Perfectly Imperfect With Imelda Kehoe – Episode 9

Imelda Kehoe is an Irish Contemporary Folk Singer Songwriter. She has created her own style, which is influenced by Folk, Blues and with elements of Soul. Her songs are Melody rich, full of stories, life experiences written with the listener at heart and with a definite World music feel.

‘Beautiful, heartbreaking pop inspired songs that trip along and pull you in to their melodies and chord structures that are reminiscent of Paul Weller’s Butterfly Collector or English Rose’ Billy Roche, Songwriter, Playwright, Actor

From a big Irish/English family, Imelda was born in Leeds but spent most of her childhood moving around and living in beautiful locations in England and Wales while her parents renovated old properties to the soundtrack of her Father’s record collection, which included Nat King Cole, Buddy Holly, Simon and Garfunkel, Mamas and Papas and the Beach Boys. She describes these early influences as shaping her love of good melody.   She trained as Nurse in Leeds and worked in inner City A&E and Intensive Care departments and cites these experiences as being influential in her Song Writing.

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Welcome to Imelda Kehoe, I’m so happy that you’re here on our podcast today. Thank you so much for joining me.

Thanks for having me. It’s great. Nice to see you as well.

You too. Yeah. I’m gonna just introduce you a little bit for any listeners who don’t know who you are. Imelda Kehoe is an Irish contemporary folk singer songwriter. She has created her own style, which is influenced by folk, blues and elements of soul. And her songs are melody rich, full of stories, life experiences, written with the listener at heart, and with a definite world music feel. I love your music, Imelda. Your first album, I saw I was listening to it in the car only last week on a road trip down to my Granny’s house. And I just love it. One thing I think that was really resonates from that bio is Yeah, you’re full of stories part. I love the stories that you bring in your music. So I’m so happy you decided to join us and share more about your journey with singing. Ah, thanks. Thanks very much. You’re welcome. So tell me more about where you’re at today. Where, who is like, What is Imelda Kehoe doing right now?

Well, I’ve just finished my second album. It’s now in the process of being mastered. around Christmas time, I was signed to a record label called Thoroughbred Music. And they’re based in England, but have distribution globally. So obviously, that was a massive thing, massive thing to get that kind of industry endorsement. Yeah. And now we’re basically the album is in the final stages of of mastering, and then we’ll, we’ll get it all together, have a listen, make sure the order and running order is right. And then we’ll decide which ones to release first, before the album itself. So that’s where I am at the moment. But actually, I’m writing again, I’ve finished one album, but I’m already started. I’m writing a new, probably an EP, I’d say, but I never stopped writing.

wonderful. Well, I mean, I’m so excited about the album. And we’ve got an exclusive sneak peek into the album today before the official release. So really excited to share one of your songs and and that’s really, really, like good, great for me and for the for our listeners. But I’m interested about what you said there about how you’re writing already again, what is it about the music? That it’s almost like it’s it’s calling to you that you’re like, you can’t put it down even for like, a few weeks after the album is finished? You’re already back in?

Yeah, I think as humans we have… we need to tap into our creative side, I think some people do it through art or, or dance or acting or any any other thing it doesn’t necessarily have to be performing arts, it could be any, any kind of creative thing could be gardening or or anything. But I think as humans, we are driven. It’s part of being a whole person, I think, isn’t it to want to do that. And for me, it’s very important that I always try and make time for that in in my life. So I usually I can’t wait to get to it, I can’t wait to start to get to the piano to start writing something or over the last year, I’ve actually learned how to use digital audio workstation a little bit now not to the point where I’d be producing my own songs. But I can put tracks together and I can I can do a little bit first stage arrangement, you know, and that’s given me a huge, huge step forward, because I’m not dependent on other people to help me with the creative development of the song. Because I don’t play guitar. I play piano very badly. But enough to get something down. And once you can play on a MIDI keyboard, then you’re straight into a digital audio workstation. And it’s easy, I think. Yeah, yeah. And the new songs are, I wouldn’t say they’re different. But they’re they’re another the last few songs that ended up on on the second album, which will be released. These new songs are kind of a continuation of those, I think. So. Yeah. It’s really been a

continuation in terms of this story of the like, Is it like when you say continuation? What do you mean by that?

