Singer TADGH climbing ladder to success

By Mary Dennehy

LAST Saturday a 22-year-old singer songwriter from Lucan supported former Republic of Loose guitarist CC Brez at his solo gig in the Academy, another step up the musical ladder for the young, energetic, ‘one to watch’ performer.

A former student of Coláiste Cois Life in Lucan, Shane Tadgh Nolan, who has just finished a degree in BIMM Music College in Dublin, is already making sound waves across the music scene as the diverse performer brings a different flavour to the capital’s heavily saturated musical landscape.

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Diverse influences, which stretch from Destiny’s Child to Metallica, has allowed TADGH (stage name) to carve a niche for his pop-peppered R&B in a city where singer songwriters struggle to raise their voices above the noise.

Energetic and fun, TADGH, who has a busy summer schedule of gigs ahead, took five to speak with his local paper.

What was the first album you bought? Do you still listen to it?

The first album that I ever bought was bought at a school garage sale type thing. People brought in their old stuff and sold them. I ended up going home with a copy of Bowling for Soup's album 'Drunk Enough to Dance'. I love the their song 'Girl All the Bad Guys Want' due to its awesome music video that was circulating around MTV and other music TV channels. I also picked up Papa Roach's album, Infested. I was going through a serious punk rock phase at the time.

Who are your musical influences?

My musical influences draw from everywhere. As a kid I loved listening to many different types of music. Stuff like Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Bowling for Soup, Blink 182, and even heavier bands like Metallica too. I always had a love for hip-hop such as 50 Cent, Eminem, The Game and a lot of Dr Dre's work from N.W.A to Snoop Dogg. Pop/R&B has also been a massive influence. Groove based pop bangers like Destiny's Child will always have a place in my heart. Honestly anything that sounds good, or that intrigues me is an influence. I'm very diverse in what I like to listen to so I think this definitely leaks into my song writing.

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If you could perform on stage with any artist who would you chose and why?

I think being able to share the stage with the likes of Jimi Hendrix or Phil Lynott would be a mind-blowing experience. Then on the other hand, I'm a massive fan of soundtrack compositions from the likes of Hans Zimmer or John Williams. Being able to perform with an orchestra on one of their pieces would be amazing. Justin Timberlake, Bruno Mars, Pharrell and me would make a great four piece as well I reckon. I reckon the craic would be ninety!

When did you realise that a musical career was for you?

While I was in my final year in school I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I had an interest in Computer Science and Graphic Design but I wasn't sure I'd like the courses. I always wanted to do something that involved creativity and at the time I was writing my own songs and getting a lot better as a writer. When I found BIMM and looked into it I knew it was the right choice for me. All I wanted to do was create, improve and remain interested. The art of song writing never gets boring for me. There's always something new to do. There's no real routine. For me, as a commercial writer and an artist, my day to day is always different. I like the feeling of not knowing what you're going to be doing or where you're going to be in six months time. It's exciting.

How would you describe your sound?

My sound is very groove based for a start. It draws heavily on 90's Pop/R&B and hip-hop. It also contains some live band elements that helps portray a lot of atmosphere. It's kind of like the Red Hot Chilli Peppers playing a funky hip-hop song that includes a brass section with Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars singing. My live set is fun, energetic, chilled and exciting all at the same time.

You supported CC BREZ on Saturday night, how did that go?

It was so much fun. I've always been a fan of Republic of Loose so when I heard CC Brez's stuff I was delighted. I'd been listening to his stuff a few weeks before he actually asked me to support. I always knew that both my music and his music could definitely share the same stage so I was super happy to support him. He's a great guy and a great songwriter. I'm a big fan of busy arrangements so to hear his killer band perform them was awesome. Big bands are the way forward lads, I'm telling ye.

You also headlines Ones to Watch at Whelan’s earlier this year, why do you think your music is garnering attention?

After playing a show I always end up meeting and chatting to the audience. I'm constantly being told how much people enjoyed themselves. I'm not really sure why but people that come to see me live just seem to like the show. People seem to like the music I'm writing and performing. I think this is why I'm starting to grab people's attention. People who come to see me tell their friends about me and that's how the majority of live music is spread nowadays. My shows contain a lot of involvement from the crowd. Making them a part of the show is something that I think is crucial. Making sure that the person in the crowd has a memory from my set is something I want to achieve. I want to make that person in the crowd think back and be able to remember what it felt like to be in the room that night.

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Where does the inspiration for your song lyrics come from?

Absolutely everything. Life, people, personal experience, movies, stories, the list could go on and on. It really all just depends on what I'm feeling that day or what's on my mind. A lot of the time the music comes before the lyrics for me. Melodies and progressions will usually trigger a feeling and once I start, I just keep going. I love creating, that's it. Sometimes certain songs really hit home more than others and the majority of the time, it's those ones that take the least amount of time. Sometimes thinking too much can ruin the true feeling of the song. I make sure to stay aware of that. I like to make people think when they listen to me. I want them to relate and create a scene in their brains. Everyone's scene will be different, but that's the magic right?

What’s the plan for the rest of 2016?

Releasing my debut single, Bad Move is the first thing on the to-do list this summer. The track has evolved into an absolute monster of a pop track and I can't wait to let people hear it. Producing a music video for the track is also something that will definitely be happening. The track has a 5-piece brass section on it which is something I've always wanted to do. To have such a big arrangement on my first ever single is a pretty amazing feeling. I think people are going to love the track when it's released. Live shows are also something that will be happening a lot this summer. A festival support slot at Swell Festival in Donegal is just one of the things confirmed at the minute. There will definitely be various shows around Dublin aswell, including a launch party for the release of my debut single, Bad Move, in June. A lot of creative collaborations and a lot of developments behind the scenes also. Once people hear Bad Move I'm sure a lot more plans will pop up.

Any upcoming gigs etc?

I'll be performing at the King Kong Club in Whelan's on the 7th of June for a chance to win a slot at this year’s Electric Picnic. Definitely going to be a great show. I'll be performing a slot at Swell Festival on Aranmore Island. The festival runs from the 8th till the 10th of July.

I'll also be performing at BIMM [Dublin music college] Live on June 10th which is a 3 venue 1 day festival in Dublin. The festival line-up includes 39 BIMM bands playing in various venues such as the Tivoli Theatre. Being able to showcase the amount of talent coming out of BIMM is an amazing thing. Being a part of that is a very special feeling.

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