Derek Ryan spoke to Rory O’Connor backstage at the St Patrick’s Day festival in London.
Hi Derek, how are you?
I’m very well thank you.
What a fantastic performance. The whole of London there jumping for you.
Yeah, it was amazing really. You know, I lived here for a good few years. Did a lot of gigs, great gigs in different pubs and all the rest, but to come back to Trafalgar Square to a crowd like that is unbelievable.
It must be pretty immense? You said you lived here for seven or eight years, and then to come back into the centre of London and perform to thousands…
Yeah, it’s amazing really. Not to make a lot of it, but it was an amazing feeling. The buzz, the crowd are well up for it. I performed songs that I actually wrote here as well when I was living here. It’s great, a great day.
You’ve got a new single out called Tender.
We do indeed, yes. It’s off my This Is Me Nashville album. So we had two albums out back in October and we’re kind of going through the motions of releasing all the singles. Really busy, I’m in the middle of a concert tour and we were gigging last night in Ireland so it’s just mental, but great!
You’re back in London in May 20th at the Union Chapel.
Yes, the Union Chapel. I’ve never been in the venue but I’ve seen the pictures and heard a lot about it. It looks like an amazing venue so we’re looking forward to that. It’s the 20th of May, a Saturday night so we’d love everybody to come down and see us.
Now, I’ve got to ask you… how was recording in Nashville?
Yea, it’s a different process. I love the way they did it. It’s very organic and very kind of spur of the moment and I got a great buzz off that. I thought I’d be a bit worried about it because once it’s done you can’t change it. I loved working off the cuff. I think it’s the way forward really. It was a great experience. They’re world class musicians and producer Jeff Balding. He was nominated for a Grammy, so it’s great.
Did you find it more intense in Nashville because it’s very country orientated, but it’s a different style of country I suppose in Nashville?
Yeah, I suppose they’ve very open to a lot of things. That’s what I noticed about it. There were never any egos and there was no patronising stuff going on. They were very open to all types of music. I think good musicians, great musicians, love music. They might specialise in country or whatever, but they can play anything. They were very open to me. Hopefully I met somewhere along the way between Ireland and America. We met somewhere halfway across the Atlantic.
You’ve recently teamed up with Daniel O’Donnell again. You were out in America with him and you’re on his latest album as well. He’s doing a couple of your songs as well.
Yeah, we did a PBS special in Dublin a few months back in September, then we toured out in Canada. I toured nights with him and it was great. You know, Daniel, what a legend, what a gentleman. He invited me out. It wasn’t going to do him anything, he just did it as a favour which was really kind of him to introduce me to that audience.
Hopefully it will be the start of a tour or something like that out there.
With God’s plan, he has also loved recording it himself for his own version.
Yeah! He recorded himself, as have many. Foster and Allen, Dominic Kirwan. Lot’s of people have recorded it. I suppose it’s testament to the song really. It’s great. Obviously I’m a singer, but from a songwriter point of view it’s great to have a song recorded by so many people.
Well I’m going to go and let you enjoy the buzz from just coming off stage. Thank you for chatting to me and we look forward to seeing you back in May.
Thank you. All the best. Thank you.