Ones to watch 2018: Dermot Kennedy

Paige Tracey /
Dec 27, 2017 / Music

Dublin boy, Dermot Kennedy, has been selling out shows in his native land, and 2018 looks to be the year success follows him across the water.

Originally an acoustic singer and songwriter, Kennedy has striven to not be pigeon holed. His latest work sees him use sampling, drum beats and various studio techniques to offset his coarse vocals- which he describes as being a “step forward” in his songwriting.

He elaborates on his latest single, the heartfelt ‘Moments Passed,’ which was released in September. “When I first heard that vocal sample used at the beginning I found it crazy exciting. My producer sent it to me when we were facing a brick wall in the songs production.

“At that time ‘Moments Passed’ was an acceptable tune, but I wasn’t necessarily excited with it. I started playing a melody along to the sample and it just clicked straight away. There was an immediate affinity.”

While global success may be just a few more songs away, Kennedy feels indebted to his Irish roots for much of his success. He laughs off, however TIME magazine’s label of him being an “Irish crooner”. “A crooner? Isn’t that like Tom Jones? I think that terms best suited for those who belt out big ballads- I can’t say I identify with it at all. If it’s another word for singer-songwriter however I suppose its accurate!”

Kennedy believes he’s made the class of 2018 list because he’s honest with his songwriting. “I’m just making music I find exciting. I’m always trying to be real so if that’s what’s had me named as someone to look out for next year it’s great, but I’m only doing that in the way I know how.”

To read the rest of our interview with Dermot Kennedy, be sure to buy our special Volume 22, birthday edition of tmrw.

Words by Paige Tracey

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