- 30 Jun 21
‘Dig Gold’ is the second song and music video from O’SULLIVAN - the alternate-pop solo project of Irishman Ian O'Sullivan - who moved to Hungary 11 years ago.
After completing a medical degree in pursuit of the ‘ideal’ life, Ian (O’SULLIVAN) turned his back on a doctors’ life to become a recording musician in Budapest, Hungary.
Despite only releasing his first single, 'Little Bird', in November 2020; O'SULLIVAN has already made quite a name for himself as an indie artist to watch this year. His brand new single, 'Dig Gold', sees the emerging alt-folk creative step into a dancer's role for the black-and-white music video, which Hot Press is delighted to be premiering below.
Living in Budapest, Hungary, O'SULLIVAN seizes on his feelings as a wanderer and the cheap and insatiable hunger of living in the 2020s in the clip for 'Dig Gold'.
Delivering honest '80s indie-pop "for staring out car windows" and armed with a vintage Casio synth and guitar, 'Dig Gold' is a contemplative yet catchy tune which envelops you with its richness.
Reminiscent of early James Vincent McMorrow, O’SULLIVAN takes risks with his sound and videos alike.
'Dig Gold' was shot around the picturesque Budapest castle district and sees the talent pull back his every-day skin and dance.
“We always feel like we are chasing something just out of reach, but I think we’re losing sight of the things that really matter - deep relationships with the people around us,” Ian tells Hot Press.
“Dancing for yourself is something that every kid understands, but as an adult we feel like we need permission for it. We are judged. That's bullshit. We wanted to play with the idea of identity in the music video and the duality that we all carry inside of us. The child inside and the adult. The dreamer and the realist. Our identity comes from inside of us but understanding who we are and where we fit into this world is something that is very much shaped by the outside world."
The video concept was born from the brain of Budapest musician Dori Hegyi, who found a way for Ian to do something free from judgement.
"We’re told we should be chasing a certain thing or working towards a financial idea of ‘success’. We hold ourselves up to the identities and ideas of roles made by others and judge ourselves if we don’t fit into a category," O'SULLIVAN adds. "Especially coming from our Catholic background, I think we carry a weight on our shoulders. It’s like carrying a piano up the stairs every day."
After living in Galway for a few years (highlights include acting with the now-famous Nicola Coughlan), Ian moved to Pécs, a city in the south of Hungary to study Medicine. In university, he met some local friends who one after the other became stars in the Hungarian music scene. The idea of freeing yourself from life's pressure is incorporated into 'Dig Gold'.
"I don’t feel like a typical Irish person but I’m definitely not Hungarian, though I’ve lived here for 11 years," Ian continues. "I’m not a doctor or a musician, I have a diploma but never did a residency, I work as a musician but I have no clue about reading sheet music or anything like that. I am not a dancer so I had a lot of fear approaching this. But Dori Hegyi helped me worked through the layers of fear, and I lifted that piano off my shoulders and felt nothing but liberation.”
Ian was born to traveling parents - a doctor father and a physiotherapist mother - who moved back to Ireland when he was just three. They settled in Bray, Co. Wicklow. He got involved in theatre before falling in love with guitar and the underground scene then-based in Kilcoole. Travelling on the last bus home from concerts became a part of growing up but as most of us are told ‘music is a great hobby’, it was never allowed to become anything more, until he moved to Pécs.
"Especially coming from a strict and objective medical background I felt like I wasn’t ‘allowed’ to try music as a career, that was for other people who were born into it, or learned from a young age."
Starting out as part of a band, Ian toured through Europe and even ended up as far afield as the border of North Korea at the DMZ Peace Train Festival. In 2020, he launched solo project O'SULLIVAN.
His solo project was born out of songs that have been put away for years, always ‘waiting for the right moment’. In 2018, his father encountered health problems and Ian started to think differently about his own music that maybe the ‘right time’ never comes, that we should do the things we want to do now, tell the people we love that we love them now.
"I want to make heart-first enjoyable music but it’s absolutely vital that it's honest.”
Watch the beautiful video for 'Dig Gold' below:
Photo credit: Kristof Fajcsi