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Dan Elliot, Singer/songwriter

Thursday, 29th March, 2018 10:14am


Name and position: Dan Elliot, Singer/songwriter

Age: 23

Lives: Dublin

Family: Brother two sisters, Mam and Dad

Pets: Four sheepdogs

Favourite thing about Cork: My home

Least favourite thing about Cork: How far away it is from where I live

One thing you'd change about Cork: Nothing at all! Cork has it sussed. I think some pubs are open a little later in Dublin, maybe...

When you were small, what did you want to be as a grown-up?

When I was a child, all I wanted was to be like my sporting heroes. People like Roy Keane, Graham Canty, Anthony Lynch, they were all big idols of mine. Music came later.

Tell us about your career progression to your role today:

I moved to Dublin to do primary school teaching and chose Dublin with an eye to moving onto the music scene. After a year and a half of my degree, I decided to leave college to play music full-time. I loved teaching, I really did, but I knew what I wanted to do and felt I had to give it a proper go.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of what you do?

Very hard to say! I love writing songs but it would probably have to be performing. Standing up in front of a room full of people singing something you wrote yourself and seeing it have an impact is a very difficult feeling to top.

What motivates you?

Just music. I love playing it, I love creating it and I want to become as well rounded an artist as I can. I never try to compare myself to other artists but when I hear someone like Foy Vance or Springsteen or Billy Joel and the pure power of their craft, it inspires me. 

What advice would you give your 15 year old self?

Relax! Good god man, stop being so hard on yourself! I used to beat myself up so much, oftentimes I still do. You're doing just fine, 15 year old me.

What is your greatest life or career achievement to-date?

Winning the Le Crunch Apple of My Eye Song Contest 2018 was a pretty big deal! I think the best moments of my career have always been gigs. I can't point to a specific one but there have been shows I've played where I've walked off stage and just been bowled over by emotion and the reaction I've received. Those shows are the highlight.

Who has had the biggest influence on you in your life?

Both of my parents. Two incredible human beings without whom I'd be very, very lost.

If you weren’t in the job you have, what would you be doing?

Teaching I think! It’s such a fulfilling experience, extremely rewarding. That said, I love what I do and consider myself very fortunate to be doing it.

What is the life dream now?

To do this forever. The dream is to write music, perform it for people and to be able to support myself through doing that.

How do you switch off?

I enjoy TV and movies, love having a good series of something to binge. I like to play a bit of Fifa while listening to podcasts and enjoy just having a few pints with friends.

What is your favourite Cork memory?

Aside from home memories, I have very fond memories of secondary school and of busking in Cork city. I went to Coláiste Choilm in Ballincollig and I'm very lucky to have done so, it was a great school to grow up in.

What is your favourite place in Cork?

Very, very hard to say! My Dad grew up on a farm in Castletownbere and we spent a lot of time there as kids. Also the family home in Ovens. Home is always home.

When are you at your happiest?

I'm most content when the house is empty and I'm sat at my desk working away. Performing is a thrill, such a rush and high but it's tied up in nerves and the coming down that follows playing. The steadiness that comes with being at home and just working away is when I feel most at ease.

Do you have a favourite quote or motto?

Just be yourself. Always, always be yourself.

What is your hidden talent?

I instinctively know where the toilet is in any pub.

Any regrets?

Nope. Leave it all on the pitch and don't look back, just do the best you can. 

What might we be surprised to know about you?

Don't know how surprising it is but I don't think I sang in front of people until I was 15 or so. I never thought of myself as musical at all until I entered the school talent show  I have vivid memories of looking at people I went to school with who were so accomplished and confident and it took me a long time to accept that I had as much a right as anyone to perform or to pursue music.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I'm playing my first headline show in Whelan's on 24 April. Still a few tickets left for anyone who might want to go!

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