What I mean by that is that the kind of the style, the style that I was starting to develop, and I’ve tried different genres of music over the over the last few years. My first album did have a few different genres, I suppose you could say, but I don’t. It’s very hard to kind of pinpoint what my songs are. But I think I’m starting to understand now the type of songs that I love doing the most and the kind of setup that I like the most. So the EP will be will be basically just a continuation of the latest songs that ended up on the album I think

wonderful and but for for the listeners and like a lot of my listeners are people who would love to sing and maybe sing as a hobby or maybe just thinking about learning to sing. I know that you didn’t start off believing you didn’t you weren’t writing music as a child or anything like that. Or performing from a very young age. Were you? Not at all? No, I

mean, I was into sport when I was a kid and I was real tomboy when I was when I was a kid. And so I just wanted to be outside climbing walls and playing football and things like that. So I was never part of the you know, the school theater or music group or anything like that. I didn’t really get it but I always felt like I I did have a voice and I was surrounded by music growing up in my family. We moved around different places. My dad is a builder by trade and skill is a built in skill building. And my mom at some stage, she was a radiographer and then became pretty much a full time builders laborer and she’s she’s put roofs on houses, built walls two storeys high, she’s amazing. She can use a power drill, no problem at all and everything. In our, in our childhood in my youth, we were surrounded by music, so there would always be campfires, there would always be family gatherings, and there would always be music and their record collection is amazing. So I grew up with like Glen Campbell, Buddy Holly, Nat King Cole, the Everly Brothers, Simon and Garfunkel all those really melody rich songs that were just basically the soundtrack to our childhood and, and I’m from a big Irish English family. on my mother’s side, I’ve got I think 45 cousins or something like that. So really big family and it’s always a big family party. So music was always there. I had it, I had it very much in my in my soul. But I had my first two children I was quite young, I was 24 and then we had a gap and then I had two more so my 20s and 30s basically were just consumed by being a mom. And in my late 30s then I I started to think more about what I wanted to do for myself you know as a as an individual will say so I was watching new Jools Holland one New Year’s Eve and it was 2011 it was it was the year of the really bad snowed you remember that? If you remember, there was really, really bad snow. Oh, yeah. And and I was watching Jools Holland on New Year’s Eve, as we did every year. And I always made a new year’s resolution. And that particular year, I made a new year’s resolution to, to sing, to start to explore this, this path that I wanted to, to go on and that was to sing. And

and had you sung anything like had you done any singing at all before that?

