Hey Roisin, so, easy question to start, what have you been up to today?
Hi! Today is my first day off from uni for Christmas, so relaxing, planning some exciting things to do with new music in 2019 and learning a Christmas cover.
Introduce yourself to our lovely readers, tell us a bit about you.
My name is Roisin O’Hagan, I’m a country/pop singer-songwriter and Fender Undiscovered 2018 finalist and I’m currently gigging in London, frequently releasing new music and really enjoying seeing where it takes me. My name is pronounced ”rrr-sheen“ and, misleadingly, I’m only half Irish and have lived in Essex my whole life.
Talk to us about your new single, ‘Miss You Like June’.
’Miss You Like June‘ is a happy country/pop song reflecting on the course of a long-term relationship so far – I like to introduce it at gigs as my cheesy, summery lovesong.
What’s coming next, more singles? An EP? Album?
I’m looking to keep releasing singles throughout 2019 – the next is in the works!
What does songwriting look like for you?
Songwriting for me is a very chilled process, by which I mean I never put pressure on myself to write something new. If I feel like writing, I’ll grab my guitar, start recording on my phone and usually end up writing most of a song in a very short amount of time – maybe 20 minutes. I don’t like to force myself to write, so, when I do write, the song comes out in a real and honest way.
How come you got into that country music sound?
I’ve always listened to country/pop, especially Taylor Swift’s early music, so it was inevitably going to influence my sound. I don’t actually consider a lot of my songs to be particularly country in sound but, as it happens, the tracks I have released this year are the ones that fit that genre the most. I take influence from a range of genres and artists – country/pop is definitely one of them though!
What song of yours is the one you can’t wait for people to hear, and why?
The next one!! I’m proud of everything I put out but this next one has been the one I’ve held back a bit as it means a lot to me and needs to be done in a big and special way. It’s also very different to the tracks I’ve released this year.
What’s the coolest thing that’s happened in 2018?
It’s really difficult to choose one particular thing as I’ve had a lot of big moments this year that I still can’t really believe happened, so I’m going to choose two. One was reaching the Fender Undiscovered Artist 2018 final and everything that has come with it and the other was getting to meet Matt Malley, bass player from my favourite band Counting Crows, at his home and studios in LA.
What have you got planned for 2019?
I’ll be working on lots of new music and releases and have lots of gigs lined up already. I’d really like to gig in new places across the UK and experience a lot more that music has to offer. I’m very excited to push myself and see what I can make happen and to hopefully move onwards and upwards.
Obviously there’s a lot of talk about equality in general at the moment, what’s your experience of being treated differently as a woman in your industry? (Feel free to skip this one if you don’t want to answer)
I think, as an artist who is only really scratching the surface of the big, scary music industry so far, there’s probably a lot of things I haven’t had to deal with yet. That said, I still have a lot to say, being a passionate person in general, let alone when it comes to being a woman in music. Something I get a lot, from men I share a bill with or who are in an audience, is “I have to admit, when I first saw you I thought you would be just another girl with a guitar” and they are so sure that they are complimenting me when they go on to let me know that they have discovered they were wrong. I get that it often comes from a fairly harmless place and that not everyone will see it the way I do, but when you get that time and time again at gigs which you booked because you care about and believe in your music and because you are so driven to take your music somewhere, it can be frustrating. It’s one thing trying to win someone over with your music; it’s another thing when they have to get past the fact you aren’t “just another girl with a guitar” first.
If you could recommend one artist to hear this week, who would it be?
Counting Crows. Even if you know their bigger songs, you should check out the rest of their music!
What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
Off the top of my head, just generally something about the fact that I do so much more than just write songs and perform, as a small, independent artist. I’m essentially my manager, my booking agent, my PR – everything like that, too. Half the battle is putting yourself in a position to get your music noticed and creating opportunities. So much of my time goes into that. I’m also studying Music Journalism at university in London, so I’m doing all sorts all the time! I love learning about it all and doing it all myself at this stage and I enjoy talking about that side of things. I just generally have a lot to say about music, being an artist and everything that goes into it. I think it’s easy to look at my Instagram or see me at a gig and think that I just spend all of my time writing songs, singing and gigging. There’s so much more to it!
Finally, how do you take your coffee?
I don’t – I ask for tea instead.