Eve Belle Murtagh: a 16 years old songwriter from County Donegal, with an incredible, mature talent.
The first time I listened to her music on SuondCloud I thought: “I have to meet her!” When I came to know that she was from Gortahork in Co. Donegal and that she was a so young, gifted musician, I thought; “I have to introduce her to our Italian readers!” Then, now Eve Belle Murtagh is before us, a young woman who started writing her own music when she was 14, and in July 2013 won the Errigal Arts/Soundcheck competition.
1. Dear Eve Belle, you have started to write songs so early, and you’re still very young. What did it move you and influence you in doing this?
I’ve always loved music, ever since I was very young. When I was nine, I got a guitar for Christmas and I began to teach myself to play. I’ve been singing ever since I was very small, I’ve always loved it. I suppose writing my own songs was just the next natural step. Being someone who has always loved music, and writing stories, writing songs just seemed to happen very naturally. Of course as I got older and had more experiences, I had more things to write about, so I wrote many more songs.
My first “real” song was done and dusted when I was 15. I have a few from when I was even younger, but they are very embarrassing.
2. Could you describe to the audience that doesn’t know you the music you are playing and composing?
I find it very difficult to say what type of music exactly I write and sing. Each song is a little different. As I have gotten older, my songs are starting to develop a hint of blues. Generally, my songs are quite slow and sad. I find that sad songs make more of an impact and are more emotional. However, I do have one or two faster, happier songs which are much more fun to play. My songs are very difficult to put into a category, as they are very much my own but I’d describe it as a mixture of folk and blues.
3. It seems that Leo’s Tavern and Brennan’s family had an impact in your recent career; is it so? How meeting people who are part of the history of the Irish music is helping you to grow, musically speaking?
Yes, Leo’s Tavern is a wonderful stage for new artists. Moya Brennan is extremely welcoming and encouraging and she made me feel very much at home in Leo’s. My performance has really improved since I began playing at Leo’s and I feel very comfortable there. There is always a fantastic atmosphere and a great appreciation for music there. Moya is a fantastic musician and person, a real inspiration to me. I’ve become much more confident since beginning to perform at Leo’s.
And now are usual 4 questions to help our readers to know better the culture of the Emerald Island.
4. What kind of music does Eve Belle like to hear? What is on your player right now?
I have a really varied taste in music. My favourite band is probably Kodaline, who are an Irish band. I was delighted to get the chance to play at the same gig as them at the IMRO Awards in Dublin this year! I also love Lana Del Rey, The Killers, Imagine Dragons, Paramore, Arctic Monkeys and Ed Sheeran with older artists such as Bob Dylan and Tom Waits also being on the list.
5. We love to speak and write about Irish culture, generally speaking. Any suggestions about books or writers from the Emerald Island to help a foreigner to understand you, Irish people, better?
This is a difficult question because I wouldn’t know much about this. I wouldn’t really read a lot of books that show the Irish way of life. If it was music or movies, I could recommend some things, artists such as U2, Kodaline and Fight Like Apes and films like A Kiss For Jed. The tv show Father Ted is a great example of the Irish sense of humour. We all find it hilarious here in Ireland.
6. Italy – Ireland: it seems there is a special bond between these 2 countries (at least from our point of view), probably beginning with our forefathers who immigrated in America. Thinking of Italy, what does come to your mind? What do you know, like (or not) of this country?
I’ve always been really fascinated by Italy. I’ve always thought it’s a really beautiful country with a rich and interesting history. The scenery has always taken my breath away. Seeing places like Montepulciano and Venice in films and tv shows has really made me want to visit this country. Of course, I have also heard wonderful stories about the delicious food in Italy. I love pizza, but have never had the chance to try real Italian pizza. I’ve also heard beautiful Italian music. The accordion is a huge part of Irish traditional music, so links between Italian and Irish music can be heard. I hope to travel to Italy some day and see all the beautiful scenery, listen to the gorgeous music and try all the delicious foods!
7. Projects for your future? What would you like to be when you grow up?
Above everything else, I want to be a musician when I leave school. It is the thing I am most passionate about and it is what I really want to pursue as a career. I am also very interested in psychology and sociology and might go on to study these in college as well.