I had, I had I mean, I’ve done like, but I would, I would describe myself up to that point, as you know, somebody who would say get up at the end of the night and sing a song or I’ve sung with a couple of, I’ve sung the odd song with a couple of bands, but nothing. Nothing beyond that, really. But I knew that I was able to stand up in front of people and sing, albeit I would have been terrified. But I had done a little bit that at that point. So what I did was, I was like anything, you know, if you, if your goal is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, then the first thing you do is you find your nearest highest mountain and you make a plan to climb that. And then when you climb that you climb it again. And when you climbed it again, maybe climb it one more time, and then maybe you join a club, mountaineering club, and then you meet somebody else who is doing a trip next year to climb Mont Blanc or something like that. And then you go and climb Mont Blanc, and then you meet somebody who’s doing a trip the following year to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and before you know it, you’re on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, you know, in a few years and that kind of, is how things happen, I think. So I did already have that, I had that drive in me that if you do little things, other things will follow. So what I did was I… my neighbor was was, was a member of the Wexford Festival Singers. So he, he heard me singing in the pub. And he said, right, we have to get you, we have to get you in our choir. So I’ve never sung in choirs before. And I definitely wasn’t, I didn’t think that I would be into that kind of music, which was mainly sacred music. And I didn’t think it would be my kind of thing at all. So he convinced me to go along anyway. And so I went along, and I was in my, when was that, it was probably my late 30s, or 40s, or something around that age. And I remember the first it’s a three hour session. And I remember the first half of the first thing was, I was looking around this room, and there’s about 50 people in the room, all very, very experienced singers quite a lot older than I was at the time. So therefore, all these years of experience behind them, if you know what I mean. I remember thinking, Oh, god, this is not for me, I’ll just stay till tea break. And then, you know, I’ll kind of make my excuses. And I’ll…. thanks very much, I’ll see you again. So we got to tea break and, and the people are just absolutely wonderful, the people were so lovely. They they completely disarmed me with their charm. So before I knew it was, it was time for the second half, you know, and so, so I thought, Oh, God, I have to stay for the second half now as well. And the chorus mistress was, was Eithne Corrigan, who is a you’ve, I’m sure you’ve, you’ve probably familiar with, with Eithne, as well. She’s just incredible. I mean, she’s like a super human. And I there was in awe of her, I was just but my main feeling was, I can’t do this. This is way advanced for me. And I had, I didn’t know what a four part choir was, I couldn’t read music. They were, they were all so technical, and so experienced, you know, and I thought I can’t, I can’t do this. But in the second half, she, she got everybody singing together. And I think we were doing them. It was the we’re doing the Faure Requiem. And there was a point where all four parts come together. And when I heard that sound of all four parts singing together, I thought it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard. And I thought I, I hope they’ll let me stay. So I did a little audition at the end of it. And so Eithne says “grand, get there with the altos and work hard, head down, keep practicing, and, you know, see, see where we go.” And they were doing this Faure Requiem about six weeks after I joined. So she said, you know, maybe it’s too soon for you to do that Faure Requiem in six weeks, you won’t be able to learn that, but keep trying and you know, see how you get on. And I remember thinking to myself, I am I am going to do it. I’m going to well, I’m going to try my best to be in the best position to do it. So every night I was reading and reading and we were listening to the tapes, the rehearsal tapes every single night trying to learn it, learn it and learn it. And for anybody who’s done any big choral work, is there is a lot of work. It’s a lot of work to remember it but you have the book in front of you. So it’s not that hard.

Anyway, about a couple of weeks before the the performance. As I said acting catchy via you’ll be alright, would you like to do it? And I said I would. So so I did. And I did the first performance with them. And then from there, I just, I just loved it. I loved it. I was with them for three years, I think two or three years. And then yeah, I learned so much. I learned how to read choral music. But the most important thing that I learned from that experience apart from meeting beautiful, beautiful people was to sing with discipline. And to sing with discipline makes the difference between somebody who just gets up and sings in the pub or at a you know, at local talent show or something like that, versus the journey which takes you on to a different a different level of singing. And that that really was for me the start of I knew that I needed to do that. And that was that was a big step.

Can I ask you to explain even further what you mean by discipline? Is it to do with practice? Is it to do with how you actually sing the song like as you’re concentrating? What does the disciplin part mean?

Um, well, a few things really, but to me first of all, at that stage, if you’ve only ever sung in, you know, a family parties are pubs, perhaps you, one might have bad habits will say. So if so, I learned to control the emotion in the voice to use it to to its fullest impact. So to do that, obviously, breathing is a huge as you know, a huge part of that, also focusing on the message of what it is that you’re singing. So I did have quite a few bad habits, I’m sure. The other thing that you learn singing in a choir is if you’re sitting beside it, a tenor who’s singing a completely different line from you, you have to stick to your line. And you have to concentrate and work really hard to do that is quite, quite a challenge. Which is why of course being a choir in a four part choir is so good for the mind. And it’s so good for relaxation, because you are completely switched off from everything else you have to be because it’s difficult. So I learned, I learned to control the emotion in my voice. And I learned how to breathe properly when I’m singing. And I learned how to concentrate on trying to deliver the message of the song. I think that that will be how I would summarize the discipline side of things.

