Every year the GoldenPlec community of writers and photographers get together for a natter about which artists we expect to explode on the music scene in the year ahead. We have selected our ‘Plec Picks’ for 2015 and the list encompasses a wide range of artists, highlighting some of the best bands and solo artists currently active in Ireland.
Over the years Kildare has given Ireland some exciting musicians. Most notable of these are chart stalwarts are Damien Rice and Bell X1. With a childhood soaked in music and the desire to continue her study of classical music; Sinéad White is an exciting solo artist who has the voice, writing capabilities and personality to be the latest addition to that list.
Sinéad is set apart from the multitude of 'singers with a guitar' thanks to her unique approach to music. By using less ordinary instruments like a kazoo and her ability to make her voice morph into a multitude of instruments, she is quickly creating her own niche in a crowded area.
Her experience as part of a band helped to grow her skills as a musician. It also helped her to become less bashful of her writing. “Showing ideas that might be personal to a group of lads isn’t easy. Doing it at a young age definitely helped my confidence,” she told Goldenplec when we spoke to her recently.
Having played music since before she can remember, Sinéad White follows a long line of Irish people who procured an instrument from a sibling who had long since lost interest. “My brother got a keyboard when I was young and he grew tired of it after a week. I ‘borrowed’ it from him and practiced non-stop. I annoyed my family constantly. I really can’t emphasise that enough, they were sick of me. I often heard shouts of ‘Christ Sinéad will you shut up,” she says with an infectious laugh that makes the interview feel like a chat among friends.
In time, her interest was turned towards the guitar because to her, she started to see the piano as “a bit lame”. Carrying a piano around the place is also pretty hard so “guitar was a logical choice.”
As a solo musician, motivation to write and play music is never far away. “I’ve always loved to write even when I didn’t know what I was doing,” she says. “When I was young I used to write little poems about acne and boys and really embarrassing things like that.” The art of songwriting is something that is of huge importance to her. “I make sure I take time to practice writing songs when I’m not inspired. It forces me to really grow as a songwriter. Emotion and certain events also breed ideas but you can’t wait around for something to come along. I sound like such a sap but it’s what works for me.”
With an as yet unnamed album just about ready for release, Sinéad has been slaving away in a studio. “There have been days where I have been working on the one song for hours by myself. I do the vocals, piano, guitar and almost everything on a track. Leaving the studio at night I would feel delighted with my days work but the next day it sounds like I was on crack when I was recording so most of it gets binned.” At this point Sinéad goes to great lengths to explain that she isn’t actually on crack, more a concoction of tea and biscuits.
Over the past year, touring has been a huge priority to Sinéad so she could hone her skills on stage. Having embarked on a self funded trip around Europe with only her guitar, she busked for weeks in cities where nobody knew her. From busking on the street to playing Longitude and Electric Picnic - such a huge leap, especially as she was too nervous to play her first open mic night only a few years ago. “I’ll play anywhere now. I’ve played in big festivals and tiny pubs and I love them all. No gig is ever the same. I played in Navan once and during my set a massive dog just walked into the bar and sat under a char looking up at me. It’s moments like that that make me love playing live,” she tells us with a laugh.
With 2015 still in its infancy, Sinéad White has plans for the coming year. Her as yet unnamed album is her main priority. “I am really excited about getting my work out there. So much time and effort has gone into it. I feel ready for people to hear me.” Continuing her sense of constant growth as a musician, Sinéad also has aims to record a new EP with a band in 2015. “I’ve worked by myself enough for now. I want to have the input of other people into my music, which I think will really improve me. Being a solo musician is great but it does get a little bit lonely at times,” she tells us.
‘Annoying’ may have been a joke used amongst her family to describe her early years in music, but the most dedicated artists usually are. With gigs and video shoots in the pipeline as well as an unending desire to improve, grow and produce; Sinéad White has an exciting year ahead of her.