21 Beats

Introducing: 21 of the best artists you have (probably!) never heard of. As part of our 21st Birthday celebrations, we will introduce you to 21 rising stars of the Irish music scene. Every Sunday from February 4th, Ava Somers from IrishBeats will chat with some of the hottest new talent, discovering their music and uncovering their stories.

Hear it first on IrishBeats weekly!

 

After this, it's up to you! Your votes will decide who will be playing at our 21st Birthday celebration gig!!

Are you a budding artist or band and want to register to be part of 21 Beats, you can do so HERE!

Advertisement

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Beat 102 103 (@beat102103)

1. Kingfishr

 

View this post on Instagram
Advertisement

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

We are kicking off 21 Beats in style with Kingfishr!

Kingfishr are a three-piece who formed during their college years in Limerick. With hit songs such as 'Shot in the Dark' and 'Shadow', the band have been taking the Irish music scene by storm in the past year. Many people believe that all three members are from Limerick, but they would be mistaken! As Ava discovered, Eddie is a Wexford yellow belly, McGoo is a Tipp man, and Fitz is actually from Cork.

You may recognise these guys from their shenanigans on TikTok, with one of their videos amassing a whopping 146 thousand views. They joined Ava in studio to talk about their upcoming tour, their sold-out Olympia dates and their most embarrassing moments .

Advertisement

When asked about their most embarrassing moment, they certainly have a story to tell! Eddie quipped he once played a concert with his fly down, showing off his bright red underwear to the crowd. To make matters worse, his housemates were in the front row, and they did not tell him!

Kingfishr have sold out the Olympia, and are supporting Irish rockers, Snow Patrol, in Limerick. Closer to home, Kingfishr have just announced that they are to play at All Together Now festival in County Waterford. For all the latest news on Kingfishr, check out their website.

The band played 'Shot in the Dark' live on-air, after telling Ava the inspiration behind the song. Eddie explained that the song was written about Kingfishr itself. The song was inspired by the night that the band decided to quit their day jobs and be full-time musicians.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to see Kingfshr playing their single 'Shot in the Dark' live in the Beat studio.

2. 7orenzo

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

7orenzo is the second of 21 artists to take part in Beat's 21 Beats campaign.

Lorenzo is a rapper from Waterford City. He is part of the Sinister Valley Collective, who he says help to inspire his music.

When he joined Ava in studio, our second artist explained that his inspiration comes from a plethora of sources, from Michael Jackson to the other artists in Sinister Valley, to local musicians who he plays music with. This is evident in the wide variety of tracks that he raps on, such as 'Words Cut Deeper' with E J Mae and 'All the Time' with rich..

Most interestingly, 7orenzo's release schedule is immaculate. He has enough material already to release a single every month for the rest of the year - and that is precisely what he plans to do. He is planning a release for the seventh day of every month until the end of 2024, so be sure to keep your eyes (and ears) peeled!

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

Kingfishr asked 7orenzo to talk about his most embarrassing moment onstage. The rapper admitted that it would need to be forgetting his lyrics at a live show - as embarrassing moments go, it seems that he has avoided any major mishaps.

Outside of music, Lorenzo is currently studying. He is an actor and also models. Is there anything he can't do?!

Follow 7orenzo on Tiktok and Instagram to keep up with his latest tracks!

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear rich. featuring 7orenzo 'All The Time' live from the Beat studio.

 

3. TOUCAN

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

Tramore's TOUCAN is the third artist to join our 21 Beats lineup!

Conor Clancy, otherwise known as 'TOUCAN', sounds as though he could be a whole band. However this is just one man and his dream.

Having sampled different types of music which caught his interest through various projects, TOUCAN was born some time around 2019. This is is a one man project which pulls its inspiration from soul, jazz and acoustic folk music. After supporting Dadi Freyr on tour in Europe, Conor returned home and began work on his newest release, 'Don't Understand Why'.

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

7orenzo left a question for TOUCAN; "If you had to start your music career over from the very beginning, would you do it? And if you did, would you do anything differently?"

Conor decided that he would start again in a heartbeat, and would do all of it again. Conor said that he would not change anything in his music career, as it helped him to become the artist that he is today. How wholesome is that?

To keep up with TOUCAN, follow him on Instagram.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to listen to Toucan playing 'Don't Understand Why' live from the Beat studio.

 

4. SaraLou

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

Ireland's answer to Taylor Swift, SaraLou, joined Ava in studio as artist 4 of 21 Beats.

SaraLou went viral on TikTok last year with her video amassing well over 2.7 MILLION views!

While gigging in a local pub, she decided to video herself. The first song that she ever learned on guitar was Zombie by Irish rock band, the Cranberries - and this was the song that made the Waterford woman go viral! The Cranberries frontwoman, Dolores O'Riordan was discussed as one of the Dungarvan artist's main inspirations, along with her parents and her lovely wife.

