IMRO Interview and Live Performance with internationally acclaimed hit songwriter RuthAnne Cunningham
Currently riding the wave of international songwriting success with recent cuts by Professor Green, Avicii and Westlife, RuthAnne Cunningham takes time out from writing and recording her debut album to make a flying visit back to Ireland. Catch a sneak preview of tracks from this album when RuthAnne pops into IMRO for a public interview and live performance later this week.
Date: Friday 13th July
Venue: IMRO, Copyright House, Pembroke Row, Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
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Based between London and LA, Irish-born artist RuthAnne draws on the distinctive energy of those cities to create a dynamic, soulful blend of pop with a rich vocal like no other. The unstoppable singer/songwriter has an impressive line-up of tunes behind her, created for pop-artists including Jojo’s hit single with Billy Steinberg, “Too Little too late,” which skyrocketed from number 66 to number 3 on the Billboard hot 100 chart in just one week in the US in 2007, breaking previous chart records – the biggest leap in Billboard chart history. The platinum smash went on to sell over a million units. And that’s just the jumping off point.
RuthAnne has written songs for chart-topping artists including Katharine McPhee, winner of Finnish pop idol Anna Abreu and winner of South African idol Jody Williams and Australian band Shakaya – and the list goes on. In 2007, RuthAnne had songs on three platinum albums in the US and Europe, and officially became Ireland’s youngest songwriter ever to achieve these honors (she won the Best Pop song Award at the 2007 ASCAP Awards). More stellar cuts and singles written by RuthAnne, including album title track “Turn it up”, album track “My Love”, and hit single “Broken Arrow”, recorded by British platinum-selling popstar Pixie Lott, followed. She then collaborated with Grammy winning producer John Shanks to co-write with Westlife for their recent ‘Greatest Hits’ album.
While she may have been burning brightly behind the scenes, RuthAnne was never content being just a music-industry insider – and now her journey is taking a major turn, into the spotlight.
RuthAnne’s time to shine as a solo artist is now, her undeniable vocal talent, her wildly rich soulful tone is soon to be heard around the world. After honing her skills over the past five years writing for, and collaborating with, many of the UK’s hottest stars and producers, (Leona Lewis, Sugarbabes, Labrinth, Ben Hudson, Ed Drewett, Devlin, X-Factor winning artist Alexander Burke, Cher Lloyd, JLS, Loick Essien, Tinchy Stryder, Professor Green, Westlife, among them), and having worked extensively with many internationally renowned producers (Ron Fair, John Shanks, Julian Bunetta, Jeff Bashker, Red One, Toby Gad, JR Rotem to name a few), RuthAnne is now in Los Angeles putting all of that experience and creativity into writing her own album of infectiously catchy soulful-pop.
Her first artist feature is with Brit rap star Professor Green, on the hook she penned for current single, ‘Remedy’ (June release in UK & across Europe).
She wrote and is featuring on DJ superstar Avicii’s upcoming single “All You Need Is Love” which is set to be a worldwide Summer anthem.
A handful of other exciting features and collaborations in the pipeline whilst working on her debut record.
RuthAnne’s unprecedented foundations in the industry along with her songwriting pedigree and irrepressible ambition, talent and unique vision have marked her a rising star to watch.
On the eve of a performance at NPLD and the release of the second single from his critically-acclaimed debut album, singer-songwriter, Ross Breen, received a nice boost by being named ‘Tom Dunne Singer-Songwriter of the Year’. The contest, endorsed by Paul McGunniess, saw Ross Breen emerge as the stand-out candidate of over a thousand entries after a stirring performance of his current single, ‘Monet’, across Newstalk from The Sugar Club on June 14th.
No stranger to touring both inIrelandand abroad, Ross Breen is scheduled to play Knockanstockan and Indiependence before the summer is out, all while recording his much-anticipated second album.
Official Website: www.rossbreen.com
Iconic American singer songwriter John Prine makes a rare Irish appearance when he joins with his old friend and collaborator the legendary guitar player Phillip Donnelly for a unique evening of conversation, guitar picking and stories.
“John Prine in conversation with Phillip Donnelly” is a one off stage show on Sunday July 15th in the SET Theatre in Kilkenny. It follows a recent on air reunion when Phillip had John as a guest on his “Full Circle” radio show on KCLR.
The event is being promoted by radio station KCLR 96fm with support from IMRO.
After returning from Vietnam and while working as a postman John Prine was “discovered” as a singer / songwriter and an early mentor was Kris Kristofferson. Prine’s song about a returning Vietnam Veteran; “Sam Stone” is regarded as a classic of American music and since his debut album in 1971 Prine has released a wide ranging and consistent catalogue of music. Over the years, the quality of his songwriting has been cited by everyone from Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash to Roger Waters of Pink Floyd.
