INTERVIEW WITH INNI-K

tweety stuff @ronanfromcork

first published in @The Evening Echo 2015-02-12

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“Connecting with a room full of people through music and song is bliss for me”, is how Inni-K describes what drives her as an artist, “it’s something I love doing, I’m expanding and developing all the time.”

Gearing up for a national tour in support of the release of her debut album, ‘The King Has Two Horse’s Ears’, she described the record as “a personal project I’ve been shaping and moulding over recent years. It’s the culmination of a lot of writing, creating, giving myself over to the process of songwriting and just the joy of getting stuck into music. I decided to dedicate myself to my music a few years ago, and this album is one of the things that’s come of that.”

Inni-K recognises that she has taken her time to make the album, “it was a long time coming I guess, the songs have been with me a while, there was a period of gestation there for 4 or so years as I found my sound. I gigged, rejigged and found the core of the songs. The actual recording took place in Crumlin from August to November 2014. Once the right team was in place, it flowed quite quickly.”

She credits the producer of the album Stephen Shannon with bringing the best out of her, “he made what I wanted happen, we’re both as ambitious as the other and we really worked as a team. I think he heard what I had and can do, and understood what I wanted to do, which brought the whole project above and beyond what I could do alone, that’s really the magic of collaboration right?”

The overall sound of the album is something she is proud of and describes it as “kind of raw and very focused on melody. It’s light and percussive along with being pretty big and expansive too – the full gamut! I love playing with a lot of plucky percussive ukulele and fiddle sounds, repetitive phrases and idioms. I love the contrast between what I play, Brian Walsh’s drums and Cormac O’Brien’s rooting foundation on the bass. There’s a lot of piano there too. The Irish language is very much part of my vocabulary and that comes through in the songs too.”

While preparing her album, Inni-K also worked on ‘Rian’, a contemporary dance theatre piece from Fabulous Beast Theatre Company that readers might remember from performances in the 2012 Cork Midsummer Festival, “I had the joy of touring with ‘Rian’ for 3 years on and off. Touring it, and working on it definitely shaped me as a performer. Musically it’s very different to my own music, but it gave me confidence to explore and ‘get into’ my own original music in a way I hadn’t before. It was a very joyous, infectious, beautiful show, with a really wonderful company of dancers and musicians; we are like a big family. I loved every night of it. I gained great experience singing to 1000, 2000 seater venues in Sydney, Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, London and all over the globe. Starting every day with yoga and being around such brilliant physical dancers really brought out another side of me. And singing with Liam Ó Maonlai and the rest of the band is always a great pleasure, not to mention seeing so much of the world!”

Like many independent artists in recent years, she has used the Fund:It model to cover the costs of making her work, an experience she has a positive view of “it’s a great way to build an audience and create a community around your music or whatever project you’re doing. Going into making this record with 167 funders backing me and rooting for me actually made me want to give them something really great! It raised my level and meant I could do more of what I wanted to do with a substantial budget rather than needing to cut corners.”
Her love of constantly developing herself and finding new music also feeds into how she choose the opening acts for her national tour, “I love to discover interesting musicians and singers doing their thing, and can’t wait to hear ‘Kulini’ who’ll be supporting me in Coughlans. They are two members of the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra, Kevin McNally and Eithne O’Mahony, who’ll be doing their own original material.”

While this tour is for her debut album, Inni-K is already looking ahead, “I’m in it for the long run, so it’s only a step along the way, hopefully it’ll lead to more opportunities to play, and more opportunities to make more music!”

‘The King has Two Horse’s Ears’ will be available on vinyl and download via www.inni-k.com and in Music Zone in Douglas Shopping Centre.

Inni-K plays in Coughlans on Friday 6 March at 9pm, tickets are €10

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