That’s a wonderful and I know that following that you did join the National Opera House musical society, is that what it’s called? you’ll have to remind me

like the Wexford light opera then. Yeah, so it’s like a friend of mine said, If you start singing, then if you start singing with one group, what will happen is he said you will end up joining other groups, you’ll end up and simultaneously you could be a member of many different groups. And so yeah, what actually happened was they were doing the show Sister Act. And I just couldn’t resist that. So I love that I love dressing up as a nun. Anyway, I just I don’t know, I just I just think they’re so funny. They’re so funny. It’s probably probably from the sound of music, I suppose. But yeah, I love dressing up as a un, so I, I just have to try that I have to try and get in. So without doubt, musical theater, in my opinion, now, not that I’ve done many, many Performing Arts forms or anything like that. But I would say that musical theater must be one of the most difficult of all Performing Arts. And boy did I learn some things there. I mean, I worked with professional musical theater professionals. And they, I just couldn’t believe that the amount of the how you have to sing, you have to dance, you have to act, you have to be in character, you have to do all these things simultaneously. And the people who are part of that society who are the professionals, so they would be the leads and the people who have come from a professional background. I really saw for those few years that I was part of it really saw how hard they have worked to get to that point. And how hard they work, every show to prepare, prepare, prepare, do things systematically and professionally. It was a fantastic, fantastic experience. And yes, I got in I got in and I got to dress as a nun. Even though I’m a terrible, terrible dancer. I mean, I’m a terrible dancer. But I managed to somehow to get in and probably because I could see how much I wanted it. I really wanted to wear that that that outfit the “habit”. So I did the habits. Thank you. Yeah. And they were amazing as well. There’s a fantastic costume department in the light opera. And it habit was actually like a proper one, it wasn’t like the ones you buy, you know in the fancy dress shop. It was a proper one with all the different layers and everything so every night getting geared up it was a mission. So Wow. So what Yeah, so I but I was totally unprepared for it. I was totally unprepared but I mean with the with the with the choir, I’d sung in the national concert hall, we had sung in the Opera House but it’s a bit different when you are behind the book with a group of people. You know, you’re very safe, you’re in a very it’s still in your comfort zone. You know, you’ve got you’re surrounded by other people. But when you’re doing a show, it was I was way out of my comfort zone. And that was where I my really big learning my steep learning curve in terms of developing some kind of stage craft and conquering my stage fright as well. That’s that’s where all that happened

on the opening night, because I know.