As well as being renowned for his songwriting, Prine is widely admired for his story telling, wit and insight. The audience at his show in Kilkenny will have a rare opportunity to be “up close and personal” with someone who is truly regarded as a giant of popular music.
Dublin native Phillip Donnelly is an Irish musician and guitar player who blazed a trail as a top musician in Hollywood and Nashville in the 1970’s and 80’s when he wrote and recorded with a who’s who of American music including the Everley Brothers, Johnny Cash, Nanci Griffith, BJ Thomas, Roger Cook, Brenda Lee, Townes Van Zandt to name just a few.
He established a particularly close link with John Prine touring recording and writing with the Illinois native for many years. He says he is thrilled to be appearing with his old friend and collaborator on stage in Kilkenny.
“John Prine is the “songwriters songwriter”, Bob Dylan name checks him as his favourite songwriter and his music is regarded as an integral part of American culture with his work being a unique part of American culture,” according to Phillip Donnelly “I spent many years on the road with John in America where we played in 48 states together, I’ve recorded 3 albums with him and have co-written with him over the years. In all our years of playing stadiums, festivals and large theatres I never thought I’d get to play such a unique and intimate venue as the SET Theatre in Kilkenny for his Irish fans. We’re both really looking forward to this special show.”
“This one off show is unique opportunity for John Prine’s legion of Irish fans to enjoy an intimate up close and personal evening with one of Americas most popular and influential singer / songwriters of the last 50 years,” according to Phillip Donnelly “John and I, will be chatting about our days on the road, the stories behind some of John’s biggest songs as well as performing John’s songs.”
Tickets for the Show are priced at €25 and are available from Langtons Hotel in Kilkenny or www.set.ie
CISAC to improve the Professional Rules governing authors’ societies worldwide
At its recent General Assembly in Dublin, CISAC (the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) unanimously decided to launch a thorough review of its Professional Rules governing authors’ societies worldwide.
The review’s objective is to further strengthen CISAC’s Professional Rules, guaranteeing that authors’ societies continue to operate under the highest and most appropriate standards of governance, business efficiency and financial transparency. The revisions will be presented for approval at the next CISAC General Assembly in Washington DC in June 2013.
Key improvements to be covered by the review of CISAC Professional Rules are:
Increasing the frequency of distribution of royalties to creators and rights holders. As a first major step in that direction, CISAC General Assembly adopted in June 2012 the principle of a quarterly distribution of royalties between authors’ societies.
Ensuring better financial transparency through a reinforced and harmonised yearly declaration of societies to CISAC.
Streamlining the compliance verification process. In order to guarantee that authors’ societies are trusted organisations within the creative sector, CISAC will improve its compliance verification process, while staged and escalating sanctions will be considered for societies which do not comply with CISAC Professional Rules.
“CISAC Professional Rules,” said CISAC Director General Olivier Hinnewinkel, “serve as a sort of code of conduct for authors’ societies internationally and contribute to establishing a fair system for everyone where creators get the benefit from their creations by getting paid for the use of their works – and where users have equal access to the worldwide repertoire.”
The Professional Rules are a binding code of governance, administrative, business, financial and data management principles, first laid down by CISAC in 2007 and adapted to each of the creative repertoires – music, audiovisual, dramatic, literary and visual arts. CISAC Professional Rules aim to streamline relations between authors’ societies, their members and users as well as to provide an assurance of the good governance, credibility, transparency, efficiency and legitimacy of authors’ societies that are members of CISAC.
After five years of implementation, CISAC decided it was time to revisit its Professional Rules in order to maintain high standards of governance and transparency in line with the interests of rights holders, users, governments and the general public, while taking into account the extreme diversity of situations among CISAC members.
About Authors’ societies and CISAC
Authors’ societies exist to ensure that creators’ rights are licensed, collected, managed and distributed fairly. They play a key role in licensing legitimate services and collecting and distributing royalties to creators and rightsholders worldwide. They also promote cultural diversity by facilitating worldwide access to cultural works.
Presided over by legendary singer and songwriter Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees (until his death on May 20, 2012) and internationally recognized visual artist Hervé di Rosa, CISAC – the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers – is the leading worldwide network of authors’ societies protecting and promoting the interests of creators and rights holders. CISAC’s fundamental mission is to enable authors’ societies to seamlessly represent creators across the globe and, in particular, to assist them in ensuring that royalties flow to authors for the use of their works anywhere in the world. To this end, CISAC provides the highest business & technical standards to protect creators’ rights and to support the development of the international network of collective management societies.
