Northern Irish singer/songwriter Janet Devlin may have been living in the shadows for the past year, but that doesn’t mean that she’s been hiding under her duvet.

The 21-year-old from Gortin in Country Tyrone is just off-set of her very first acting role, putting the finishing touches on her sophomore album ‘Holy Water’ and is preparing to kick off her headline ‘My Opium Tour.’

The quirky singer may have come fifth on the X Factor in 2011 but unlike her fellow contestants, she took the road less travelled. She co-wrote her first album ‘Hide & Seek,’ as well as its re-release ‘Running With Scissors’ and frequently releases EPs, including ‘December Daze,’ which featured covers of popular Christmas songs and her own penned tracks.

Now she’s hitting the road in a few months to show the UK and Ireland what she’s been up to recently, but it seems despite appearing on one of the most watched TV shows of the past decade, Janet still deals a lot with her nerves. 

I’m excited and nervous,” the ‘House of Cards’ singer told GIGSoup’s Bradd Chambers, “I always get nervous before tours. Every time I think about the tour I’m always feeling like ‘oh gosh what if no one buys a ticket’ and ‘what if no one shows up’ and I’m there performing to a room of like four people. So it does make me scared. But I always love it when I’m actually on the road, just the run up to tour is always the scariest part for me.

So what can we expect on this tour? Devlin promises an exciting time. “New music, lots of new music. Some new musicians as well, a different band. Songs from the Christmas EP, my old album and a few covers too. It’s always good fun. Everyone that goes enjoys themselves.” 

It’s been two years since Devlin’s latest album, a long time for a girl just coming out of adolescence, and it seems as Devlin grows, her music does too.

Speaking of the album, she said: “It’s definitely darker. The album itself is a conceptual album. It’s all about the idea of cleansing for one’s sins, repenting and you can’t be reconciled for your sins until you admit them to yourself and to another human being. So the whole idea is me admitting them to myself by writing the songs and me admitting them to other people by releasing the songs.

It’s very personal. There are little plays on words. I mean religion plays a huge part in common phrases that we use. People who aren’t religious still use phrases which come from biblical terms. So there are hints of it, I’m not religious person, but I thought it would be quite fun to make it like that. It fits in with the darkness of it all. There’s definitely a different sound to this record compared to the last. I think it could shock people.

However, we still have a bit of a wait yet to hear the album in full. Devlin expects a release date of mid-2017. “I just want to get it out there,” she said excitedly. “There hasn’t been a long time since new music but it has been a long time since a new album. I’ve been working with Dave Sneddon, he’s done Lana Del Ray stuff.  There’s quite a lot of people I’ve worked with that are Grammy nominated, so it’s been quite fun. I’ve always wanted to do a duet but I haven’t written anything yet that would lend itself to that.”

Devlin isn’t shy of touring, therefore has probably exhausted herself and her fans with the previous releases, therefore making her more eager to showcase the new material to her fans.

I’m excited to play more new material. It’ll be nice to play songs that people haven’t heard before. Not that it gets boring to play the same stuff but it’s good to challenge yourself to do different things.

Speaking of different things, it seems now Devlin can focus all her attention on her music, after taking time out to appear in her debut film role, which will appear at the film festivals really soon.

I just did a film called ‘Songbird,’” she admits. “It was very good and very different as I’ve never done acting or anything. They approached me and the guy who had written the script had based the character on me. So, when they were casting they asked for me to come in. I was up for it and I read the script and thought it was amazing.

Fans will be happy to know that Devlin also sings in the film, and even wrote two new songs for the release. 

Tickets for Janet’s tour are available to buy now. 

This Janet Devlin article was written by Bradd Chambers, a GIGsoup contributor

Janet Devlin - Exclusive GIGsoup Interview

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