Here at Sketchbook we like to get to know our Pop-Up Shop performers a little better. We got in touch with Dervla O’Shea to ask a few questions and get to know her better before her performance this Sunday. As an unsigned young artist, Dervla O’Shea is slowly being recognised for her unbelievable talent and ability to take current artists songs and make them sound like her own. At the moment she prefers to cover songs instead of showcasing her own because she wants to get to know her own sound before she shares her music with the world.
How and when did you realise that you wanted to sing and write?
In the last few years my love for music, singing and performing has grown. It has become more of a focal point in my life; I never thought it would be. I knew it would always be a past time, but now I enjoy it far too much to leave it at that.
Do you come from a typically musical background?
No, nobody in my family is particularly musical, but I was always taught to appreciate music as an art form. I never had any formal training until I was around 11, when my mum realised I had a good voice. I had singing and guitar lessons but I never stuck them out because I’m a bad timekeeper and it wasn’t important to me back then.
So what about education?
I’m in my last year of high school. At the moment I’m taking my A-Levels at a grammar school in Kent.
Are you influenced by any other artists?
For me, the Maccabees have a way with words and although I’ve been listening to their music since I was a bit younger, I still return to it when I’m in a certain mood. If I could create music with that sort of longevity, I’d be more than happy.
Are there any other artists do you like?
Female artists like Feist, Bat for lashes, Cat power and Soko influence me; and singers like Eva Cassidy and Louis Armstrong give me the push to better my voice. The Coral and Radiohead make me want to be a great musician.
What was the last track you listened to?
Fight Test by The Flaming lips.
Describe your music in a few words?
Acoustic and easy to listen to!
What inspires you to make good music?
Art and culture
What has been your greatest musical achievement so far?
I don’t have any amazing musical achievements, but the huge response I get when I perform at local venues or when I upload songs to the internet makes me feel like I’m achieving. People enjoying my music are all I want. I realise this is sickly humble…hahaha
What can we expect from Dervla in 2010?
Well, I don’t know what to expect from 2010 yet! But I am eighteen; I am leaving school, going travelling and I then going to Art College in London so I think I’m in the best place right now. Even though it’s super cliché, I aim for 2010 to be a year of discovery for me and of me.
I want to properly realise my own sound and I want people to start hearing more of my music. I will be collaborating with some very talented people I know. So hopefully I will be making some lovely new tunes and having the best time along the way.
Text: NORAH AGBO
Interview: KEJI MUSTAPHA
Images: COURTESY OF DERVLA O’SHEA