- 25 Jul 20
Songs From An Empty Room will stream live from RTÉ 2fm and the RTÉ Player tonight, July 25, beginning at 8.30pm.
After participating in the Irish Women in Harmony cover of 'Dreams', pop singer-songwriter Lyra is giving even more back to the community by taking part in Songs From An Empty Room. The charity gig, which supports Minding Creative Minds and the Association of Irish Stage Technicians, will see the some of the best and exciting artists from all over the country play sets from five different legacy Irish venues.
Ahead of her set at Cypress Avenue in Cork, we caught up with Cork native Lyra about her favourite Irish records and performing.
Do you remember the first concert you ever attended?
I'm pretty sure it was All Saints in Dublin. I can’t even remember where, that’s how long ago it was!
Have you ever been to a show at the venue you’re performing in?
Yes I have been to a few! It’s an amazing venue.
What’s your most vivid memory of the venue (as a fan or a performer!)?
As a performer first playing in my home town it was scary, not all my friends and family had seen me in full performance mode and I wanted them to be proud. Coming out in front of your fellow Corkonians is always a special memory.
What is the best thing about performing for a live audience?
The interaction you get, being able to see them dance and sing along to songs I have spent weeks writing (sometimes on my own at home in my pjs)!
It’s also very special when you get to meet people who have used your songs to get through things in their own life. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to help people through my music.
Songs From An Empty Room aims to support Irish technicians and crew. Any thoughts on the disruption of their world in the pandemic?
It’s a crazy time we are all living in right now and it saddens me to think some of our great entertainment crew may not return. It’s a skill that takes passion and a lot of time to master, so for it all to be stopped is heartbreaking. I have met some amazing sound engineers, tour managers, lighting engineers, venue mangers (the list goes on), who have helped me become the artist I am today. They have passed down words of advice, they have taught me how to fit my in-ears, what microphones suit my voice best, and – above all – were always there to make sure I was confident every time I stepped out onto the stage. I will forever be grateful and help in any way I can to get the show back on the road.
These gigs will benefit Minding Creative Minds: is mental health an issue that concerns you?
Yes, totally. Going through this pandemic has had its effect on everybody’s mental health in some way, I feel. I personally struggled at the start, as I was ready for my first proper year on the road, my first taste of what it is like to be on tour. Now, that's gone. So yes, I feel mental health is hugely important and not something we should be scared to talk about or get help with.
Which would you rather (and why!): festival or concert?
Concert! I mean festivals are crazy fun, but knowing everyone at a concert has come to see you, and not just stumbled into the tent while you're singing (which also is fun to do, I have done it myself and found some great artists). But the power of the love in a concert is like nothing else.
Most recent Irish record you've loved?
'Dreams' by the Irish Women in Harmony. I know I’m on it, but it really blew me away when we all came together and created such a beautiful cover of an iconic Irish song.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently recording an album between London and LA with some crazy talented people. I’m mainly working with Bloodpop, Burns and Rami, who have just finished Lady Gaga’s album so I’m really enjoying the experience of working with them –even if it is remotely – until America opens up again. Maybe this is the new way to make music!
Check out the full line up for Songs From An Empty Room below.