Today’s track of the day comes from Blueyes, a newcomer to the scene who aims to embody “Jessie Ware’s grace, Banks’ grittiness and Christine and the Queens sass“. And with latest track ‘Bow Down’, a self-confessed dedication to Grace Kelly – “The most beautiful woman to walk the planet and people should appreciate that” – Blueyes introduces a unique style that fits nicely amongst her peers in the current alt-pop soundscape.
Hailing from Ireland, Bronagh Monahan is the 26-year-old woman behind the moniker Blueyes, and still claims that traditional Irish music and classic pop exports – Anya, The Corrs and B*Witched, for example – shape her music and vocal style. Though while things have been taking off, with previous single ‘Skin’ being praised as Record of the Day, Blueyes explains that while writing and performing come naturally – the “rubbish, self promo stuff” is the hard part.
In preparation for her latest track release, and upcoming gig at St Margaret’s House in Bethnal Green this Friday, GIGsoup caught up with Bronagh for all things BluEyes…
Firstly, congratulations on your latest track. Your music slots in nicely with other alt-pop sounds, while ultimately sounding very you. Is it important for you to acknowledge what else is out, or does it flow naturally?
Thank you, and how lovely of you to say that. I want my classical background to always shine through in my music, my parents spent enough of their hard earned money on it so I don’t want to waste it. I try to be clever with my stories and push myself vocally so that I remain engaging and exciting amongst the masses of artists working it right now.
Skin, your previous single, became Record of the Day. How does it feel to be recognized that way?
Lee Thomo, the editor, is a bloody legend. I pestered him for years about my music and he was so, so helpful trying to hook me up with management but my tracks weren’t quite right. But then when he heard Skin he took a shot on it. I was over the moon with the response, my inbox had never been so busy! I would say that’s the most memorable part of my career so far.
And is critic opinion important for you?
I definitely appreciate opinion and these are the voices that build the community. But it’s the voice of your future audience that’s most important. For anyone else that’s starting out, I’d say don’t take things personally; I’ve been heartbroken a few times because you are promised a lot and the return is often a pipe dream.
What’s your production routine? Notes on-the-go, or into a Blueyes state of mind?
I’m always writing lyrics on my phone, or I’ll read a book and take notes on turns of phrase, I like to think I have a poetic side. But you can only really get a sense of your character once your surrounded by the production, I write the lyrics and the melody on piano – then I bring it to my producer SB who is so talented and knows exactly my vision for the song. We then create the skeleton of the track together and I do vocals over the top, then he works his magic on it and I fall in love with it!
So would you describe yourself as an autobiographical writer? Or is Blueyes a distinct alter-ego?
Blueyes is the most romantic side of me, she’s who I would love to be in an alternate universe. So yes there’s a bit of my past in each song.
With the release of your new track, ‘Bow Down’, what sort of feelings do you get in the run-up?
Bow Down has been in fruition for quite a long time, it’s an adaptation of a previous track. But this time I think it represents a maturity and confidence that has taken a wee while for me to cultivate. I absolutely love the production on it and the artwork is so sick. I feel like a diva in that photo.
Best of luck on the upcoming Bethnal Green gig. Excited? How do you prepare for a show?
I’m so excited for it, I don’t play many shows because I want to keep them like an event for my friends, and hopefully future fans. I’m getting my hair and makeup done properly so I can feel fabulous, which is always important. I treat every show like a showcase you never know who might be there.
And what else might 2016 bring for BluEyes?
I’m releasing more tracks this year, one by one. And there will be gigs in the pipeline, I’m trying to be better on social media so follow me on Twitter (@sheisblueyes) and Instagram (@whoisblueyes) and everything will be announced on there!
‘Bow Down’ is out now, and catch Blueyes live at St Margaret’s House, Bethnal Green this Friday, 5th August.