An Irish songwriter with a great deal of self-effacing charm, Maria Kelly also has bucket loads of talent. Her new single, ‘Before It Has Begun’, was released on December 1st through Veta Records – you can hear it below and find out more about the young lady herself:

 

  1. Where and when did you first discover your interest in music?

My older brother began playing keyboard at quite a young age and I think I was actually quite jealous of him so I wanted to learn an instrument too! I got a guitar for Christmas when I was about 10 and I started lessons with a Irish Trad musician soon after. I quickly discovered that this wasn’t exactly my forte though so I began to teach myself my favourite songs instead. And I guess it took off from there really!

  1. What are your main ambitions in the industry?

One major ambition of mine is to be able to see the world through music. I’d love to tour one day! And to be able to bring my music to that many people around the world just seems like the coolest thing. But above all, I’d love my music to get to the stage where it really connects with people. Where they find some meaning within the song. I can’t describe how much certain artists have meant to me and I can only hope that something I create can one day mean as much to someone in the same way. (Cheeeesy or whaaat!)

  1. When did you start writing your own songs/music?

I began writing as soon as I got a guitar! Of course, there were some ridiculous songs at this age. My first song was a co-write with my best friend, entitled ‘My Potato Sack’ and it was, quite literally, about a potato sack. The minds of 10 year old kids are pretty weird, huh?! But I would say I delved deep into (proper!) songwriting from that age on.

  1. What would you say is your music career highlight to date?

It happened very recently actually – playing Other Voices in Dingle this year! For those who may not of heard of it, it’s a festival in a small town in Kerry, where some pretty big names come to play every year, for example Hozier, Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, even Amy Winehouse a few years back. I played a little gig in a restaurant over the weekend and I can’t explain how heartwarming it was to be given the chance to do that. It honestly meant so much.

  1. Who will we hear in your songs? What are your influences?

I would say that Regina Spektor has influenced my work more than any other artist. I was given her album ‘Begin To Hope’ when I was younger and it completely opened up my eyes to lyric writing. Her lyrics are both beautiful and dark and so though-provoking. I try to emulate some of her ‘quirkiness’ through my own work. She balances between fun and serious quite well and I guess I try to do the same!

I also take great influence from the likes of Kina Grannis and Lucy Rose. Both in song structure and general theme. I like writing about the thought processes of different people. I find it so interesting that we could all look at the same situation and see it in millions of different ways. I also tend to write about love a lot (surprise!) but in a very human, innocent way.

  1. What’s the most important thing you’d want to tell people about your current release?

I guess the most important thing about the release of ‘Before It Has Begun’ is that it’s very important to me as a song, mainly because it took me the guts of 4 years (!!) to finish! There’s actually been about 10 different versions of that song! But this year, I finally finished the lyrics and I hope that I successfully captured what I was trying to say. It’s about someone who meant a lot to me and I wanted to do the story justice!

  1. Who else can you recommend from your genre or local area for people to have a listen to?

Well I’m currently studying in BIMM Dublin so there is an abundance of amazingly talented musicians around me everyday. Three that spring to mind are Christian Collins, Elm and Be Curious, Kid. They’re all fantastic musicians who have been working so hard over the past year. Apart from BIMM, I’m totally obsessed with Saint Sister at the moment! They’re an “atmosfolk” duo and I’ve just never heard anything like it before. Definitely worth checking all of them out!

  1. Any gigs coming up?

I’m heading over to London for my next gig to play the Veta Records Christmas Party in The Lock Tavern! I’ve only played in London once before so I’m eager to get back over for another gig. Apart from that, I’m keeping my head down to write for a while! Once 2016 rolls round, I hope to dive back into the gigging scene with a full band in tow!

  1. Where can we find/follow you online?

The best place to keep up to date with what I’m doing is probably my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/mariakelly.mk
And at the moment, you can listen to my music for free (and have a free download if you like!) on Soundcloud. https://soundcloud.com/mariakelly-1
Other than that, you can enjoy my random thoughts on Twitter or my love for pretty notebooks and awkward selfies on Instagram!

