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INTRODUCING…KELSEY CONROY

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What’s your first musical memory? And the first song and artist/band you remember falling for?
I’ve grown up in a pub so I’ve always fallen to sleep listening to the loud music from downstairs. Music has always been around me, I remember being very young and going to a festival in Cork, Ireland with my family and a band that we knew, I thought it was so cool travelling with a band (at the age of about five!). The festival was the first time I remember seeing music being played live but one of my first memories was sitting on my uncles bed in my nan and granddads house and singing “Three little birds” by Bob Marley. I sang, my uncle played guitar and my twin brother played (banged) the bongo. From there I was constantly singing around my parents pub and at karaokes.

When did you write your first song and what was it about?
I was about 12 or 13 when I first started to song-write. I say song-write, it was more being very interested in words and writing them down. The first song that I ever wrote was about my granddad. My granddad is someone who I have always had a huge bond with and he supports me so much. The song was about me wanting to be able to grow up and be able to inspire and encourage somebody else the way he has inspired me – pretty deep for a 12 year old! haha!

Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from a lot of things. Some things existing and some things I’ve imagined. I am constantly on public transport and I love watching people and making up a character profile of a person and imagining where they are going, where they have been and why. I can get inspiration from anything and I have about 600 “notes” on my mobile of lyrics or words I need to quickly write down. I never try to push my inspiration, there’s no point, all that happens is a headache!

What are the pros and cons of living in Devon as a musician?
I love Devon. The location is so beautiful and I’m sure a lot of people take the beauty of it for granted. Being a musician is Devon is good because you see the same faces around at open mics and gigs and get to know them. It’s nice to be able to see musicians change and progress and learn from them. Devon is nice, but for me, I would like to move to a bigger music scene, it’s a personal thing more than anything.

What are the difficulties of trying to make it in the industry as a teenager?
I’m still learning a lot about my craft and the industry. It’s hard because where I live there isn’t much of a platform for musicians and although Muse went to my school, and have had amazing success, being a young musician from a place where there isn’t much of a platform is difficult. Being a teenager doing music is sometimes hard to be taken seriously but I am very determined – unless you try you will never know.

Which other young songwriters and performers do you most look up to?
At the moment I am really into Marina and the Diamonds’ music. I find her so interesting and her lyrics really captivate me. I find myself captured by her music and she is definitely somebody who has a big influence on me. Another artist who I look up to is Bjork. She’s so unique and interesting and her music is something that can not be heard anywhere else. Some other great influences in my music are Florence and the Machine, Pink, Laura Marling, Alanis Morrisette, 4 Non Blondes, Fiona Apple, M83 And Emeli Sande.

Tell us about your first gig…
I was so scared. It was in my local town and lots of people that I knew were there. I didn’t tell a lot of people that I done music for a long time so felt very nervous when I saw faces I knew there. I always get nervous, I would be more worried if I didn’t, but as soon as I stepped onto the stage and had my guitar in my hand all the nerves left and changed into excitement and passion. It was amazing!

What does 2012 hold for Kelsey Conroy?
I hope 2012 holds a lot of ups and downs and things I won’t expect- I have to be kept on my toes! I want to do more gigs, radio, writing and recording and get my music heard more. I’m excited to see what the future holds!

More information on Kelsey Conroy at www.myspace.com/kelseyconroy_1