Irish Mythen, singer songwriter

You can always be better, always and in everything ...

The Festival of Small Halls is a series of tours that poaches the best folk and contemporary artists from a couple of the country’s largest festivals and sends them on the road to tiny halls in communities all over Australia. This year, the festival has persuaded Irish Mythen to join the gang. The contemporary folk singer songwriter was born and raised in Wexford County in Ireland but now resides in Canada and is a true entertainer known for her gripping live shows. Irish will take you on an incredible and emotional journey that will have you laughing and crying at the same time. The Weekend Edition Gold Coast caught up with Irish ahead of her visit to Mudgeeraba Memorial Hall on Sunday December 20.

Let’s take it way back to the start, have you always been musically inclined?
Pretty much yes. It’s all I’ve really ever wanted to do and I’m extremely lucky to be able to call it my profession.

What is your earliest music-related memory?
Singing a Shirley Temple song at my aunt and uncle’s wedding. I think I was four!

How would you describe your style of music?
I always describe it as contemporary folk. It’s always the story and the meaning behind it that means the most to me when writing.

What does your writing process look like?
It always changes for me. Sometimes the music will come first. Sometimes the words and then once in a while they’ll come together. I do write everyday though. I had to train myself to do that. It’s like anything that you wish to be accomplished at. You must work at it everyday.

What inspires you?
Every little thing that goes on in this massive beautiful world. True story!

Music has an incredible ability to transport you back to a time and a place. Is there one song that will always hold a special place in your heart?
Tracey Chapman’s ‘The Promise’. Anytime I hear it I’m instantly taken back to slow dancing at the school discos.

Your latest self-titled recording won the East Coast Music Award 2015 for roots/traditional solo recording of the year and we hear you’re the most requested artist at Canada’s longest running folk festival The Mariposa Folk Festival (after Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot). That must feel pretty amazing?
Utterly amazing! I’m still pinching myself! It was such an honour. I feel very blessed to have the career I have had and I work hard everyday to make sure that nothing slips. I strive to get better everyday.

What have been some of your highlights so far?
The above-mentioned are pretty cool! Opening for Rod Stewart was incredible. Closing the Saturday night at The Philadelphia Folk Festival. Singing with legends along the way. The people I’ve met. The list goes on and on!

Born and raised in Ireland, you now call Canada home. What’s the best and worst part about living in Canada?
Easy. The best is the people and the land and the worst is the cold! Last winter we had 18 and a half feet of snow.

You’re coming to our shores for the Festival of Small Halls tour, what are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Australia?
Oh gosh, too many things! I’m excited about the weather, the people, the food, the ocean, the music, the weather, the weather. Ha!

What’s your idea of a weekend well spent?
Great food, great friends, my dog, a fishing rod, music and a barbecue. I’m at my best with all that around me.

Any words to live by?
Never stop learning. Never stop listening. You can always be better, always and in everything.


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