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11th May 2023

Dermot Kennedy names Roe Byrne as next big thing in Irish music

Simon Kelly

Dermot Kennedy names next big thing in Irish music

There was no hesitation in his answer.

Kennedy spoke with JOE during a break in his musical journey and when asked who he thinks will be the next big thing in Irish music, he immediately pointed to 18-year-old singer-songwriter Roe Byrne.

Asked for ‘The next big thing in Irish music’, Kennedy told us, “Roe Byrne. He’s great.”

Byrne has already been performing for four years and is well known for his busking performances on Dublin’s Grafton Street. The Rathfarnham born singer credits Kennedy as a major influence

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A post shared by Roe Byrne (@roebyrnemusic)

Roe Byrne on Dermot Kennedy inspiration

Roe Byrne performed at two sold-out shows supporting Leah Heart in the Olympia on March 31 and Isaac Butler in Whelan’s on April 2, continuing his trajectory to musical stardom. He appeared at Electric Picnic in 2022.

Speaking to the Irish Independent earlier this year, Byrne said: “[Kennedy] is a big inspiration of mine, the way he holds himself and stays humble, I really look up to that.”

As part of the Guinness Live & Rising initiative, the Dermot Kennedy paid a visit to some of Dublin’s most loved bars – bringing down the house in each one. He became the first person to perform on the roof of the Guinness Storehouse then continued his performance at the nearby Gravity Bar.

Dermot Kennedy’s Picks

We threw some other rapid-fire questions at the Dubliner and he came back with some very interesting answers, including his guilty pleasure being Justin Bieber.

Best Song Intro: ‘Starry, Starry Night’ (Vincent) by Don McLean

Favourite Album: Bon Iver, by Bon Iver

Next big Irish musician: Roe Byrne

Musical icon: Justin Vernon from Bon Iver

Favourite Irish actor, right now: Paul Mescal or Barry Keoghan. “It’s close,” he says.

Kennedy also revealed that he’s currently writing a lot more at present. “I’ve been around long enough that I know what I want to be. I don’t know – I feel like you sometimes have to go all the way to come back a bit. So, I’m excited for what happens next.”

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