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Getting over it

Mullingar pop artist Fí told David Hennessy about her current single about a toxic relationship and enjoying teaching but having to give it up because music was ‘missing’.

Mullingar pop artist Fí tackles the issue of toxic relationships in her current single Over You and she told the Irish World the song came from a situation she experienced in the past.

Fí said: “The track is about overcoming a bad relationship and the realisation that you’ll never be enough for the wrong person.

“I do believe everything happens for a reason and sometimes we need something bad to happen to shake us and realise what’s really important. I made excuses, ignored the red flags, and didn’t prioritise my needs and although it was a shock to the system when it all ended, it also gave me a new lease of life.

“It’s kind of looking at that in hindsight and just being like, ‘That was a chapter but I’ve moved on’. It’s taught me so much about myself.

“I ignored the feeling and I suppose that’s why now I’m actually doing the life coaching. It kind of inspired me to help others who need to tune into themselves and reassess.

“I think you know deep down when something is not right so I would say that I probably knew but I kind of made excuses but definitely in hindsight it kind of made all the jigsaw pieces fit together. It made a lot more sense after when it happened but look, at the end of the day we all make mistakes so it’s not an attack song or anything like that. I’m just happy I’ve learned from it and that’s the most important thing I think.”

“It taught me to put myself first and to always trust myself in the future.”

Inspired by artists such as Halsey, Tove Lo, Chelsea Cutler, and Verite, Fí is a self-taught musician who started writing after buying her first guitar in college – spending the last few years crafting songs from her bedroom.

“I really loved singing and I was like, ‘Oh God, I would just love to have something to take out and be able to play’. So I bought a guitar and got a book. It was a really cheap little guitar book and I taught myself from it. I fell in love with writing then and I wrote my first song and then it kind of spiralled from there.

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“I started doing songwriter nights in Mullingar, I would go every Monday after school, after teaching. It would be playing to about four people but it was so good for developing confidence and also just playing your own songs as well and getting a sense of judgement, I guess.

“And then I moved back up to Dublin and did the songwriter nights so kind of went from there.”

After releasing her first single Éalú in 2016, Fí developed an international audience for her pop anthems, with her sophomore single Feel Better generating support from Hot Press, U Magazine and IRadio.

“It was funny. I was doing a masters then. I remember releasing it and everyone was just stressing in the college and I was like, ‘Oh my God, my phone is going off’. But I was so happy. I couldn’t believe the reaction. I think I was really nervous about that song coming out.

“To be honest I didn’t expect it to do as well as it did but it was really, really good. But I was studying at the time so I didn’t even get to enjoy some of the parts but looking back it was probably the highlight of the songs I’ve released so far.”

Over You has been Track Of The Week on RTE 2FM and ‘Ceol For The Soul’ on Today FM.

She has also played gigs at Electric Picnic, Vantastival and supported artists including Freya Ridings, The Academic and Aine Cahill.

On the gap between her debut release and her most recent work, Fí says: “I picked quality over quantity but it’s funny, I have so many songs that are done and ready but it’s timing so it’s not that I haven’t been writing them. They’re there, it’s just one thing is writing them, recording them. Another thing is actually having the time and the energy and having the money to release them is another thing. This year has encouraged me to release more.

“I only wrote Over You in July. I was kind of sitting on it a few months and finally decided then it would be a good time to release an empowering song.

“But it’s a weird one. Obviously you can’t gig, can’t really promote. I’m really happy with how it’s going so far and glad that I did decide to release it.”

After being based in Dublin, the pandemic has seen the singer move back home to Mullingar.

“It’s been good to be home with everything going on. I think once everything settles, I’ll probably find my way somewhere else. Before Covid hit, I was considering Canada but then I got a new job and stuff. We’ll see.”

Fí was a primary school teacher before her music took off and admits she does miss some parts of it even if she could not stay in the job long term.

“I enjoyed the teaching and working with children but I just knew there was something missing. I was doing music all along. I knew that I had such a passion for it. I just didn’t feel that same passion going in and doing that.

“What made me give it up? It just wasn’t something I could do forever. I think it’s definitely something you go into if it’s your purpose and I think some teachers are like that and I just didn’t feel the same. I decided to leave after four years.

“I don’t miss teaching. I guess I miss working with people on a day-to-day basis.

“I used to love working with children in that capacity but it just wasn’t what I wanted to do forever. I knew that. Music has always been something that I did. I started in my room teaching myself guitar, writing my own songs for me and trying not to get carried away with it doing so well. Obviously that’s important but in the end it’s how you enjoy it as well.”

Over You is out now.

For more information, click here.

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