- 24 Jun 20
"I've always felt that there's a uniqueness to an Irish voice."
RuthAnne really needs no introduction. The Dublin-born, London-based songwriter has a storied career in songwriting. In fact, even if you aren't sure you know her name, you definitely know a song she's written. RuthAnne has collaborated with some of the world's top talent, writing for Jojo, Britney Spears and Ireland's own Niall Horan.
Down the line from her home in London, RuthAnne is buzzing for the release of the 'Dreams' single. "For quite some time, I had been wanting to get together with the females in Ireland to collaborate or write," she recalls. "Just before lockdown I'd been messaging a few of them. When I was in lockdown, I was seeing so many things for charities happening, and I just kept noticing that there was a lot of males, and not very many females on the lineups for things. We need more women highlighted from this country, but I want us to be highlighting something that needs a lot of attention and help as well."
The 'Cold Water' singer began reaching out to her female friends in the Irish industry, and says the project "snowballed" from there. "I started reaching out to Erica Cody and Aimee and Soulé. They all loved it, and the idea started spreading like wildfire, and they were like, 'let me get this artist involved, and you should email this artist'."
The recording process was carried out in isolation, with artists sending in their parts from all over Ireland and London. As a result, the first cut of the track was much rougher than most. "It was challenging," RuthAnne says. "The string players all played into a phone, and I had to pull the audio for the video. Making it sound radio-worthy was very challenging."
Despite its challenges, producing the single was much more rewarding an experience than RuthAnne could ever have expected. "With my records, there's always been a man involved in their making. For me to be the producer and as a woman, it was a challenge that I was really happy to be a part of. It was a lot of work, but I think that it's so worth it. Just to hear it back and hear all the different styles on it...I didn't want everyone to sound the same, but I wanted it blended.
"It definitely showed all of us that you don't need much – you don't need these big, expensive studios! I just feel proud that all the women were so on top of it. I didn't have to nag anyone for parts, I didn't have to beg. I was sent everything I needed really quickly.
For RuthAnne, this project was one of incredible fulfilment. It shattered the myth that women cannot work together or get along. "This is about the collective, not any one person standing out," RuthAnne says. "And all of them were so on board. To have that unity – especially in Ireland, let's be honest, there aren't as many opportunities for females as there are for males – and so sometimes it can make you feel a competitiveness. But with this project, it's made us realise we're stronger when we're in community.
"It's about the young girls at home having women in music to look up to. We had Dolores, we had Sinead O'Connor, but who do girls have to look up to today as new emerging female talents? It's important that these women are highlighted. Because Irish women are doing amazing things around the world."
And what was it about Dolores O'Riordan that spoke to RuthAnne? "First of all, the standard of songwriting. What's so amazing about this project is that this song is a classic, so we just had to do our best to do right by it and do it the way that Dolores would be proud. Her realness and rawness, and the substance behind all of The Cranberries' music.
"Her voice, that uniqueness...I've always felt that there's a uniqueness to an Irish voice. I think that about Sinead O'Connor, Lisa Hannigan, The Pillow Queens, too. Dolores inspired in me the idea that I could sound like myself. Watching her break out of just our country and being global makes you dream bigger. I think because she did that, it makes me inspired to do it."
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Watch 'Dreams' below.
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 21 Feb 24