From the surprise COVID-19-inspired release of the now mightily popular Ireland to an online Hot Press Live Show session, county Kildare native Megan O’Neill has certainly ensured that her lockdown be a productive one. Not only has the Ghost of You singer wrapped up the recording of her fourth studio album (which will be released either in September or October according to the singer), but the former London-based talented musician has also offered her gifted services to Tanglewood Guitars’ and Nashville Meets London’s respective Facebook Takeovers during lockdown.
The country singer’s latest release, Ireland, which was recognised and publicly praised by none other than English-born Australian singer-songwriter Olivia Newton-John, has not only been recently cemented into RTÉ Radio 1’s playlist, but has also been added to Ireland’s Essential Ireland spotify playlist. A new album release, set to be entitled Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty, is now looming on the exciting horizon for the Irish-born musician.
Speaking to me today about all things music, the 30-year-old revealed that she plans to release “a bunch more singles throughout 2020” and warned us to “keep an eye out” on her latest music developments. The rising Irish star also shared interesting insights regarding her time in lockdown and her music-related plans for the future.
How has the COVID-19 situation affected your music? Has it inspired you?
“At the beginning I was really excited to have some time to properly focus on songwriting and to produce my own material at home. For the first month of lockdown I was super productive, but now I feel a huge lack of motivation – I think knowing that this could go on for a long time to come is a hard pill to swallow, especially when you’re a musician used to playing a hundred plus live shows a year!
“2020 was supposed to be my biggest touring year yet (with tours in the UK, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and more). It’s been really devastating to have all those shows wiped out and to know that I won’t be playing another gig until next year.
“But, so many people are in the same boat and have had their lives turned upside down, so, in a way, I’m using this time to reevaluate and just find new ways of doing what I love to do.”
Short song-based Instagram stories
I’ve seen you’ve started making short videos on Instagram based on the stories behind your songs. What inspired this idea?
“As a songwriter I love telling stories with my songs and every time I tell those stories (behind the songs) at live shows, fans and listeners really love that. So I decided to keep that going and share some of these back stories on the songs from my forthcoming album.”
Facebook Live takeovers
You recently took part in Tanglewood Takeover on Facebook. How did that come about and how was the overall experience?
“Tanglewood Guitars have endorsed me as an artist for the past three years and I absolutely love their guitars. So we threw around the idea of putting together a live stream and made it happen. I really am a huge fan of Tanglewood and their instruments, so it was a pleasure to play live on their Facebook to a whole new audience.”
New song Ireland release
Your most recent single release Ireland has had a magnificently positive public reaction since its release. How was the overall experience recording that song?
“The reaction to Ireland has been absolutely incredible and has completely blown me away. I hadn’t intended to release Ireland as a single at all, but when everything happened with Covid-19, I felt like it would be the perfect time to put the song out there. Ireland is my love song to this beautiful country we live in.
I wrote it a few years ago when I was still living in London (where I lived for five years). The song touches on all the things about Ireland that I love and all the things I missed when I lived abroad.
I think right now, so many people around the world are resonating with it because they feel a longing to come home (whether that’s for a visit, or to see family, etc) and they can’t come back right now.”
Hot Press Live Show session
Can you tell us a little bit about your recent Hot Press Lock-down Live Show session?
“Hot Press approached me to do a live show on their channel a few weeks back which was a lot of fun. Obviously at the moment many parts of the industry are rallying in together so it’s great to see all these collaborations happening.”
What are your plans (musically) for the remainder of the year?
“It’s hard to know how the rest of this year is going to pan out. I’ll continue to release music and release the new album and will continue to do live gigs online too. But I don’t foresee any live gigs happening until the new year unfortunately!”