With already over six million monthly listeners on Spotify, Dublin’s newest export Dermot Kennedy is a treasure that won’t stay buried for long. Producing melancholic tracks that sound like they could be from a darker and grittier Ed Sheeran B-Side, Kennedy is proving that he’s not only an expert at emotive songwriting but also at helping listeners escape to a specific time, place and mood.
From performing on Dublin’s streets to ending up on some of the world’s biggest talkshows, we take a look at how Dermot Kennedy came to be the world’s newest favourite artist.
Kennedy was born 13 December 1991 in a small town called Rathcoole, just on the outskirts of Dublin. He started playing guitar at aged 10 and songwriting at 14, but didn’t start to take music seriously until he was about 17. After a few years studying music at university and releasing the independent EP Dancing Under Red Skies to Bandcamp in 2013, Kennedy honed his music craft and eventually uploaded a few of his songs to Spotify in 2016.
The moody and folksy track ‘After Rain’ was picked up by Spotify’s Discover Weekly, a playlist that refreshes itself on every user’s account each Monday, and Kennedy soon fell onto the map of existence. But it wasn’t until the drop of his EP in 2017, where one of the tracks ‘Boston’ ended up on Taylor Swift’s ‘Songs I Love’ Spotify playlist, that things for Kennedy really started to pick up.
Tumbling into an American and European tour, Kennedy spent 2017 and 2018 hitting festivals and playing his own gigs. He was praised as being a ‘big, beautiful and bold new voice’ by Beat 1’s Zane Lowe and he’s been voted as NPR Slingshot’s ‘Best New Artist of 2018.’ His tracks have racked up over 300 million streams on Spotify and the gritty single ‘Power Over Me’ stands to be the best-selling Irish Homegrown song.
But the magic doesn’t stop there. Earlier this year Kennedy compiled his singles and EPs into a self-titled album for convenience. He describes the album as containing “all the songs you’ve been singing back to me.” It’s his performances that fans seem to love the most as the pure essence of his talent is truly captured. He’s performed on a number of household name talk shows and just recently he stole the show at Glastonbury with his latest single ‘Outnumbered.’
The journey for the up-and-coming 27-year-old is only just beginning. With a world tour and debut album on the way, Kennedy has his goals set to conquer the world. And from what we’ve seen already, we have absolutely no doubt that he’ll do it.
Catch Dermot Kennedy at Auckland’s Powerstation Sunday July 21. For more information visit eventfinda.