First emerging onto the music scene as a teenage singer and songwriter, Dermot Kennedy is from County Dublin in Ireland. The performer began playing the guitar and singing as a boy, but only moved into writing his own material as a young adult. Developing his own unique style of song delivery, the performer is noted by his fans for his soulful voice, which is coupled to a poetic take on lyrics. For many who saw him perform his new songs for the first time in and around Dublin, the musician sounded like he had put together a sound that was beyond his years, almost as if he was a seasoned performer, not an up-and-coming artist.
Dermot Kennedy's career milestones
As a student of music, Kennedy went on to take a course in music at the National University of Ireland, which he attended in Maynooth, County Kildare. It was soon after this time that Kennedy put together a live band to accompany him. A drummer, a bassist, a lead guitarist and a violin player were all brought into the setup, which was becoming increasingly mature. Kennedy cites the likes of Bon Iver, James Blake and James Vincent McMorrow as influencing his fuller arrangements for the live band, many of which used hip-hop rhythms and soulful melodies, to achieve his sound.
After performing as a live act for some time, Kennedy and his band put out their debut EP, a work called Doves and Ravens, which began with the downbeat and chilled-out vibe of “Glory”. Other stand-out tracks on the work included “All My Friends” and the tender ballad “Boston”. Another highlight from this point in his career was the 2016 single “After Rain”. This track was played on BBC radio and was commended by the Irish Times as a 'romantic folk-pop track'. A huge hit on music streaming services, this song would go on to be listened to almost 30 million times in the two years after it first appeared on Spotify, for example.
More recently, Kennedy and his band have put out recordings that were made in the Jealoustown studios. However, the final mastering of his recent tracks has been completed in the prestigious Abbey Road studios in London. As the artist himself has said, this means that the finished product affords a truer reflection of the professionalism of all the engineers and musicians who have contributed to the enterprise.
As a live performer, Kennedy is known for his intense and powerful shows. The singer and guitarist is keen to credit the influence of poetry in bringing about this intensity, citing the words of African-American writers Black Ice and Amir Sulaiman as influencing his approach to lyricism.