Yeah, on the opening night on. So when we did shows it was six nights, so it would run Monday to Saturday. And on the opening night on the Monday night, obviously everybody’s nervous on an opening night anyway, the first thing scene that I was in I was with a group of nuns and we were, and we were on the front of the stage. And I remember that first night when I walked to the front of the stage, and I could see the sea of people in the National Opera House in front of me of 800 or 1000 people, whatever. And I just I remember just thinking, oh my god, and I got this paralyzing fear so bad, I thought it was gonna kind of collapse or fall over or, or just make it I thought it was gonna make a holy show of it be pardon the pun. So what I did was we were in a row and my friend was beside me. And I just linked in with her arm, which was fine, because that was kind of in character, because, you know, they’re all a bit. You’re supposed to be a bit kind of, you know, bit doddery or something like that. So I just linked her arm. And basically, she held me up every night for six nights. And that scene, that’s how I got through it. That’s how I survived it every night. So the show was done. And it was fantastic. It was it was an incredible experience. It really was. But after that, then I stayed with the Wexford light opera. And we went back for more next, the next year, we did the musical Chess. And chess is a different thing, a completely different type of show from Sister Act, which was just fun, fun, fun. Chess has some very somber moments. And then there’s a scene at the end of the show where it’s we are, I was in the chorus so I was a chess piece and we were on the stage of the chessboard, and it was slightly sloped forward like that’s the way you always always had the feeling of kind of leaning forward anyway. So it was a bit unnerving. And the set was very hot and had a lot of hard surfaces. So the sound was an issue as well event kind of strange sounds. But anyway, in this particular scene, which was a very somber scene, I was I was a black chest piece, and there was a white in front of me and a white one behind. And I got that fear again on the first night. And I thought, oh, no, and I couldn’t hold on to anyone, anybody because we were literally black, white, black, white on a chessboard, you know, I was in my square, and I would remember just looking down at my square and thinking, Oh, my God, I’m gonna fall, I’m going to just collapse here or something and knock them all over. It’s going to be a disaster, and I’m going to ruin it for everybody. And everybody will hate me, you know, it’s all this kind of stuff. So that that was the Monday night, and I got through it. And then Tuesday night, it was even worse. So I knew that my friend had gone to see a therapist called David Hunt. And he’d helped her with some hypnotherapy when she was giving a… it was actually a work related thing she was doing. She was giving a lecture. And he helped her so I thought I’m gonna try that. So I rang him and luckily got an appointment on the Wednesday. And he said, Yeah, Yeah, come on down. And he only lives like, less than a mile from my house. So I went to see him and I explained the situation and he said, Well, when is this show that you’re doing then Imelda? And I said, it’s tonight, it’s tonight and every of every night till Saturday. And he said, Well, he said not everybody can be hypnotized. It doesn’t work for everybody and sometimes it takes two or three attempts you know, I can’t guarantee that this will be successful and I said – look, I’ll do anything at this stage it hit me over the head do I’ll do anything. I’ll just let’s try. So he said okay. And and he began the procedure of hypnosis and it was quite it is he was quite difficult I remember to just kind of relax to the point where I was hypnotized but I do remember most I remember it I remember everything he said.

And the message I remember him saying to me, that you are you are, you are not perfect, but you are perfectly you and he repeated that and you said you are not perfect, but you are perfectly you and he said tomorrow you will you will feel happier, healthier, calmer and, and that was that and afterwards, I felt I did feel really calm really chilled out after it, I must say but I was going on stage that night, so I still had to prepare and get down to the Opera House by about four, five or six o’clock, you know, to do all the preparations, but I did feel really kind of chilled out. You know, I remember sitting in the greenroom and feeling really chilled out and relaxed. And I was thinking, I was thinking to myself, I actually feel a bit, I feel different, you know, I think I was confident that something had happened. But I didn’t, I wouldn’t know until we got to that scene in the show. And that would be the real litmus test, when I looked down on my white square in my black outfit to see, do I feel like I’m going to fall forward on to the one in front of me. So that moment in the show came, and I remember waiting in the wings waiting to go on. And I remember that feeling excited and bit, you know, kind of nervous, but not. I was okay at that point. And when I got onto stage and the scene started, I looked down at the white square, and I didn’t feel like I was gonna fall over. And that paralyzing fear that I had the night the night before, and the year before was gone. And I’ve never had it since. Wow. So I still felt, I still feel when I go on stage that I still feel a little bit jittery, you know, that kind of good, good nerves. And I’ve had times where I’ve been on stage where I felt very emotional, certainly, usually for different reasons. But I’ve never had that paralyzing fear of stage fright. And I think that that left me that day. And what I learned, I think, was that what had been holding me back was this fear, I suppose of, of feeling inadequate feeling that I wasn’t, I couldn’t measure up to these people, or I couldn’t, I didn’t deserve to be there. And I just kept thinking, but you’re not perfect, but you are perfectly you. And it made me think that it’s alright then too, if you make a mistake, or if you’re not actually as good as you think you should be. Have a go anyway, just try it anyway. And, and really, from that moment on, I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone, not only in music, but in other things too. The following year, I ran my first marathon. And things started to change in business as well, I became more focused on goals in business and more brave, I suppose in the decisions that I made. And certainly on the music front, from that point, I’ve been progressing, and I’m pushing myself further out of my comfort zone. Because I think one of the biggest, probably one of the biggest limiting human factors or emotions is shame, the fear of shame and embarrassment. It holds us back in so many ways. It stops us from being brave or doing things that we fear we can’t do or we think we shouldn’t be doing or that we won’t be as good as somebody else. It’s It’s It’s embarrassed shame and embarrassment. And that usually is very deep seated in people. And singing can be one of the the mediums that you can that can bring you on on a journey that takes you out of that, that place that takes you to a more it’s a very personal kind of development or personal development journey, I suppose it helps you to believe that you can do something that you think you You didn’t think you could do.

