More from ellesse’s #MyStyleMySound, we catch up with Aine Cahill while she records her live sessions.
ellesse: So, if you could talk us through your childhood and if there were any influential moments, maybe your dad, mum, relative or brother or sister who’ve given you a piece of music or CD or something and you were just instantly connected with it.
Aine: Well, when I was growing up I was such a tomboy and I never really listened to music. I remember, we had a Britney Spears and The Spice Girls cassette in the car. I liked baby spice, who I was as I was the youngest in my family, and then up until I was 15 I was sporty! So, when I was 15 I heard a performance Lady Ga Ga did on, I think it was Capital FM, an acoustic version of one of her songs, and I was like, I want to play piano. So, I just took up piano, but I could never sing. When I was eight I was told by my choir teacher to move my mouth to mime and I didn’t even get into the choir when I was 13. I feel like I woke up one morning and I could sing or something, it’s so weird looking back. But around that time, I was just really down in myself and I kind of latched on to music, which kind of made me ‘come out of it’, in a way. And then, when I was a lot older, to express what I was carrying around with me since then, I started writing music.
ellesse: A lot of people say that writing music is a bit like an outlet.
Aine: Yeah, it’s like a therapy thing. And even when I look back at some of the first songs, they’re all about escapism and stuff as well.
ellesse: So, saying that then, is there a reason why you make music now?
Aine: That’s probably it still, I still write about what I’m feeling and if I don’t want to say it upfront, I’ll write about it in a weird way, like using someone else’s story. I have a song called ‘Black Dahlia’ and that’s definitely not about me, it’s about a famous murder in Hollywood history, but I use that to tell my own kind of thing as well. I make music because I love music and I wouldn’t see myself ever doing anything else.
ellesse: We’ve talked about this with a lot of people and you’ve touched on it then; music can be quite influential to your moods, you could be really sad and listen to sad song and it make you feel worse, or it weirdly make you feel better.
Aine: Yeah definitely, I’m a big fan of sad, moody songs, that is my thing. If I’m sad I will listen to moody songs, if I’m happy I’ll listen to them. I dunno, there’s something about listening to happy songs, I will do it when I’m drinking or having like a buzz or something, but if not, I would never actually sit down and listen to really happy songs.
ellesse: It’s funny you’ve said that because another artist said the exact same thing, that if he listened to a sad song it would actually make him feel better, almost like wallowing.
Aine: Yeah, it’s more lilke ‘other people are feeling this too’ kind of thing.
ellesse: So, do you get nerves white you’re on stage or before?
Aine: Do you know what, I used to, well at the start I did obviously because I wasn’t performing, then I was so used to doing gigs that I never did and now I’m starting to get really anxious again. I don’t know why, it’s so weird. I don’t know what it is, I’ll get anxious definitely within an hour before and I’ll start getting butterflies and be really nervous. Even sometimes when I’m in the studio I’ll have like *stutters* I’m just like my own biggest critic in a way. So, if I heard like a bad note or something I beat myself up about it – I am trying to learn to not do that and to just let it go.
ellesse: Have you got any big inspirations in music?
Aine: Lana Del Ray is a big one for me. Lady Ga Ga, she actually inspired me to play piano. Lana was more writing songs and then Marina and the Diamonds, she’s another one…’The Trinity’ I call them.
ellesse: If you were to give anybody any advice on starting up singing, what would you tell them?
Aine: I think, write your own songs, first of all, I think that’s the most important, like what are you doing it for? Are you’re doing it because you want to express yourself or because you want what come with success? That’s the first thing I’d tell them to ask themselves. Because it is a lot of hard work and if you’re just looking for that kind of side of things, you’re not going to get a pay off in the end. I think for me what I’ve been doing since I was 17 is set little goals for myself and each time I reach a goal I’m delighted and then I’ll do something else. I’ve never had any other big thing other than music – if that makes sense. So that, and write your own songs, know what you’re getting into and also doing your research and having a good team of people around you because that’s so important.
ellesse: Have you ever had to have some distance from music?
Aine: I’ve never completely stopped listening to music ever, because if I’m not listening to it I’d be doing it. I’ve been writing for a few months constantly and I’ve only just realised that I haven’t been listening to anyone else much at all, compared to what I used to when I was younger. When I first started writing I was listening constantly to something. I’m one of those people who puts an album on repeat, I’ll listen to one album for months on repeat. But, just in the last while, I haven’t been listening to much at all, I was too focused on trying to write my own album – but now I’m starting to listen back again.
ellesse: If you were to get out your phone right now and pick some music to play what would you play?
Aine: I’m pop music, I really am pop music. My play list on Spotify really says it all. I’ll go through the names – I was making a playlist, and you know when Spotify is like ‘like this, like this’ and it was names which I hadn’t heard of and I just started listening to them, and I was like ‘I actually love all of these’. So, I got into people that I had never really heard of because before that it would be like names that were starting to come up that I would find, or popular names like Lana Del Ray and stuff. So, there are artists on here that I had never heard of before, so, well, I’m first of the list, bit of promo for myself. Then I have Billie Eilish, I have the new Ariana Grande song, Transviolet, Girls Your Age, that’s a banger that one. Shall I keep going or is that too much? Cruel Youth, that ‘The Night We Met’ is an absolute banger, I love that song! Matt Maltese, ‘Even If It’s a Lie’ is the biggest song ever, okay I’m done now, I don’t want to keep going on, but yeah, that’s only some of them.
ellesse: Can you think of three reasons why music makes life better?
Aine: Well, music is in my life, so I feel it does that for me anyway. Okay! Three reasons why music would make life better. Explain that to me.
ellesse: So, if you’re stuck in an elevator with people and there’s an awkward silence.
Aine: Okay, so this is situations where music would make it better?
ellesse: Doesn’t have to be, can be anything. A lot of people have said that it would genuinely make life better because otherwise it would just be boring.
Aine: Yeah, well that’s what I was thinking, there is music in life so, am I picturing it without it? Do you know what I mean? Wait, let me just answer the question without being really stupid about it. I don’t know, how does it make it better? I don’t know. It’s like a light, kind of. I don’t know. Or like it’s really universal so you don’t have to speak the language of any song to love it. That. How’s that? It connects us all, it connects us universally. That was it.
ellesse: So, what I was saying earlier, about your routine, if you’re coming into a studio let’s say, do you have any pre-meditation you have to do before you feel like you can sing?
Aine: No. And I should be warming up, but do you know, the one thing that I will do if I’m on tour or anything is keep a bottle of pineapple juice and drink that before every show, they’re big bottles but I’ll drink some of it. Yeah, that’s kind of my routine.