allah hotel in the 40s, one of the original secret sin palaces for the world’s biggest stars and their friends. Rachmaninoff is also the man credited with the quote above, something anyone with a passion for music can attest is pretty bang on the money.
My point? Life is short, as our friend Rachmaninoff has famously observed. And, like the Russian firehouse, if you’ve got things you want to do, there’s no time like right effin’ now to make tracks towards seeing them through. So we wanted to know what artists from the youbloom Dublin 2016 Music Festival (June 1-3) list as their Top 3 BEFORE I DIE must-dos. Here’s what they had to say:
Kellie Marie, singer-songwriter, acoustic and electric guitars, Kellie Marie Reynolds: ‘
1 | Selling out Whelans!!!!
2 | Selling out the Olympia.
3 | Supporting my heroes, Laura Marling, Patti Smith, and PJ Harvey.
One of the most unique vocalists to find her way on to the youbloom bill in quite some time, Kellie Marie Reynolds crafts a wicked concoction of stripped-down acoustic melodies, intimate cabaret-style whispers and growling crescendos featuring all the vocal power of a hurricane. She’s up there with the best, and not one to miss. For fans of: Concrete Blonde, Ruth Brown, Rose Royce.
Rob & Ashlee, Fresh Ré:
1 | Win a major award. It would be a great feeling and would mean a lot to me.
2 | Having a song hit number one in the charts and knowing people love what you’re doing would be incredible.
3 | Perform at a massive event such as Glastonbury, or else headline our own show in a massive venue like Wembley stadium and sell it out.
1 | Capture the hearts of millions of people with our music.
2 | Tour the world with our band.
3 | Get to have the best job in the world being able to play music and do what you love for the rest of your life.
Some of the youngest artists ever to play at youbloom – and we’re guessing most any other place they’ve played as well – five-piece pop musicians Fresh Ré play modern cover tunes with so much fun and energy they blow musicians twice their age off the stage. They’re sincere, they’re dedicated, and most of all, they’re good. For fans of: Vazquez Sounds, AJ Silva, Leeloo Love.
Killian Ruffley, singer, guitarist and songwriter:
1 | One thing I’ve always wanted to do is completely just up and go and live somewhere in complete isolation with nothing but musical equipment and write and record an album.
I would love to know what someone’s creative capacity is when removed from everyday, civilized life. So many things clog our creative thinking in the modernized world that it can interfere with how we write music and how we judge what we write.
2 | I’ve also always wanted one of my songs to be used in a well-known film or TV show. I’m a big movie fan. If (you’re watching) an emotional part of a scene, everyone knows how much a good song can really make it hit home.
3 | I’ve always wanted to play to a couple thousand people and have them all singing my songs back to me I mean, what musician doesn’t dream about that?!?
Emotive, powerful vocals are the first standout element in Irish singer-songwriter Killian Ruffley’s tunes, which defy categorisation, straddling the line somewhere between 2010s indie stylistics and 90s-influenced hit rock radio (with even a little trad and funk thrown in for good measure). Ruffley is no slouch, doing things his own way, with top notch results. For fans of: Biffy Clyro, Young the Giant, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Shane Ó Fearghail, singer-songwriter:
1 | To be a songwriter producing albums. Box already ticked!
2 | To be an artist working with other musicians and artists, collaborating, making a living, travelling and writing. Box ticked!
3 | To create and develop studios in the Alps and Ireland where writers and artists can come together to produce material, hang out, network and develop their crafts as well as work on new concepts. Working on it!
Vienna-dwelling Tallaght native Shane Ó Fearghail has the kind of vocal style that has traditionally always paired magically with an acoustic guitar. It’s the kind of music that sweeps you up in its storytelling, takes you for a ride and drops you off miles from home without a phone. Thing is, you don’t mind the walk back, humming the tune now stuck in your head. One to watch. For fans of: Loudoun Wainwright III, Ron Sexsmith, Daniel Lanois
**What do you think? If you had to list three things to check off your professional – or personal – bucket list, what would they be?