“I’ll never waver off who I am”

eimear reynolds

By Aoife Carberry

The music business is a difficult one to infiltrate but Rooskey native Eimear Reynolds is certainly going to give it her best shot as she releases her debut album this year.

The talented former Face of Ireland is looking forward to a summer release made up of well known songs, which she hopes will pleasantly surprise those who have heard her beautiful voice before.

“I’m recording up in Navan with a producer called Mark Cahill,” she smiled, speaking to Midlands Arts and Culture after a day in the studio. “I started with him this time last year.”

Eimear met Mark after a concert with the Roscommon Solstice Choir, which she set up for the Gathering in 2013 with her brother Andrew.

“We do a series of concerts every summer and every Christmas,” she pointed out.

“Mark just came up to me after the performance and started talking about what I was doing.

“We just clicked straight away and he just got me. He really understood what I wanted and he had the same outlook as I had for myself.”

While recording has always been a dream for her, Eimear was reluctant to start until she found her niche.

“It took me a long time because I studied Music in college. I was trained to go down the opera route but I didn’t really have the love for it that my peers in college had.

“It took me a couple of years to find my sound but everyone was so used to seeing me in the Church setting so when I wavered off that it took me a while to gain confidence.”

Described as a traditional Irish or folk-style ballad album, indeed she sites Frances and Mary Black and Mary Coughlan as strong influences, Eimear’s debut release is made up of her rendition of well known songs. However, she is keen to eventually work on writing her own material and even keener not to be boxed into one genre or style.

“I don’t consider myself one genre and that’s kind of something I’ve struggled with the past year,” she conceded. A founding member of Emerald Storm (again alongside her brother Andrew) and having taken over direction of the children’s choir in St Mel’s Cathedral, Eimear’s voice is a familiar one to the people of Longford, Leitrim and Roscommon, and she was afraid that straying from her known style would alienate the people who have supported her from the beginning. It’s not the genre that matters, according to Eimear, however, it’s that she, and the listeners can relate to the song – be it classical, pop or traditional.

“It is going to be a shock,” she said of her album. “but I’m really confident about it and I’m really excited about it.”

Being the Face of Ireland opened up a lot of avenues for Eimear, and while also promoting her album in Ireland, she is hoping to use some of her USA contacts to make a name for herself there too. She has also been dropping sneak peaks into her studio life onto her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles, including a Christmas single ‘Get Me Through December’, which was extremely well received and earned her plenty of airplay over the festive season.

Breaking the business is not an easy task, though, and Eimear is under no illusions. Working with Joanne Costello on perfecting her image, Eimear didn’t hesitate to acknowledge how image-based the industry can be. It’s not something that phases her though, in fact, she is adamant to retain her own identity, saying; “At the end of the day, as much as the package is important I would never waver off who I am.

“It’s really important that people would never say ‘she’s changed’, it’s very important to me that I stay true to myself.”

There is no doubt that Eimear has the talent and the drive to succeed, but regardless of what happens, she will never give up her music.

“Whether I make a full time career out of my music or not, I’m always going to do it because I love it,” she concluded.