Dermot Kennedy Talks His Inspirations, Staying Humble & His First Westlife Gig!
“I’ll just listen to Bon Iver all day and then some days I’ll just listen to Drake all day…”
Ireland’s Dermot Kennedy has earned a rightful place on our MTV PUSH: Ones To Watch 2019 list. In our exclusive interview, Dermot told us about the moments in his childhood which sparked the fire in him to make music.
“[My] first musical memory is probably Garth Brooks related, which is really strange, but that’s what my dad used to always have on in the car…fast forward a bit and the first gig I went to was a Westlife gig and then, but, probably more importantly, I was at a family party once and my cousin David was playing the guitar and he was playing Thin Lizzy songs.
“Looking back, it was a really important moment because I was totally entranced and I kind of realised that’s what I wanted to do.”
Watch our exclusive MTV PUSH: Ones To Watch 2019 interview with Dermot Kennedy here:
Dermot also revealed his inspirations can be pretty diverse: “Some days I’ll just listen to Bon Iver all day and then some days I’ll just listen to Drake all day.
“The value I see in what they do in terms of their lyrics and how they put a song together and the delivery of everything… despite the fact that they’re two totally opposite things, I get the same thing from both of them.”
The ‘Power Over Me’ singer also recalled how a meeting with Irish legend Glen Hansard taught him the importance of staying humble…
“I remember Glen Hansard brought me on stage to play at one of his shows and he brought me out and Damien Dempsey and Lisa Hannigan and a few other Irish artists, and I was saying to him afterwards ‘it’s so cool the way you kind of take your headline show and turn it into a celebration of Irish music’ and it was just his gig on a random night. What he said was ‘the minute you think it’s important that your name is on the poster or outside the front of the venue, it’s kind of game over.’
“It was so cool because someone who’s got an Oscar, and someone who’s had more success than the vast majority of Irish musicians, to have had that success and to still keep those principles, especially as he’s been in it so long, was really cool to me.”
As for the future, this year Coachella beckons, he’s working on that highly-anticipated album, and he’s having a ball.
“I’d love to be remembered as kind of someone who didn’t fit in any sort of box because I could do the whole lyrical thing and chase that and just play the guitar and just like stay in that comfort zone, but what I’m doing now feels like a lot of fun.”
To vote for Dermot Kennedy in this year's MTV PUSH: Ones To Watch, like the Instagram post below: