The Irish music scene is going from strength to strength and new band Shy Mascot have just burst onto that scene. The band comprises of vocalist Fiadh Rua Gregg, drummer Andy O’ Farrell, bassist Keith Tobin, Éanna Ryder on the keys and South Floridian rapper, Jamel.
The band formed in 2017 and quickly began gigging around Dublin, whilst embarking on the journey of writing their own music and developing their unique sound. Fiadh, Éanna, Andy and Keith had just completed a BA in Jazz performance from the Newpark Music Centre when they decided to form the group. Whilst in college they had performed together continuously, allowing them to grow their knowledge and respect of each others style and talent.
Speaking to the Circular, vocalist Fiadh Rua Gregg explained the vision of the band “The music has always been the main focus for us. It’s something we’re all super passionate about.
We each contribute different music to the band. Shy Mascot has been such a wonderful incorporation of all our unique characteristics to produce our specific sound. There are undeniable jazz influences in our writing and playing style, along with heavy funk grooves, and the interweaving vocals and rap. The more we get to play together, the stronger our voice as one has become”.
I was curious as to how the rap element of the band was incorporated following their degree in jazz performance, Fiadh explained “Andy has been a huge rap fan for years, and had this vision for the band. He had to wait patiently for all the right components, and finally, Jamel arrived to answer his prayers. ” The band are currently continuing to gig around Dublin while working on their EP, they will also be at a number of music festivals around Ireland this summer.
Shy Mascot has already made their mark on the Dublin gig scene. They have played a number of well-known music venues including the Underground, Whelan’s (Ones to watch festival, 2018) and the Bowery. Last Thursday, they took to the stage at Empire Swords as the headline act for the Solid Sessions.
Keen on her opinion, I asked Fiadh what she thought about the current Irish music scene and what it’s like to break into as a new band “I think it’s quite varied, there’s so much exciting new music being produced at a really high standard. TThere area great hunger and passion there I feel, with many people delving into multiple projects and having success in a few different facets. The industry can be hard to break into, but social media makes it easier to promote yourself and communicate with possible fans and audiences. At the same time, everyone else also has that available to them, your social media is really important and needs to stand out. It is also important to make the right connections early on and be active and engaged in the scene. We are relatively new and unknown, when your starting you need evidence of your band, your talent and your sound. You have to be persistent and your own biggest cheerleader, which doesn’t always come naturally. As long as you are producing quality music, people are really kind and keen to get to know you”.
The band are really excited to secure more gigs around Dublin and to play festivals around Ireland coming into the summer. ” We don’t expect to be in the ‘three arena’ this time next year, but we want to continue finding our audience, which is so much fun for us. We get to see people enjoying what we do, which is the main thing. We are excited to, in the future, travel to London, get to know the music scene over there and play some gigs, we think we would fit well into the underground scene over there”.