It’s beautiful. I really love that as a as an ethos from from my own work as well. I think it’s it’s exactly in alignment. When people come to me and they want to sing, I need to let them know that their voice is enough in that moment, because it’s like our zero starting point. And we want to be ahead, we want to be better before we can be. And it’s actually a really important point to go right. I’m an absolute beginner, right. I’m not brilliant today. But I’m going to try and that takes it to the next point. So yeah, and I think in some some situations, we realized as a systematic approach, but most people don’t take that first step. They don’t, you know, walk the mile so that they could walk the 5k you know, so it’s, it’s it’s all about taking small steps and it’s and I really admire the journey that you went on that you followed your heart, because it was really it seems like it’s it’s part of you a part of your souls journey to to be doing this.

I feel I do feel that I feel like I’m I want to do it all the time. And sometimes even now, when I’m when I’m doing other things when I’m working, I’m sort of thinking about, I wonder would pedal steel guitar go well with that, with that intro, you know. And then you have to bring yourself back to Oh, actually, you’re on a conference call now with a company, you can’t you don’t think about that. But everybody has that don’t we all have something in our life, that’s not work. That’s, that’s our passion, our, our, our creative side side of things. Oh, it’s beautiful. And

you know, when you said it was around Christmas Eve that you made your wish. And for me, it was around Christmas time, I had just been in a show in new Ross called White Christmas. And I had, I was actually one of the lead roles. And it was an amazing experience. And it brought me back to that joy that I had felt in singing when I was when I was, you know, in my 20s, because I’d been in a show in New Ross then as well. And I just made a decision, I was like, I just want to do more, I want my time to be more and music. And that led to an inspiration to do to start teaching. And it’s been one of the most fulfilling things that I’ve ever done, because now I’m around music more of the time. And I think that following those following that. It’s almost like a feeling of, Oh, this is what I want. Am I allowed to want it? Do I have to be like practical or, you know, is by being silly and to be to take a stand and just kind of say, I just want to do it for myself. That’s takes bravery. And anybody who’s starting a singing journey, it does take courage to go, right. I’ve decided Yeah,

