As a proud Irishman, I draw a lot of inspiration from the culture which I was so lucky to inherit, telling my story and other stories no matter what part of the world I find myself in. I’m also very inspired by Irish musicians like U2, Hozier and Glen Hansard who tell stories through music, some of my favourite songs and albums have come from the Green Isle I like to call home.
An Irish band that have definitely put Ireland at the forefront of the music are none other than U2. As their 30th anniversary ‘Joshua Tree’ tour is about to begin, it seems only right to thank them for the amazing music they have shared with all of us. Not only have they inspired other Irish people (like me) to share our music with the world but they have also influenced a huge number of bands and musicians such as the Clash, the Beatles, Elvis Presley and Kraftwerk.
While many musicians are inspired by artists like U2’s Bono, how many can say they were with him on the night their nephew was born?
My nephew’s first bunch of flowers was from the legendary Bono.Unknown to my beautiful nephew, he came into contact with Bono the night he was born.
We were staying in the famous Shelbourne Hotel as snow storms that January meant our family home was too far away to travel for my heavily pregnant sister.
Bono and myself got into a conversation about the music industry in the infamous Horse Shoe bar where he naturally gravitated towards my sister Jen and her baby bump. Not long into the conversation after swapping stories about the birth of his own children, my nephew was ready to enter the world!
And then that night my favourite person in the land Mr Cian James was born. Turns out I’m a bit of Bono’s baby too – my dad recently told me that one of the first concerts I ever attended was a U2 concert in a car park somewhere crazy in Dublin as dad had no babysitter and didn’t want to miss out on the live action, so he took me along with him.
Another Twist of Fate
That is where the story started but now in a beautiful twist of fate I am actually managed by Phil Q, the man behind launching U2 in the United States. Phil Q is an American music industry executive. He has held positions as CEO at Virgin Records, Warner Bros. Records and EMI, and has been involved in the careers of recording artists ranging from Linkin Park to Josh Groban to the Spice Girls. Phil is known as a defender of artist rights. He has spoken out on the fight against music piracy and the need to restore the value of music.
He is regarded as one of the most promotion-minded executives in the music business and is regarded as a thought leader on the subject of partnership between brands and artists.
What are the odds that after my chance encounter with Bono and the fact that his concert was the first concert I ever attended that I would be managed by his manager. I do believe that everything happens for a reason.
A Musical Inspiration
During U2’s first dates outside Ireland, they played a gig at the Islington’s Hope and Anchor to a crowd of only 9 people and look at them now. You know what they say, from humble beginnings come great things.
To this date, U2 have won a total of 20 Grammys, they’ve won music awards from Billboard, MTV, the Golden Globes, People’s Choice Awards but to name a few and most importantly they’ve shown the world the talent and potential our little country holds.