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ROSS O'HALLORAN

From Cork, Ireland, Ross O’Halloran wanted to be a songwriter, he says,“to make sense of the complicated emotions I felt when I was young. If I ever felt lonely or afraid, finding comfort in the lyrics of my favourite songs made me not feel so alone. It was a comfort to know that someone else had gone through what I had been going through, and it still is. My primary objective as a songwriter is to make the listener feel heard and connected to another person.”


Ross knows what he is talking about, and he knows that some songwriters and performers have perfected the art of faking sincerity. For Ross, the best way to connect with people is through the authenticity of his craft (“people can see through a bluffer instantly”) and so it is little surprise that he refuses to compromise. The defining points of his songwriting, he outlines, are the results of the quality and validity of his lyrics. “I obsess over every word in every section of every song,” he admits, “and rarely will I use a filler word just to match the melody. When I write a song, I’ll spend hours going through every word on the page with a fine-toothed comb until I’m happy that every word and section is true to its central message.”

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Influences are many, but amid the countless names that have scratched an itch are Dermot Kennedy, Hozier, Keaton Henson and early Ed Sheeran. Ross regards his most positive characteristic as both songwriter and person as someone who is always compelled to go the extra mile to ensure the very best is delivered. A healthy capacity for empathy ensures he can effortlessly relate to people by being able to put himself in their shoes, while his academic background in engineering taught him to be “meticulous in my work, and that is something I carry not only into my writing but also my everyday life.” The mission statement embedded in Ross’s music is to help people feel sustained in times of turmoil, and he views the songwriting process as a therapeutic means to this end. “I find many aspects of life frustrating and difficult,” he reveals, “but writing lyrics isn’t one. I could write songs all day long. I’ve gotten so good at songwriting that I’ll occasionally write a bridge from scratch in the car on the way to thestudio if I feel it might be needed, and it usually fits perfectly. I find it hard to compliment myself because I know I can always do better in every aspect of life, but I’m also extremely aware of my talent as a songwriter.”

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