Welcome to my website and first blog post. You may be new to what I do or have been following my work for a while. Either way I’m happy to have you come and connect.
I wanted to make a timeline to give you a picture of the evolution of my craft and the journey so far. So come time travel with me for a moment.
I’m a young child and I’m on holidays in the Kerry countryside. I am walking through a woodland beside a river. I have lots of friends but in this case I’m walking alone, deep in conversation. My mother was always telling me to stop talking to myself, but I’m not alone, this woodland is full of life.
I grow older and more involved in the human world. My focus is drawn away from fantasy worlds and the conditioning of school and society have started to define new ideas of reality for me. I’m fourteen years old and before my adolescent mind can fully consume my world, the wilderness of my soul makes an intervention. I am diagnosed with leukemia and must spend the next three and bit years receiving chemotherapy, a blessing or a curse? Unknown to me at the time, but my training had just began.
Initially I am isolated, out of school and only out of the house for hospital visits. Now remember I’m a teenager whose mind is consumed primarily with three things, Girls, Sports and my first love…Hip Hop. I had only encountered the culture of rap music about two years earlier and although it has emerged on the far side of the Atlantic ocean, it’s grassroot story telling, resonated with the Irish tradition that coursed in my ancestral blood. With all this free time and no where to go, I sat and listened. Slowly the voice which had been so strong in my younger life started to to grow. So I wrote what I heard.
Very quickly I have my first verses and not long after I’m well enough to go back to school to share my new party trick. Over the next few yeas this party trick grows into an obsession and that voice in my head is now difficult to silence, I’m putting in my 10,000 hours practice. I connect with others who share my love. It starts with busking in the street, free-styling about the people walking past, to small gigs in youth spaces. I’m fact it was through a youth reach program that I get my first chance to record something as well as meet a collective of people I would spend a lot of time with.
I become part of a group of MCs, we called ourselves “Rebel Faction” and as far as we are concerned we’re Cork’s most infamous. During these late teen years I record an album with features from the group and others on the scene, some radio and small shows but nothing major. Really I was learning to find my individual voice and figuring out what I wanted to say. We all learn our crafts from experiencing others but at some point we have to find our unique expression.
I’m about nineteen or twenty and 8 Mile has reached Ireland, a rap battle league.Three rounds where opponents mock, humiliated and threaten each other with as much lyricism and skill as possible. I spend the next two or three years competing in this Irish league as well in the UK. Any performance in any art involves being comfortable enough in your space that you can expand that sphere of influence enough to captivate the audience, the crowd is literally captives in your space. If there was one thing I learned from my time in rap battle arenas it was how told hold my space when performing.
By the time I turned twenty two I felt my passion for battling had diminished, perhaps my lessons were complete. Over the next two to three years I stepped out of my obsession and gave my mind space to see what else was calling to me. During this time I finished collage and moved to west Cork, the countryside was calling. During the summer of 2015 and through a series of amazing synchronicity I found myself in a one day Spoken Word workshop. I was amazed at how close these two worlds of rap and spoken word were, tied together with a common ancestor, poetry, and yet moved in such different circles.
That summer, with the inspired passion to speak out against the taxing of Irish water I began to write again. For the first time ever I was writing outside of the box of a beat or genre or music for that matter. The freedom I found in expressing my self without thinking of where this work will be accepted was so liberating. So without judgment , I wrote. By the following summer I had produced the book “Good Morning New World” although it would not be released for another year. As the title suggested, a new world had unveiled itself to me.
It is now the end of 2017, the day before Christmas eve as I write this. After spending the last two years shuffling from one house to the next I have landed somewhere long term. I sit in a house surrounded in hundreds of acres of ancient woodland and feel as though things have come full circle, I am a child again. As I step outside my door the old Oaks in the garden tell me this journey is only beginning. I feel so too. Thank you for joining me and I hope we can create more magic together. Happy New Year