SaraLou's country-pop style is reminiscent of Fearless-era Taylor Swift, or Lady A's early albums. This certainly fits the current trends in the charts, with artists such as Dasha surging in popularity, and Beyonce's Cowboy Carter album becoming one of the best surprises of the year, the cowgirl era is certainly upon us!

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

TOUCAN joined Ava in the studio last week, and seeing as it is Pancake Tuesday, he asked SaraLou for her favourite pancake topping. SaraLou decided to keep it traditional with lemon and sugar, revealing that she actually did not eat pancakes for many years!

To keep up with SaraLou, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear SaraLou 'My Forever' live from the Beat studio.

 

 

5. Tulua

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

Tulua are a neo-trad folk group from County Wexford.

Introducing four lifelong friends who are making their love of music and dream of playing it around the world a reality. Tulua have played across the US and Europe. Most recently they supported Irish music legends De Dannan in their local church in the small village of Carrick-On-Bannow. While their music is largely inspired by traditional Irish music, many of their songs are composed by the members. Don't be fooled - this is NOT a cover band!

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

When SaraLou was in studio last week, she left this question for Tulua: "Who inspires you?"

Kayleigh found the people surrounding her in music college having a positive impact on her music, while Diarmaid found inspiration in Manchester-based flute player Michael McGoldrick. Cian is inspired by John Doyle's style of guitar playing and Micheal O'Suilleabhan inspires Caoimhe.

To keep up with Tulua, check out their Instagram and website.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear Tulua 'Kick the Stick jigs' live from the Beat studio.

 

6. Sitting Room

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

If you are into nostalgic songs, Sitting Room is the act for you!

Made up of two sisters, Aoife and Emily, and their friend, Ava, this Carlow girl-band are probably the most chilled-out indie-pop band in history. What began as a school project quickly became a family affair, and the girls began creating their own music together. These ladies are not full time musicians - they still work normal jobs, and even busk in Kilkenny on the weekends!

For these ladies, music is all about the passion and love of playing; fame and accolades, while important, are nothing in comparison to that. In other words, fame would be a by-product of simply enjoying making music for them.

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

And Tulua left the age-old query in the hands of the Sitting Room girls: "Which tastes better, square or triangle cut sandwiches?" The unanimous decision reached, with both bands agreeing, is that corner cut sandwiches simply taste better.

To keep up with Sitting Room, check out their Instagram.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear Sitting Room 'Treehouses' live from the Beat studio.

 

7. Under Starling

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

These Waterford darlings are amongst some of the hardest rockers that Ava has had on the show.

The band opened up to Ava on Sunday's IrishBeats about how Irish culture and folklore is woven into their songs. Their most recent release, Changeling, was in fact written about seemingly real events which occurred in Ireland. According to the band, they wrote the songs about a man who convinced himself that his wife was a changeling, and that his 'real' wife had been kidnapped by the fairies. This resulted in her brutal murder, as her husband believed that he needed to get rid of the 'imposter'. How gruesome!

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

Sitting Room left behind them a very creative question: "If you were to discover a brand-new colour that had never been seen before, what would you call it?" Under Starling's frontman, Danny, decided that he would name this new colour 'Shuedy'.

To keep up with Under Starling, check out their website and Instagram.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear Under Starling 'Changeling' live from the Beat studio.

 

8. Flexx Carter

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

Imagine an Irish rapper who only ever raps about how great it is to be alive. If you pictured Flexx Carter, you would be correct!

The Waterford rapper believes that he cannot in good conscience rap about how tough life is, because he truly believes his life is so amazing that it has to be put in song. His belief is that music is a way to celebrate and come together. That is the aim of his gigs; that every person who leaves the gig feels disappointed, but only because it is over, and they want to do it all over again!

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

"If you could have a kebab with anyone dead or alive, who would it be?"

That was the question posted by last week's act, Under Starling. It seems that the answer for Flexx was simple - 2Pac. He quipped that while it would be cool to sit with the legendary rapper, that the accolades that he would receive for bringing him back from the other side might be his claim to fame.

To keep up with Flexx Carter, check out his Instagram.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear Flexx Carter 'Take Care' live from the Beat studio.

 

9. Rachel Grace

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

If wholesome and emotional granola folk is your thing, may we introduce you to Rachel Grace.

Hailing from County Wexford, her roots in music extend right back to her childhood! Rachel began performing at traditional music nights with her grandmother as a child, before progressing to study music in BIMM, Dublin. This wonderful young artist has a beautiful writing style which is very emotional, so if that is your jam, this is your new favourite artist!

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

Flexx Carter left a question behind for Rachel last week: What makes her feel unstoppable?

Well, our most wholesome artist has of course the most wholesome answer: Spending time with her family, her pets, and those she loves. This was even put before music, but she said that it was a close second.

To keep up with Rachel Grace, check out her Facebook and website.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear Rachel Grace 'Lately' live from the Beat studio.

