Interview With Elly O’Keefe

tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

first published in @The Evening Echo 2014-12-23


Having originally moved from Knocknagree in County Cork to Cork City to study on

the Music, Management and Sound course in Colaiste an Stiofain Naofa, Elly

O’Keeffe music career has since led to her moving to London, while home for

Christmas she will be playing a concert in Coughlans. Speaking with Ronan Leonard

ahead of the gig, she was full of enthusiasm to her return, “I am so looking forward to

playing this gig, it was the last gig I did before I moved so I am delighted to be back

again at this festive time of year!”

Elly reflects on her decision to move away from Cork, “I guess, after releasing my

first album, ‘When We Live’, in 2010 and gaining lots of experience with great

musicians and playing in great venues around Ireland, I felt it was time to branch out

and make some new contacts. Having worked with my current producer, Joe Hirst,

for the past two and a half years I decided to finally make the move be closer to the

music industry.”

A year in to her time in London, Elly feels she has adapted to the change of life, “the

move has been really good but very challenging. London is a tough city but once you

survive the initial change you learn to enjoy it and get the best out of it for yourself. It

has been an insane busy year for me. My life has changed a lot but I am really

excited to be here and pursuing my music career.”

The scale of London’s music industry dwarves Cork’s and indeed Ireland’s, Elly

focuses on the positive aspects of that difference, “it’s a big place with lots of

beautiful venues and I’m still picking out the right ones for me. The music scene is

definitely different here but then again, a scene is just like any other scene once you

have become part of it, particularly when doing showcase gigs, you do see some

familiar faces playing with different artists and so on.”

The geographical shift in career has been in tandem with Elly developing as an artist,

“while my style is more or less the same but I definitely have a newer sound seeing

as I have been writing on piano for the past 2 years. Co-writing has really developed

me as an artist and a songwriter so hopefully people will enjoy the new material.

Over here I play solo as I am trying out lots of new material, but in Coughlans I will

have be joined by Pat Crowley on keyboards, Noel Barrett on bass and Aisling

Fitzpatrick on cello as well as a few special guests throughout the night. At least half

the set we play will be material that wasn’t on my first album.”

Elly is looking forward to a very busy 2015, “I will be doing lots of co-writing and

recording. I am currently in the middle of recording my second album, I plan to

release the first single of it in April and do a small European tour including the UK

and Ireland. The second single is due to be released in September.”

While she does consider London her permanent residency now Elly doesn’t rule out

returning home, “for now I will be based here in the UK but Cork will always have a

huge place in my heart so hopefully down the line I will get to come back.”

Elly O’Keefe and band will be playing Couglans on

Tuesday 30 December, doors are 9pm and tickets are priced at €8.

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