It’s 2017 and there has never been a time where an artist can be closer to their public than now. With social media being used by so many in the right way it’s no surprise that the rise of the independent artist is happening on a global scale. With the right ideas, an artist could never leave their house and be a global success while also having a true connection with a worldwide fan base. Embraced correctly an artist today has the tools to be unique and successful without playing any of the old games they had to play to get noticed.
Recently I came across an artist who has certainly embraced these platforms to express himself and push himself and his art to the limit. He has dedicated himself to releasing a song and video a week for the entirety of 2017. That kind of pressure could drive a man insane, but Hally has already ventured into the darkest corners his mind had to offer. He spent his 21st birthday in an asylum learning how to play an out of tune piano. But great passion and desire always flirts with insanity, and it’s these flirtatious creations that sometimes spark the greatest of fires.
Hally was born in one of the now infamous Irish ‘Mother and Baby homes’ in 1973.The simplicity and joy of his teenage years were interrupted (obliterated) by tragedy, the deaths of his father & brother were sudden and shocking. He also had some sickening encounters with members of the Catholic Church and after a successful ex-communication from the latter he shuffled forwards through life, disconcerted and lost as he tried to make sense of his experiences. He knew he would either become an Artist or a Madman, and as his stint in the asylum suggests, by his early twenties, he was both.
But the obsession that drove him to dark places also fired his desire to learn music, something he admits never came easy for him. But he knew he had something to say and a quiet confidence in his lyrical ability. His moment came with the creation of his debut album “The Fascination with Poppy”. It was recorded on a minuscule budget and it garnered generous reviews, along with that came the tours both at home and across Europe.
During this time Hally battled personal demons with his addictions that closed the doors to his creative muse. That’s the problem with a propensity for emotional escapism, you may run so far away that you forget the way home to where the magic happens. In some cases you forget everything, and with Hally even forgetting the lyrics to his own songs he knew it was time to retreat to a more familiar place.
During his career he slowly built his own studio and he retreated there to spend time to recover from the excess of success and he started to dream of being fully in control of everything he creates, music, image, visuals, everything. So he returned to collage to hone his multimedia skills while also learning how to properly produce and engineer his own music. Hally started to produce music for other artists but it wasn’t until he fell in love and started a family that his creative outlook turned on himself once again. Inspiration returned with an explosive energy leaving him with a deep well of musical & visual ideas. Hally had a lifetime of experiences to write about and In an effort to channel this flow of creativity He hit upon the concept of “Peeling Onions”, a one-off Indie DIY project consisting of 52 pieces of music & videos (art films) that blend contemporary song writing, jazz undertones, stringed ensembles, electronic sprinklings and verbal ramblings. Each song and music video is released weekly via Social Media and Youtube.
Says Hally, “Peeling Onions” is a wildly eclectic collection, in many respects deeply autobiographical, uncovering not only the story of a person’s defining years of struggle, discovery, and transformation, but of a lifetime.
I was so excited when I heard about this project. I can’t contain my excitement when someone tries something different. But I have to admit that just before I started on this journey my excitement was also mixed with trepidation, it could just be a bloke in his room reading poetry to bad jazz, after all, who in their right mind thinks that they could produce 52 quality works in a year. But has Hally ever been in his ‘right mind’?
Oh, how surprised I was……
These are beautify created individual pieces that are by no means thrown together to create this huge body of work. Individually they are impressive, but as a collection of 52 pieces when finished would be enough for anyone to proud of if this was all they achieved in a life time. I know I’m jumping the gun a little because as I write this it’s only week 13 and I’ve only seen 13 pieces but every individual piece is individually beautiful on its own and I think the concept ‘Peeling Onions’ will evolve throughout the year into a life changing experience for Hally.
This body of work will be compiled into a series of four albums “Peeling Onions” (volume I, II, III, IV) which will be released quarterly throughout the year. A series of live shows will mark the launch of each album combining music and visual art. The whole journey and creative process will be filmed throughout the year and a “Peeling Onions” documentary will be released in early 2018. It is hoped that the show will be in a position to begin touring internationally in 2018.
At 8pm GMT every Sunday evening Hally broadcasts Live via Facebook announcing the release of that week’s song and video. He chats with followers of hallymusic about the production of that weeks song, the musicians he recorded with at his studio in county Kildare, his collaboration’s with other visual artists. The broadcast is a light hearted bit of fun and gives everyone involved an opportunity to connect.
Hally launches the first volume from his series of “Peeling Onions” albums on April 8 in The Unitarian Church, Stephans Green, Dublin
Current Music Video Playlist of weekly releases www.youtube..com/hallymusic
To find out more about Hally visit facebook.com/hallymusic/
Hally plays The Unitarian Church, 8pm. Tickets Here