Dermot Kennedy on the artists that made him want to make music 1 month ago

Dermot Kennedy on the artists that made him want to make music

"I fell in love with that idea of someone who feels so compelled to just express themselves in that way."

If you needed any further proof that Garth Brooks has had a major impact on Irish culture - who could ever forget the five-night Croke Park residency that never was, eh? - look no further than the rise of Dermot Kennedy.

Granted, the 27-year-old doesn't plough a similar honky-tonk furrow, nor does he sport a Stetson, but his earliest musical memories are forever intwined with the legendary Oklahoman.

But while Kennedy first became aware of music via listening to Brooks in the car, it was a more homegrown offering that really kick-started him towards his own journey.

"The most solid thing in my mind of when I started to kind of get hooked on an artist or a certain genre and then know that that's what I wanted to be was; there was a gig that The Frames did, and it was on telly," he told Dion Fanning on this week's episode of Ireland Unfiltered.

"I don't even know that I'd ever heard of them. I wasn't even into music yet, I was super young, but I saw them on TV and I was just hooked with how Glen Hansard delivered songs. I was just so into it and from there that became my obsession and it's with me to this day.

"Then I got hooked on David Gray and Ray LaMontagne and then from that started listening to hip-hop. Even these days you look at somebody like Meek Mill or Stormzy - just that kind of honesty and the power of the story they're telling, it goes from genre to genre for me and it exists in so many different forms.

"So it's not necessarily that I'm like, 'Oh I fell in love with acoustic singer-songwriters' - I fell in love with that idea of someone who feels so compelled to just express themselves in that way."

You can watch the full interview with Dermot below.

Ireland Unfiltered will be available everywhere you get your podcasts and on YouTube every Tuesday.