yeah, definitely. And I think, I mean, I’ve been at a couple of your end of term shows, which I love, I really enjoyed. I really, really enjoyed them, I found them a very uplifting experience to be there. And I think what they what most people do, after a 6 or 12 week program, whatever they’ve done, that they stand that they stand up on, they sing, most of them sing solo in front of the people whose approval they probably are seeking the most, which is their family and friends and their other singing buddies. To do that is like is incred…. It’s a real fast track. It’s incredibly brave. But I found it really uplifting to be there. Because also i’m sure you you found yourself at that people often join singing groups are choirs because they might be dealing with other things in their life, a bereavement or a marriage breakup. Often they’ve got other issues going on and they just need something to take their mind off it into something that that’s just for them that’s touches their heart, their heart and soul. So you probably find yourself part teacher, part therapist, or I did I imagine. But what I saw from your group was that the group become a hugely important support network for each other. Yeah. And I saw that many times with your groups I could see how important they were to each other for support and they remain friends that don’t make a lot of them remain lifelong friends because it what they’ve done together they’ve gone on this. It’s like when I ran my first marathon, I remember I was running with a pacer thinking I only ran with the pacer because I didn’t want to be last. And I thought if I run if I run with a pacer, then I won’t be last and what’s that? A Pacer is somebody who so they have a pacer who say runs in three and a half hours then they won’t have one that runs it in four hours and that one that 4.15 4.30 Okay, usually stops at four for 4 hours, 30 minutes. And me and my naivete, I’d only decided on the day before to sign up for the marathon. Now I was preparing… I was preparing for one but there just happened to be one in Wexford. And I just thought, I’m just going to sign up. I’m not going to tell anybody that I’m going to do it. I’m just going to sign up for tomorrow’s marathon and see how I get on. So in my naivete, I just I latched on to the Pacer 4 hours 30 thinking that well at least I won’t be last if i, if i latch on to them, that group. But I didn’t realize that four hours 30 is actually a pretty good time and the Wexford marathon is really tough. But anyway, at the start, I was chatting away with these guys and, and, you know, none of us had ever met each other before. And four hours and 30 minutes later, we were hugging each other like, you know, we had just just achieved the most amazing life goal together. You know, it’s just as human beings when you go on a really difficult journey with other human beings. It’s you do… you form a bonds, you know? Oh, and I think it’s the same for your for your groups

Oh, yeah, I think it’s so great because as adults, when we start something new, we can be more self critical than we would have been when we were teenagers or kids. And we’ve more self sabotage, more shame, kind of and more, like you said, a fear of failure. And the if we can, if singing isn’t your thing, but you enjoy running or you enjoy crochet, or I don’t know, there’s loads of things that people enjoy doing whatever it is, don’t be. My advice is always like, don’t be afraid to do it wrong for a while until you start doing it right.

Oh, I mean, I I’ve made so many mistakes. I’ve made so many blunders singing. It’s, it’s unbelievable. I mean, the more performance that you do, the more performance is under your belt, obviously, that you’d be hoping that you get a little bit better each time. But I’ve had some howlers I mean, I am

sorry, we don’t need to tell everybody I think that most people in the audience don’t even notice those things Imelda. Like how many of those things were actually things that actually ruined the performance? Like I bet that none of them completely ruined it.

Yeah, I would say I would say none, but, but it’s all usually things to do with not being prepared, and then forgetting the words just as you’re about to start singing and, and that kind of thing, you know, because or it’s exactly like you said, though, doing doing a performance where everybody thought it was grand. But uh, you think yourself, that wasn’t good, that wasn’t my best. So, you know, this kind of self critical kind of a thing.

I’d love to hear about, you know, your first album, that was like to be it’s like one of my favorite albums to listen to How To Be Human. And I’ve been thinking about four or five, the songs are like, really special to me. And I am really excited to hear what the next album is doing. But I’d love to hear a little bit. And we have about another 10 minutes to chat. I’d love to hear about when you brought that album out in that performance for that album and what it meant to you. And yeah, just what it meant to you really.

Yeah, that that album really was the result of meeting somebody who changed the trajectory, or of my singing career, or certainly became very much a catalyst for my music, who and that’s my colleague, and I met him through the open mic scene. And he we started working on songs together. And I remember thinking about doing a gig with other people. And he just said to me one day, why don’t you do your own gig? Why don’t you do your own? Why don’t you write your own album and do your own gig? And it was the first time I thought, God could I do that. And a year later, yeah, we were in the the Arts Center launching How To Be Human, which sold out like it’s sold out in three days or something like they’re sold out two or three weeks before we did the launch. And that night was yeah, I’ll never forget, it was really all my family were there and the people who have supported me throughout and that’s the other thing. I mean, I’ve had so much help and support to do what I do. Now, I’ve been surrounded by brilliant people. But really the turning point other the person that really launched me on that kind of trajectory was was Michael Egan. And he’s a great friend. And has been working with me on the second album too, and is now working with me again on the on the EP, we’re still still working on stuff together. He’s fantastic.

