- 13 Feb 18
In the space of one year, Tullamore hip hop crew Chasing Abbey went from being unknowns to fully-fledged hitmakers. They discuss their trad origins, a whirlwind year, and signing with major league dance label 3 Beat Records. Interview: Peter McGoran
“At the start of it all, the radio stations were in disbelief about where we were from,” reflects Jonathan “Bee” Byrne of Tullamore hip hop crew Chasing Abbey. “No one could believe we were from Ireland, let alone Tullamore. But I think that’s a bad thing, because this type of music should, and is, coming out of Ireland. People shouldn’t be surprised about that anymore.”
Midway through Hot Press’ interview with Byrne, the Chasing Abbey groove technician is passionately sounding off about why Irish hip-hop and dance should be gaining international attention. He’s rhyming off a list of names – Jafaris, Hare Squead, Soule – who he believes have upended the stereotypes of Irish music. He’s pointing out – quite modestly it should be said – that the success of Chasing Abbey’s debut single ‘That Good Thing’ (No. 1 on iTunes on the day of its release) shows how eclectic Irish audiences’ tastes have become.
But while they're now a band boasting cutting edge production techniques, Chasing Abbey actually started out as a trad act.