 

  1. Where and when did you first discover your interest in music?

My older brother began playing keyboard at quite a young age and I think I was actually quite jealous of him so I wanted to learn an instrument too! I got a guitar for Christmas when I was about 10 and I started lessons with a Irish Trad musician soon after. I quickly discovered that this wasn’t exactly my forte though so I began to teach myself my favourite songs instead. And I guess it took off from there really!

  1. What are your main ambitions in the industry?

One major ambition of mine is to be able to see the world through music. I’d love to tour one day! And to be able to bring my music to that many people around the world just seems like the coolest thing. But above all, I’d love my music to get to the stage where it really connects with people. Where they find some meaning within the song. I can’t describe how much certain artists have meant to me and I can only hope that something I create can one day mean as much to someone in the same way. (Cheeeesy or whaaat!)

  1. When did you start writing your own songs/music?

I began writing as soon as I got a guitar! Of course, there were some ridiculous songs at this age. My first song was a co-write with my best friend, entitled ‘My Potato Sack’ and it was, quite literally, about a potato sack. The minds of 10 year old kids are pretty weird, huh?! But I would say I delved deep into (proper!) songwriting from that age on.

  1. What would you say is your music career highlight to date?

It happened very recently actually – playing Other Voices in Dingle this year! For those who may not of heard of it, it’s a festival in a small town in Kerry, where some pretty big names come to play every year, for example Hozier, Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, even Amy Winehouse a few years back. I played a little gig in a restaurant over the weekend and I can’t explain how heartwarming it was to be given the chance to do that. It honestly meant so much.

  1. Who will we hear in your songs? What are your influences?

I would say that Regina Spektor has influenced my work more than any other artist. I was given her album ‘Begin To Hope’ when I was younger and it completely opened up my eyes to lyric writing. Her lyrics are both beautiful and dark and so though-provoking. I try to emulate some of her ‘quirkiness’ through my own work. She balances between fun and serious quite well and I guess I try to do the same!

I also take great influence from the likes of Kina Grannis and Lucy Rose. Both in song structure and general theme. I like writing about the thought processes of different people. I find it so interesting that we could all look at the same situation and see it in millions of different ways. I also tend to write about love a lot (surprise!) but in a very human, innocent way.

  1. What’s the most important thing you’d want to tell people about your current release?

I guess the most important thing about the release of ‘Before It Has Begun’ is that it’s very important to me as a song, mainly because it took me the guts of 4 years (!!) to finish! There’s actually been about 10 different versions of that song! But this year, I finally finished the lyrics and I hope that I successfully captured what I was trying to say. It’s about someone who meant a lot to me and I wanted to do the story justice!

  1. Who else can you recommend from your genre or local area for people to have a listen to?

Well I’m currently studying in BIMM Dublin so there is an abundance of amazingly talented musicians around me everyday. Three that spring to mind are Christian Collins, Elm and Be Curious, Kid. They’re all fantastic musicians who have been working so hard over the past year. Apart from BIMM, I’m totally obsessed with Saint Sister at the moment! They’re an “atmosfolk” duo and I’ve just never heard anything like it before. Definitely worth checking all of them out!

  1. Any gigs coming up?

I’m heading over to London for my next gig to play the Veta Records Christmas Party in The Lock Tavern! I’ve only played in London once before so I’m eager to get back over for another gig. Apart from that, I’m keeping my head down to write for a while! Once 2016 rolls round, I hope to dive back into the gigging scene with a full band in tow!

  1. Where can we find/follow you online?

The best place to keep up to date with what I’m doing is probably my Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/mariakelly.mk
And at the moment, you can listen to my music for free (and have a free download if you like!) on Soundcloud. https://soundcloud.com/mariakelly-1
Other than that, you can enjoy my random thoughts on Twitter or my love for pretty notebooks and awkward selfies on Instagram!