Dolans Presents have announced that singer-songwriter Aine Cahill will play a Dolans Warehouse gig on December 13th.
Since making her TV debut to millions in 2016, Aine Cahill’s career has skyrocketed. Plucked from a pub stage at Glastonbury to perform live on the BBC’s festival coverage, before Coldplay’s set on the Sunday night, she mesmerised viewers who could scarcely believe that she wasn’t already a star.
In fact, the then 21 year old was a naïve newcomer from a village in County Cavan, being managed by her postman. Oh, and she’d just spent a week sleeping in a van.
Overnight, she saw 150,000 sign up on Spotify to hear more of her passionate, powerhouse vocals and selfwritten, storytelling songs. She was inundated with offers from excited industry insiders.
Within weeks, she had a manager, who has represented everyone from David Bowie and Depeche Mode to the Rolling Stones and the Spice Girls. She signed to a major international booking agency renowned for representing global superstars
“It was like finding myself in a fairy tale,” says Áine. “Since the age of 19, all I’d wanted to do was make music, but I couldn’t see how that would happen. Suddenly, I could spend my days writing songs and my nights singing them. For a while, I worried that I would wake up and discover it had been a dream.”
Having immersed herself in Lana Del Rey, Marina & The Diamonds and Marilyn Monroe films, Áine began writing songs, including White Piano, inspired by Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
She got a job in a hotel to pay for a local producer to record an EP, Paper Crown, which she posted on Soundcloud. When it was named the best unsigned EP of 2014 by a music magazine, Áine worked more shifts to fund her playing sporadic shows with a band, including a competition-winning slot at Ireland’s Electric Picnic festival. She self-released the sensual, cinematic song Black Dahlia and began picking up radio play.
In early 2016, Áine twice took the band to London, where they played Camden’s Dublin Castle and got an invite to perform at Glastonbury for no fee.
“We went for a full week and all slept in a van,” says Áine. “We were only there to do a set on the Friday in what we thought would be a tent, but turned out to be a pub. I did 13 original songs and two covers –Teen Idle and Bad & Beautiful, a mash-up of Gaga’s Bad Romance and Lana’s Young and Beautiful – and by the end there were 60 people watching, which was amazing. Afterwards, we got a message saying we’d been picked to play the backstage bit for TV.”
On the Saturday, watching Adele’s headline set, Áine kept checking her phone, waiting for a call that never came. Finally, on Sunday, she was given the slot pre Coldplay and, with just a pianist, performed a spellbinding, acoustic rendition of Black Dahlia.
Áine was widely described as an Irish Adele, although a wisecracking Lanameets-Marina would have been more accurate. What was obvious to everyone who saw her, however, was that Áine was a voice in a generation who wouldn’t require comparisons for long.
Áine saw out the year that changed her life playing her biggest ever gig, a charity show at Dublin’s 3Arena alongside Kodaline and Gavin James. 2017 was spent playing scores of shows and festivals and supporting Kodaline on tour. Last March, Áine put the intoxicating track Plastic online and in October released her final indie single, the slinky show-stopper Blood Diamonds, before signing with East West Records.
“It’s actually the third song I ever wrote, but I wanted it to be produced properly,” says Áine, who teamed up with the London-based musician Courage (Stormzy, Ray BLK) for the release. “I pictured this lady wearing furs and diamonds, believing she’s special, but really she’s a delusional bitch. I’m disgusted by blood diamonds. What sort of person could wear them for the sake of showing off?”
This year will mostly be devoted to writing and releasing new material, although Áine continues to play live and a few festivals have been booked.
She has been co-writing, but only on her own terms. “I’ve got here on my own songs,” she says. “I’m happy to have help and I won’t be a bitch, but I’ll never sing a song that isn’t me. I have to be myself.”
Her forthcoming single, Beauty Is A Lie is case in point, it’s a sassy, spectral beauty “calling out all the bullshit we see day to day on social media. We all do it. People only show an edited version of themselves, the side they think is ‘the best’, but this is the world we are living in. I hate it, but I love it at the same time”