 

10. Woody

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

So... you love Weezer and laughing until your stomach aches, and you love listening to tunes that reflect your chill & fun personality? Well look no further than Woody!

This Waterford garage rock four-piece most certainly reflects their boy-next-door personality in their songs. Being inspired by everything from a college menu staple, to their love for their photographer-turned-drummer Cian's mother, to the name of their band being inspired by a Casanova hound in their neighbourhood, this band is uniquely and unapologetically themselves.

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

"If your music had a colour, what colour would it be?". Rachel Grace left this creative question behind her when she was leaving the studio last week.

After being nominated by his bandmates, guitarist Alan, decided it would be "Bluey-pink". In a hilarious turn of events, his bandmates then poked fun at him for his unusual depiction of purple.

To keep up with Woody, check out their Facebook and Instagram.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear Woody 'Beans On Toast' live from the Beat studio.

 

11. Jessica Brett

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

Jessica Brett is a wedding-singer turned pop princess from County Tipperary.

If you are a regular listener to IrishBeats, you will be very used to hearing this girl mentioned over the airwaves, and you may even sing along to some of her songs (of course you do!). This was Jessica's first time on regional radio, which came as a shock to IrishBeats' Ava! Jessica opened up about her song-writing process in studio, and how she always find the right word to say - by keeping a jotter at her side!

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

Woody collectively decided that they wanted to know Jessica's favourite song that she had written herself.

The singer's favourite song from her own repertoire is called 'I'll Come Back Better', a love shared by Ava, and many listeners of IrishBeats. Jessica explained that she liked this song as it was an uplifting break-up song. In keeping with her bubbly persona, the song details that while a break-up always hurts, there are always opportunities to grow as a person.

To keep up with Jessica Brett, check out her Facebook and Instagram.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear Jessica Brett 'Always Been You' live from the Beat studio.

 

12. One Morning in August

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

Self-proclaimed dad-rockers, One Morning in August are bringing the 70s and 80s back to life through their soft rock sound.

Taking inspiration from Dire Straits, Massive Attack and their beautiful surroundings, this Carlow band has been releasing songs since 2020. Having released the aptly-named End of Days mere hours before the first lockdown in 2020, One Morning in August have since played on stages around the country, and found their sound on airwaves nationwide. Since then the duo has become a trio by adopting Claire (who happens to be lead-singer John's sister) into the band for her soft female vocals, to add an extra depth to their already emotion-driven songs.

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

Jessica Brett left a question for the band who followed her: "What is your song-writing process?"

The songs normally begin with a simple drum beat, and the rest of the song is built upon this. This allows the band's sound to grow and expand naturally and grow into a creation in its own right.

To keep up with One Morning in August, check out their Facebook and Instagram.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear One Morning in August 'All the Same' live from the Beat studio.

 

13. Cormac Looby

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

Artist number lucky 13 is Cormac Looby.

Cormac is from County Tipperary, and is one of the latest additions to this year's When Next We Meet festival line-up. He will be joining Irish music legends such as Ye Vagabonds, Susan O'Neill and Bell X1. The songs which this young man writes are so powerful and emotional. He writes about his emotional response to situations he experiences. He also used music as a coping mechanism during lockdown, as this had an effect on his mental health.

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

One Morning in August's John decided that he would like to know what keeps Cormac going when it comes to music.

Cormac quipped that his love of music is what keeps him going - that an how it has always been a part of his life. This artist's drive is purely the love of his creation, and the possibility that he could create anything when he is playing music.

To keep up with Cormac Looby check out his website and Instagram.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear Cormac Looby 'Angel, Baby' live from the Beat studio.

 

14. Ciano

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ava Somers (@somers.ava)

Straight out of Camolin, County Wexford, DJ Ciano is one of the most fun acts around.

Cian Fitzgerald Byrne (aka Ciano) told Ava when he joined her in studio that he grew up listening to Beat, and that he could not believe that he was one of our 21 Beats artists! Inspired by the likes of Calvin Harris and Switch Disco, Cian bought a laptop and a DJ deck as a teenager when he was still in school. He would then come home every evening and learn his craft from his bedroom in his childhood home. He will be taking up a residency in Portugal this Summer.

Each of our 21 Beats artists leave a question for the artist following them.

Cormac Looby left this question for Ciano: At what point at a concert did you look at the stage and think 'I want to do that'?

This seemed an easy one for the DJ to pinpoint: Seeing Switch Disco in Ibiza. He said that the whole place was a dancefloor, and while everyone was dancing, he was standing in the crowd in awe, wondering how he was going to work hard to perform onstage with them one day.

To keep up with Ciano check out his Facebook and Instagram.

Join Ava every Sunday from 8pm for the best of homegrown music and to hear from the next of our 21 Beats artists.

Click below to hear Ciano 'Let You Go' live from the Beat studio.

 

 

Advertisement