Daoiri Farrell is no ordinary Irish folk singer

Daoiri Farrell is no ordinary Irish folk singer

To start with, his name, pronounced ‘Derry’, is one that few people have seen before.

“It’s a bit of a blessing and a curse really,” he said.

“I can use my name for anything I want really, and my website is simply daoiri.com, but it’s getting people to find it in the first place.”

Then there’s the fact that he’s been on quite a journey to get to where he is today as he embarks on his first fully-fledged solo tour.

The only truly musical person in his family, Daoiri didn’t grow up with an instrument in his hand and only gained an interest in music when he was about 13.

However, like many before him and many since, he was mesmerised the first time he saw Christy Moore.

Daoiri Farrell is no ordinary Irish folk singer
Christy Moore

He explained: “I remember watching Christy performing on his own and I told my dad that I would love to be able to do something like that – to just own the stage and have the audience in the palm of your hand.”

This inspired him to go out and buy himself a bodhran and he spent a few years playing in pubs and clubs around Dublin.

But he soon had to put the brakes on any advancements to his music as he opted to become an electrician, a job he held for ten years.

Daoiri admits that he thoroughly enjoyed this work but the call of traditional Irish music made it clear that he was meant to be following a different path.

But instead of simply returning to the scene in Dublin, he became the thinking man’s musician and gained a formal education in his passion.

“I left school at an early age and never thought about going to college, but when I was about 25 or 26 years old, I decided to give it a crack,” he said.

Daoiri Farrell is no ordinary Irish folk singer

“And I wasn’t just going for the sake of going, I was genuinely happy to be there because it was something I wanted to do.”

He started out at Ballyfermont College in Dublin where he studied for a Diploma in Irish Traditional Music.

“I got to meet Alan Doherty, the fantastic flute player who now goes under Aldoc,” Daoiri added.

“I was also working with people like Pauline Scanlon, Karen Tweed, Brian Kelly and so on, which was a great experience.

“I played a lot of music while I was out there, as you’d expect, and I recorded a CD.

“A German company got hold of some of my stuff and invited me over to tour over there. I had a fantastic time in Germany as part of an Irish swing group.”

The hard work didn’t stop there, however, and Daoiri went on to study for two years in Dundalk, Co. Louth, where he gained a degree in Applied Music under the mentorship of Len Graham.

He then completed his formal musical education at the University of Limerick, leaving with a Masters in Irish Traditional Performance Music.

Speaking about his decision to study, he said: “I would absolutely recommend going back to college or gaining any kind of formal education in music.

“It gives you a completely fresh approach to things and you learn some invaluable stuff that can only serve to benefit you.

“It helps you to improve as a musician and gives you a better understanding, not only of how to play the music but also where it’s come from.”

Daoiri is playing a host of dates around the UK until May 22 before taking part in various folk festivals around Europe throughout the summer.

He recently recorded a new album with his band Four Winds, while his latest solo album will be released in October.

His appearance on Mark Radcliffe’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Show can be heard at www.bbc.co.uk

And any further information about Daoiri and his music can be found at www.daoiri.com

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