by Michelle Heffernan
Gorgeous songstress Heather McGrath, from Tramore, Waterford has been writing music since her childhood. Her single “Intoxicate Me” has received such widespread acclaim, she is competing today in the final of the IMRO Christie Hennessy Song Competition 2018. We chatted with this local singer songwriter on growing up with music, honing in on her sound and hitting it big with “Intoxicate Me”
- Hi Heather! Tell us about how your interest in music and songwriting began?
My love of music began at a very young age. I grew up in a house where music was always there. My mom always jokes and says that I could sing before I could talk! I began playing the tin whistle in school at the age of around 8 and I was in the school choir. And then from the age of 10, I suppose I really got into it. I got my first guitar then and it just took off from there! I started to write songs at the age of 11 and I trained as a mezzo soprano over the years. And now I get to study music, perform and compose every day… Which is just wonderful!
- How would you describe your genre of music? What are some of your main musical influences?
I like to say that my genre is pop with a hint of country and a dash of jazz/blues fusion.I would take a lot of influence from artists I grew up listening to like, Fleetwood Mac, KT Tunstall, and R.E.M. But also, artists I listen to today. A lot of them happen to be Irish actually! I am a massive fan of Little Hours, Gavin James and Kodaline.
- Your single “Intoxicate Me” has been lauded widely as a crackingly catchy and yet deep and soulful tune. How did this song come about and what has the reaction been like for you?
Like every song I write, I get my inspiration from life experiences, emotions, love, heartbreak. Sometimes it can be experienced by me personally or perhaps something I have observed around me. In this case though, the lyrics speak for themselves… A lady head over heels for a young gentleman. The reaction to “Intoxicate Me” has been absolutely incredible. The support I have received from everyone has been so wonderful and I am so grateful for everyone’s kind words! It has been receiving loads of airplay from multiple radio stations including BEAT 102-103 and WLR.
- You’re currently completing a degree in Music; would you say it helps as a musician to study professionally?
In my opinion, I would say that yes it does help to a certain degree. Particularly with performance modules. We would learn how one should prepare prior to a performance or a gig, advice on how to communicate with your audience, stage presence etc. So, I definitely think it’s an advantage!
- What advice would you give to another young musician hoping to release original songs like yourself?
I would say just go for it! You never know unless you try. Even when you feel like you’ve given all you can give, don’t give up! That’s the time when you need to keep trying. It is a tough business but it will be so worth it in the end. And even if it doesn’t work out, at least you have given it your best shot. Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle!
- Lastly, most importantly, where can we find your fantastic music?, and where can we see you play soon?
So most of my material is released on my Facebook page which is “Heather McGrath Music”. Here you can also find past interviews I have done and live gigs, as well as upcoming gigs!My single “Intoxicate Me” is available on all digital platforms including iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music etc. Just look up “Intoxicate Me” by HEATHER. And more of my material can be found on my YouTube channel ~ Heather McGrath. I plan on doing some gigs over the Christmas-keep an eye out on my Facebook page for any updates!
You can find Heather and her wonderful music at the following links!