Roisin reaches out to the Tea-aspora
By David Hennessy
Roisin O is a performer to watch. Daughter of Mary Black and sister of Danny O’Reilly from The Coronas, the singer-songwriter piggybacks on the success of neither but proves the talent runs in the genes. Having launched her highly acclaimed debut album, The Secret Life Of Blue last month, the girl with the beautiful voice is looking for help with her next video from Irish people living abroad.
“One of my friends has coined it as ‘The Tea-aspora’,” explains the singer who has recently supported The Heathers on their tour of Ireland. “It’s called The Tea Song. We were thinking a lot about The Gathering this year and encouraging people to come home from abroad. We thought this would be a good chance to promote that a bit and we’ve been asking people to get footage of themselves drinking tea in whatever country they’re living in, it doesn’t even have to be a city, wherever they are and to send it in to us and we’re going to get all the footage together of everybody drinking tea for our video.”
Like all Irish people her age, Roisin has friends all over the world and it was this situation that inspired such an initiative: “I have a load of friends in London. Hopefully they’ll all be getting involved. I grew up in the Celtic Tiger and I never thought the majority of my friends would be living away from home. There’s more of my friends now who live in London or America than actually live at home and it’s quite sad, but at the same time we do have Skype and Facebook so we can keep in contact a little bit more. That’s why we’re doing it: We want to get all these videos and sort of get people thinking of home. We have some great videos already of people in London by the Thames and all around these really cool sightseeing spots in London but we’re still looking for more.”
Roisin will be meeting some of the diaspora in America when she supports her mother on some US dates next month. She will also be opening a massive show for The Coronas at Dublin’s O2 in December. However, the last thing she wants is to get labelled as an artist due to the family she comes from: “I’d obviously never deny them but I don’t like to broadcast it because I like people to make their own opinions of my music and not have this preconceived thing of what they’re going to hear, maybe they think I’m going to be a new version of my mam or a female version of my brother: I don’t think I’m either of those things. I don’t like to talk about it that much because I’d like people to make their own decisions on the music I make for me rather than who I’m related to.”
Are her sibling and mother there for support and advice when Roisin needs it? “Absolutely. They’re invaluable really, to have two people in your life who are so experienced and they both have such different experience. Danny’s a lot more involved in what’s going on now and Mam just has so much experience in general. To be able to rely on their advice and opinions, they’re always honest with me, is a great asset for me to have aswell.”
Promoting her new album, Roisin has already played The Late Late Show and on the same night as former President Mary Robinson, the triumphant Irish Paralympic team and rockers The Darkness graced Ryan Tubridy’s Friday night talk show: “It was a bit surreal to be honest. We found out very late in the week that they asked us to be on and all of a sudden we’re in RTE and the lead singer of The Darkness had his dog and was walking around backstage and all the paralympians are in the green room: it was a great vibe backstage but I was really nervous. I don’t know what it was, I suppose because it’s The Late Late, it’s such a big deal here, it’s the biggest show you can get on here and I was very nervous but I really enjoyed it. It was a great night.”
Roisin O’s album The Secret Life Of Blue is out now. For more information, go to: http://roisino.com/.
If you would like to be a part of Roisin O’s video, record some footage of yourself and possibly some friends around the city you’re currently living in. The only catch is that you have to be drinking a cup of tea! (No prizes for guessing the song it’s for!) If you can get recognisable landmarks from your city into the video, then that’d be even better. Footage should be 30-40 second long clips, and you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org via wetransfer.com, or other file transfer sites. When sending it, please include your name, where you are currently living, and how many days you’ve been living there.