With 233 authors’ societies from 122 countries as its members, CISAC indirectly represents around 3 million creators and publishers of artistic works in all genres (music, drama, literature, audiovisual, photography and the visual arts). In 2010, the royalties collected by CISAC’s member societies in their respective national territories topped 7.5bn EUR.
The first graduates have emerged from a special programme, ‘Scratch My Progress’, at the Oh Yeah music centre in Belfast. These are: Katharine Phillipa, Conor Mason, 20 Second Century and Everyday Superheroes. At the end of this six month course they have each recorded a track for a compilation CD and will celebrate their completion of the pilot scheme with a gig.
This live event takes place at Oh Yeah, 15-21 Gordon Street, Belfast on Friday June 28. The compilation CD will be available on the night and a special guest will also feature.
Scratch My Progress is the first version of a talent development project, supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland and promoted by the Citybeat radio station. One acts was chosen from a public vote and the others were selected by an industry panel.
The musicians were then introduced to vocal coaching, PR, photo sessions and meetings with a series of industry professionals. These included a specialist lawyer, a music industry accountant, an executive at Domino Records and a former A&R chief at Virgin Records. They learnt about copyright, film synch and survival skills on tour.
All of the acts have now been profiled by BBC Radio 1 Introducing. Meanwhile Katharine Phillipa appeared with the Ulster Orchestra in a live BBC broadcast from the Ulster Hall on May 22.
” I think I need a surrogate musical family. In Northern Ireland, I’ve seen it for sure – in other musicians, BBC Radio Ulster folk, and of course, at the Oh Yeah Centre, which is such a necessary base and nucleus within the music scene. With this kind of nurturing at the onset, a more stable musical growth can occur, just as the opportunity for music to be heard by as many ears as possible deepens.”
The second series of Scratch My Progress will be launched in the second half of 2012.
The after-party will be in The Sweeney Mongrel until LATE!!
The LP, recorded @MUZU TV Dublin by Geoffrey Perrin (Kila, Dead Can Dance) and mastered by John Astley, London (Ramones, The Who, The Rolling Stones), will be available to buy everywhere online and in cd format on the FOAD independent label from HMV, Tower Records and independent outlets in Ireland. FREE Ouija board with every cd!!!
For those who haven’t had the pleasure, Liz is Evil has been affecting the mainstream, punk and alternative circles since forming in 2007 in Ireland and the UK. Their punk rock simplicity fused with twisted melodies and agitated pop sets them apart from most other guitar driven bands.
Irish tour and UK dates in August and September.
For more see http://breakingtunes.com/lizisevil
The Flaws release ‘Let’s Fight’ on iTunes on July 6th and mark the occasion with a Dublin date in Whelans
The Flaws exploded onto the Irish music scene in late 2007 when their debut long player ‘Achieving Vagueness’ was released to universal critical acclaim. It entered the Irish Top 20 and lead to both Choice and Meteor nominations. Having toured the debut for over 18 months solid playing some amazing shows across the country including memorable sets at Glastonbury, Electric Picnic ’08 and Oxegen the band took a well deserved break.
In October 2010 the band released their new album ‘Constant Adventure’. This much anticipated second album was recorded at Tumbleweed Studios in Dundalk, was self produced and mixed and engineered by Jason Varley. The end result showcased just how much The Flaws have grown as a band, track after track boasts beautiful harmonies and dazzles with glittering guitars.
With the departure of original bass player Dane McMahon in early 2012 the band were compelled to look themselves squarely in the eye. They did what they have always done best. They sat down and wrote some dazzling new songs. One of these was Let’s Fight and working with producer Rob Kirwan over the course of a couple of days in late May the band beat, welded and angle-ground the raw material of the song into their toughest, punchiest (excuse the pun) track to date. Under an exterior made from solid muscle the hallmarks of the band’s sound are there, Colin Berrill’s relentless drum attack, Paul mallon’s pulsing bass, the soaring harmonies, and the sumptuous melodic interplay between Paul Finn and Shane Malone’s guitars. With more fantastic songs in their arsenal it’s safe to say that The Flaws are back and this time the gloves are off.
The Flaws launch ‘Let’s Fight’ with a show in Whelan’s on Friday 6th July.
What the Press Say:
‘a sumptuous slice of classy pop rock’ Jackie Hayden Hot Press
Constant Adventure…………….’is a hugely confident step forward……..’ Lauren Murphy Irish Times ***
‘a serious of delightful radio friendly pop songs that ………..sound fresh and beguiling’, Eamon Carr The Herald
For more info go to www.theflaws.com
DATE: Monday 9th July
VENUE: IMRO, Copyright House, Pembroke Row, Dublin 2.
