not a member? click here to sign up
Walkin' the indie talk
2006 has been a busy year for Dublin-born Shaz Oye, capped by the release of her mostly self-penned and self-financed debut album Truth According To Shaz Oye. In conversation with Jackie Hayden she looks back on her story so far.
Jackie Hayden, 08 Jan 2007
“We started off with a strategy myself and my manager Patricia Kennedy worked out. We had to source finance to cover the cost of recording the album for our own label, Radical Faeries, setting up a website, touring, doing posters, the usual promo stuff and so on.
“We noticed how artists like Jack L, Juliet Turner and Damien Rice had built careers basically by gigging their asses off. We used gigs to build up a mailing list to send out a monthly newsletter giving details of gigs and stuff. We built the mailing list by collecting e-mail addresses at gigs. That’s more important than having a website, which only works if you promote it.
"The website gets you to a global market. We used mine (shazoye.com) to offer a free download of a different version of ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep’ from my album Truth According To Shaz Oye. The album version was playlisted on RTÉ Radio 1. I’ve also put snippets of tracks from the album on my MySpace site.
"When you’re starting you have to target the right venues, places where the promoters are interested in music like Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick; The Spirit Store, Dundalk; De Barra’s, Clonakilty; The Sugar Club, Dublin; the Ruby Sessions; the King Kong Club; the Wexford Song Club; the Slatehouse in Galway; and the Candlelight Sessions in Phil Grimes’ in Waterford. Trying to get a spot on the smaller boutique festivals can also work, like The Spirit of Voice in Galway and The Capital of Song in Wexford.
Radio was also most important, and there’s a great network around the country of radio people who really go the extra yard, like Jon Richards in Galway Bay FM, Alan McGuire with South East Radio and Mike Knightson in Limerick Live 95. Theo Dorgan got me my first interview on national radio when he had me on Rattlebag on RTÉ Radio 1, and John Creedon is the unsung hero of RTÉ radio.
When the album came out it got very good reviews and that helps people to take you seriously. Television is harder to crack. I did The View but no luck yet with The Late Late Show and Other Voices.