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Having just released her fifth album, the stunning Sing, Maria Doyle Kennedy chills out and reflects on where it all went right.
Olaf Tyaransen, 13 Sep 2012
“We went to his house once to sing and then he came to us where we were recording as well. It turned into something completely different than I had planned. He took off and started doing this incredible Arabic yodeling. That became the whole thing of the song for me. It totally changed what I’d been thinking and became something new. It’s great to work with other people – they pull something out of you.”
As we speak, Maria is in the middle of a small tour of Irish islands. It’s really a warm-up for a more intense tour of the UK and mainland Europe in the coming months (Sing is her first album to get a release outside of Ireland).
“Physically we don’t really spend much time apart from the kids because it just doesn’t work,” she explains. “For the last few weeks we’ve being trying to have a pathetic attempt of a family holiday which is dragging our children around the country and getting them to help us with gear and sell CDs and things like that. That’s all we could do this year. We didn’t have any other options, so we sort of have three gigs and three days off. It was a bit of a struggle. We were trying to get the swimming in or the leisure and make sure we were building memories for them, summer memories while doing the work. That’s the way it had to be this year.”
While she and Kennedy are quite nomadic by nature, she says that their children keep them grounded. “Doing what we do, trying to make a living from music, certainly does get more stressful as you get older, but I think that’s life in general. You get a bit more fearful about things as you get older and it’s just because you have a family, isn’t it? We’re just total gypos the pair of us. We could easily travel around and live on our wits and eat porridge. You can’t expect your children to do that. They haven’t asked to be born. You have a duty to do your best by them.”
Despite her presumably lucrative acting work, finances are always a struggle for any independent musical artist. The funds to record, release and promote Sing were mostly raised through the PledgeMusic website, where fans helped pay for the album in return for autographed artwork, handwritten lyrics, live performances or – in this case – Maria jumping out of a plane wearing a t-shirt with your name emblazoned on the front.