Hosted by Phil Udell of State.ie
This event is free of charge but due to limited capacity, booking is essential.
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Paul Williams, Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter. Recognised as one of America’s most prolific and gifted lyricists and composers, Paul’s standards have been recorded by such diverse musical icons as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, David Bowie, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughn, Johnny Mathis, The Carpenters, Luther Vandross, REM, Mel Torme, Anne Murray, Diana Krall, Gladys Knight and Diana Ross. His songs have also found favour with Country legends including Chet Atkins, Kris Kristofferson, Charlie Pride, Crystal Gayle, Lynn Anderson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Diamond Rio and Neil McCoy.
Laura Izibor is a Meteor Music Award winning songwriter and artist and is currently signed to Atlantic Records USA having originally been signed to Jive Records at the age of 17. Her debut album, Let the Truth Be Told, was released in May 2009. The album debuted at number two on the Irish Albums Chart. Her songs have featured on numerous hit TV show, films and adverts such as Grey’s Anatomy, Nanny Diaries, One Three Hill, P.S I Love You, Bones, Tough Love & Hibernian Aviva.
Laura has an EP to be released in late summer 2012, and is currently tracking for her second full-length release to be released in early 2013.
Paul Williams is an Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe winning Hall of Fame songwriter. He is a recipient of The National Music Publishers President’s Award and is President and Chairman of the Board of ASCAP (the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers).
Recognised as one of America’s most prolific and gifted lyricists and composers, Paul’s standards have been recorded by such diverse musical icons as Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, David Bowie, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughn, Johnny Mathis, The Carpenters, Luther Vandross, REM, Mel Torme, Anne Murray, Diana Krall, Gladys Knight and Diana Ross. His songs have also found favour with Country legends including Chet Atkins, Kris Kristofferson, Charlie Pride, Crystal Gayle, Lynn Anderson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Diamond Rio and Neil McCoy.
When asked which song is his favorite, Paul is quick to respond, “That’s easy! It’s “The Rainbow Connection”. It’s a thrill to hear my words interpreted by such inimitable talents as Willie Nelson, the Dixie Chicks, Sarah McLachlan, Judy Collins, Jason Mraz and Kermit the Frog!” “The Rainbow Connection”, from the children’s classic The “Muppet Movie”, is one of two Paul Williams’ songs that grace the American Film Institute’s list of the top movie songs of all time; the second, “Evergreen” is from the award winning Streisand/Kristofferson remake of A Star Is Born. Additional song scores include the cult favorites Phantom of the Paradise and Ishtar, as well as “The Muppet Christmas Carol”, “Bugsy Malone.”, and Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas, the latter of which has now been adapted for the stage. His recent work has remained wonderfully diverse, from creating and writing the songs and story for Disney’s A Muppets Christmas: Letters To Santa, to writing with the Scissor Sisters, to penning the music and lyrics for Garry Marshall’s theatrical sensation Happy Days.
Although most people came to know the witty Mr. Williams as one of Johnny Carson’s recurring favorites on The Tonight Show, or as an actor in dozens of films, television comedies and dramas, it is his musical legacy that continues to inspire. “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Rainy Days And Mondays”, “You and Me Against The World”, “Just An Old Fashioned Love Song”,”Let Me Be The One” all remain pop classics and are performed by Paul in venues from New York to the Philippines.
Publicly lauded for his work as a songwriter, performer, actor and humanitarian, Paul predicts he’ll be remembered for playing Little Enos in the Smokey and the Bandit trilogy and for his lyrics to “The Love Boat” theme, although it is the lyrics from Bugsy Malone, recast for a recent Coke commercial, that aptly sum up his philosophy: “You give a little love and it all comes back to you; You’re gonna’ be remembered for the things that you say and do”. As a devoted husband to writer Mariana Williams and proud father, Paul considers his son Cole, and daughter Sarah, to be his best work.
The foundation begins with soul,” explains 25-year-old singer/songwriter/producer Laura Izibor of her passionate, piano-guided songs. On her debut album, Izibor continued the lineage set out by artists like Lauryn Hill and Jill Scott; artists who combine a reverence for the traditions of early R&B with a thoroughly modern sensibility. After one listen to the powerful, honey-tinged vocals on Let The Truth Be Told, one thing is for sure. For Laura Izibor, it’s got to be real.
