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Originally from Newbridge, County Kildare, Cork-based Sara Ryan (aka Sal) is an experienced singer and songwriter with numerous recordings to her name. Released in 2016, her debut single, Belle, attributed to her being named New Artist of the Year at the 2017 Irish Folk Awards. By the time 2019 rolled around, Sal had released her debut EP, Glitter Skies, toured Ireland (including a performance in front of 2,000 people at the Doolin Folk Festival) and continental Europe, and had shared stages with the cream of Irish artists (including Christy Moore, Mick Flannery, The Stunning, and Wyvern Lingo). “I love connecting withother people through songs that I’ve written,” says Sal. “The connection with the audience is amazing when you’re on stage. I also love moving on stage and letting the music lead how my body moves.”


Influenced by a broad range of songwriters (take your pick from Arctic Monkeys, The Beatles, Blondie, Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac, Moby and Erykah Badu to Joni Mitchell, Amy Winehouse, Sigrid and Billie Eilish) has ensured Sal’s reputation as a creatively varied songwriter has increased within the past few years. She says that she has always found a sense of liberation from songwriting and that the process allows her most trustworthyself to emerge. “My defining points are lyrics and melody. I could write for hours on end and get lost in it. I love creating a universe in a song and there are never any boundaries on where it can go. I also feel that I write from an authentic place, and in doing this I craft lyrics and melody that fit the message of the song. With singing being my instrument, I’m unapologetic in my exploration of melody. As far as I’m concerned, you need to be fearless with melody to find something brilliant.” With a debut album, Breathe, under her belt, Sal looks to the future with the same level of optimism she has viewed the past. She is inspired as much by knowing she has written a good song (“Everything just starts to make sense. It feels very exciting, a bit like letting yourself fall when you know you’re going to be caught.”) as what she is writing about. Sal’s primary aim as a songwriter is to highlight things that people are often afraid to express. “I want to give a voice to the silenced, to find beauty in the pain, and to discover euphoric moments in the chaos. I love being colourfully descriptive about the simple things in life, which in the end are often not so simple at all.”

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Crystal HeartSara Ryan + Kealan Kenny
00:00 / 00:34

She continues to progress through hard work , determination and, most importantly... pure talent and creative spirit.

- Christy Moore


A very striking performer with a folk voice that is high, carrying, soft and beautiful.

- John Spillane

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