by Michelle Heffernan
Rose Walsh to me, is like a little magical fairy. Petite and modest in person, but utterly captivating and enchanting on stage. This 21 year old musician is sprinkling her talents far and wide here in Waterford, both as a solo artist and as part of musical trio the Sunday Drivers. Next weekend she plays in the Parlour Vintage Tea Rooms, and we caught up with the young songstress on her life and love of music.
Q.1. Hi Rose! Tell us a bit about yourself and your love of music!
Hi I’m Rose Walsh, I just turned 21 and I’m a musician studying music at WIT. I’m from Mooncoin in Kilkenny but Waterford has become my adopted home! I started playing guitar when I was nine or ten and I haven’t put it down since! I play in two bands, Sunday Drivers and Phoebe but I also do my own solo act as well. Sunday Drivers are a very high energy, good vibes kind of band. We enjoy ourselves when we play together. Phoebe are a newer band, we’re focused on jazz and jazz-ifying any pop tunes we can!
Q.2 Do you write your own songs? What inspires you?
I do write my own songs for my solo set and for Sunday Drivers as well. I started writing songs when I came to college;. I was nervous about showing them to people because it was my own music, stuff that I’d put a lot of thought into and spent a lot of time on. But when I did play them I got good reactions so I just started writing more. It’s really cathartic and does help with sorting through things in your own head. As for inspiration I’d say I’m inspired by people. My friends and colleagues. I write songs about people that I love and things that happen to me that I think are worth writing about.
Q.3 Who are your musical influences? Who would you compare your sound to?
My mam would be my biggest influence musically because I grew up listening to her favourite 70’s pop songs. She’s got the best taste in music. We were always listening to George Benson, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin and Bobby Caldwell, so I that would have been the kind of sound I was always going for. Then I took a lot of inspiration from Ella Fitzgerald’s scatting and improvisation. She’s the queen in my book. I really like experimenting though and putting my own twist on things and keeping it interesting!
Q.4 What have been some of your favourite gigs so far? Where can we hear you play in the next while?
The best gig I’ve ever played was one Sunday Drivers did in aid of Plastic Free Waterford in June. It was an amazing experience and we were just thrilled to be a part of it. I’m currently working with a new group which we will unveil on December 8th at the Parlour Vintage Tea Rooms.
Q.5 What advice would you give to another young musician looking to begin a career in music?
Play as much as you can. On street corners, in pubs, at home, at the opening of a can, wherever just play and practice as much as you possible. And the best advice I can give would be to play with other musicians and especially musicians who are more experienced than you are because it honestly makes you want to strive to be better. It’s intimidating but you’ll be wiser for it.
Any other words of wisdom? Jazz isn’t dead.
You can see Rose play at the Peaky Blinders Christmas Jazz Shindig at the Parlour Vintage Tea Rooms this Saturday December 8th alongside Amber & the Bear and DJ Louis Quinlan. Check out her music on Facebook at Sunday Drivers page and the Rogue Gallery Waterford page. Keep it up Rose, Waterford loves original music!