Born to a working class family in Dublin, Ireland, Izibor admits she didn’t grow up in a musical household. “My mother raised five kids on her own, so there wasn’t much time to buy records – it wasn’t that kind of home. I found myself fancying music at about 13.” Once the love for musicians like Stevie Wonder, Candi Stanton, and Roberta Flack took hold, she was smitten for good. “One door opened to the next – first I discovered Marvin Gaye, and then Otis Redding, and I just fell in love with soul music.”
At the age of 15, Izibor won a prestigious national performance competition, the “2FM Song Contest.” At 17, she started work on her debut album, taking the time to really hone her songs. Let The Truth Be Told was recorded over the course of four years in a diverse range of cities: New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Dublin among them. Laura also performed live constantly during this period, finding her true home onstage. Having performed several sold-out shows in Ireland, and opened for acts including James Brown, Angie Stone, and The Roots, she’s earned the affectionate moniker “The Soul of Ireland” from the folks back home.
Laura released her fully self-penned and co-produced debut album Let The Truth Be Told in 2009. “The title felt like a strong, almost biblical statement,” she explains. “I wrote this album because it’s my truth. It’s a sincere record and it has a feel of survival in it as well.” Izibor resisted the urge to feature established artists on various tracks, instead creating a revealing, and very personal, document of this moment in her life. “I didn’t want to be anybody’s protégé,” she says. “It was very tempting to put in the reinforcements, but for my debut album I wanted it to be 100% from me.”
The songs are ripe with authenticity, from the sassy, soulful album opener, “Shine,” to the magnificent and deeply personal “If Tonight Is My Last,” to the anthemic and inspirational “Mmm,” which colored the soundtrack of Step Up 2: The Streets. With her tracks also featured on Grey’s Anatomy, The Hills, and The Nanny Diaries, Izibor has found that airing her heartfelt take on life and love has translated to the hopes and struggles of various characters, as well as to the people at home watching them. “I hope people take away a sense of honesty and realness when listening to my music. They’re just songs written from a really sincere place, and hopefully people can connect to it on some level and relate their own lives to it as well.”
Following the huge radio hits “Addicted to Progress” and “Mark My Words”, the Coronas are back with their brand new single “Closer to You”, the title track taken from their third album and a huge fan favourite at their live shows.
Within the past two months the “Closer to You” album has been released across Europe with successful tours in the UK, Germany, Holland, Austria and Switzerland. With the announcement of their biggest headline show to date in Dublin’s O2 on December 14th, the Coronas are firmly established as one of the most successful artists in the country.
The album “Closer to You” has been lodged in the Irish charts since its release last November and is the band’s fastest selling to date having already gone platinum in Ireland. Produced by Tony Hoffer (Air, Beck, The Kooks, Belle & Sebastian) in the Sound Factory (Los Angeles).
Upcoming Irish Shows
30 June – Sea Sessions Surf Music Festival, Bundoran
27 July – Galway Arts Festival, Galway
14 December – 02, Dublin
Sirkus Sirkuz, the new solo project from Decky Hedrock (The Japanese Popstars/Hedrock Valley Beats) has already been making waves and setting tongues wagging in 2012. With radio play across the UK, Ireland, USA and Europe, his signature electronic sound has interested the critics, the fans, as well as other artists.
Over the years he has remixed artists like Beyonce, Depeche Mode, Ash, Groove Armada, James, Benny Benassi, Kylie and Gorillaz to name a few in his various ‘producer aliases’ and also collaborated with the likes of Robert Smith (The Cure), Jon Spencer (Blues Explosion), Morgan Kibby (M83), Green Velvet and James Vincent McMorrow.
Rapier, the first full release by 9G Records for Sirkus Sirkuz, and second appearance on the label, is a driving and gritty electro track, steeped deep in a four to the floor house beat and vocal. Sirkuz’s use of the ever growing rise throughout keeps the track elevated all the way to the end. Its already getting support and love from the likes of Crookers, Digitalism, Medicine 8 and more!
With each remix, the remix artist has taken the sound and energy into their own realm of their respective genre. Deadbots smash you in the face hard and fast with their synth stabs and nexus of electricity. Then, Figure of 8 chills the mood with a slower paced disco–‐inspired melody, including electric lounge piano. With Paul Jackson’s Electro Rub, the listener is returned to the early days of house music, including Casio inspired instruments. And finally, Dert Cheep brings us back to the warehouse, with a jumpy and bouncy melody to get everyone dancing.
This is the debut release from Sirkus Sirkuz and with more to come in the future, as his own live tour expands throughout the UK and Europe, eventually planning to hit the U.S. later this year. As well as some remixes coming out on Skint Records (home of Fatboy Slim) and Di Di Mau records in the next few months too.
Sirkus Sirkuz ‘Rapier EP’ comes out on 9G Records for worldwide release 30th July 2012