By Ria Burke.

I caught up with 20 year old singer-songwriter Maria Kelly after her gig playing support to Badger Hill in Whelan’s recently. Currently based in Dublin studying Songwriting at the BIMM Institute, Maria is originally from Mayo and has gigged extensively both there and in Dublin, most recently playing support to Wyvern Lingo in Castlebar. Here’s how our conversation went:

Which artist/band has influenced your music the most?

“I’d have to say that Regina Spektor has influenced my music more than any other artist. I was given her album ‘Begin to Hope’ when I was younger and it just completely opened up my eyes to lyric writing. Her lyrics are both beautiful and dark and so thought-provoking. I think a touch of her quirkiness has rubbed off on my music as well! She balances between fun and serious and I guess I try to do the same!”

What is your favourite album ever?

“Picking a favourite album is so difficult! I’d have to say ‘Like I Used To’ by Lucy Rose. I love every single song on the album and it’s just one of those CDs you never get sick of. The arrangements of Lucy’s songs are just really interesting to listen to.”

If you could play any venue in the world, which would it be and why?

“I’d absolutely love to play Shepherd’s Bush Empire! I know it’s not the biggest venue but many of my favourite artists have played there and I just think that it would be really cool the play the same stage as them! (Cringe!)”

If you could collaborate with any artist/band, dead or alive, who would it be?

“I would lovelovelove to collaborate with Kina Grannis. She’s another major influence of mine – really she’s the one who made me want to write songs and perform in the first place! I’ve seen her live a few times and she’s just the sweetest person – I think she’d be lovely to work with!”

Who is your favourite Irish artist at the moment?

“Wyvern Lingo! They blew my mind when I saw them play. Beautiful harmonies and they are all incredible songwriters. They’re also genuinely lovely people and absolutely hilarious!”

What are your goals for your music in 2015?

“I’m excited about 2015. I feel like I’m finally finding my feet with the whole music thing, I’m finally deciding on the type of music that I want to make. This year, I hope to get a full-time band together, begin gigging more around Dublin and hopefully by the end of the year, have a second EP on the way! But who know, we’ll see what happens!”


Maria’s Debut EP ‘Boat’ is now available on iTunes.

You can also find her EP and new music on Soundcloud @mariabridgetkelly