That’s wonderful. And when you started when you signed with the record label did that. Was that a surprise? Like, was that something you were seeking?

I had been thinking about I do believe in the music. I believe in in this second album, I believe it is strong, you know, and I was confident to to approach a record label, I was confident enough to try. And I chose this one because I thought we’d be a good match. Yeah, I thought I thought we’d be a good match. And I sent them some stuff just before Christmas. And then yeah, he got back to me. And he said, we like I’d like to talk. We’d like to talk to you. So we had a call like this and then I suppose they want to establish what kind of person are you? Are you kind of just going to give up after this one. Are you a hard worker because you’ve got to be a really hard worker. So I was delighted within couple of weeks, we’ve signed up so and they’re lovely, lovely people Adrian Colis the guy who I deal with mainly and he’s lovely, this lovely person very supportive and doesn’t put me under any pressure. You know, if it’s not ready, no problem. It’ll be ready when it’s ready. It has to be right. That’s the main thing, you know. So,

and you have been working with some some amazing musicians on this new album, right?

Yeah, yeah, since the lockdown, I had to think of another way to finish the album. And actually, I was only halfway through it when the first lockdown came around. So I started, I started looking for professional session musicians who were kind of aligned with my style, or what I wanted to do. And I teamed up with, I’ve worked with musicians from literally all over the world. I couldn’t list them all individually now. But there were about probably 12, 12 musicians, I think in total on the album. But some of them have played with George Michael, Adele, done tours with Disney, they’ve You know, they’re really high level professional session musicians and great they’ve been great to work with as well. So I’ve learned a huge amount from working with them. Again, it’s another kind of it’s another step up another step forward.

That’s very exciting. And so is this is the overall sound of the second album going to be different from the first or is it… What do you think people are going to experience in that?

most of the songs are now band songs, whereas the first album, a lot of it was kind of acoustic or just, you know, one or two instruments, mainly because of limited by inexperience and a budget as well. So the second album, most of the songs are band songs so there’s more, there’s more sounds going on. And I think the songs, the songwriting is definitely developed to another level, but it’s still the essence of it is still the same. It’s still very much driven by human stories, and very much driven by the people who I’ve met. And I’ve learned to listen very closely very carefully to things that just momentarily pique your interest. Like when Danny said to me, the sun, there’s nothing special about the sun. It’s just an ordinary star. But it’s we think it’s special because it’s close to earth and when he said that I was like, Wow. So that’s how ordinary star came about. And I like things that momentarily pique your interest, very important. That’s what I’ve learned. Oh,

it’s, I mean, it’s just awesome that you say that. So in a few moments, I’m gonna play one of the songs from your new album. It’s an exclusive sneak peek of your album at just for us. And so it’s the song is called Blue sky Baby. And it is. Do you want to tell us a little bit about that song.

I wrote Blue Sky Baby. When I was in Croatia, sitting by the Adriatic city by the Adriatic Sea overlooking the beautiful blue Adriatic Sea with a sun blazing down and realizing that summer would soon be over. And and that I know, that’s where I was when I wrote the song. It’s, I suppose a kind of a jazz inspired just piano vocal, some bare guitar in it. And it’s that that is the title track to my album. And I, I love it and I’m really, really happy with with the song. I hope you will like it too.

Oh, I love it. And if people want to sign up for your mailing list or find out about what you’re doing, what ways would you recommend that they stay in touch with you?

Yeah, I mean, I’m on Facebook, you can like like my Facebook page Imelda Kehoe or is my website. And there’s a… on the homepage where you can sign up to the newsletter, or the mailing list. And the album will be out on Spotify and all the usual release platforms over the summer.

Fantastic. Are you doing pre pre release? Like are you pre selling any the album? Or is that something that you’re considering?

I’m not sure I’m not sure yet what how we’re going to tackle that that will be I mean, the song that we’re playing now is probably the album won’t be ready for another couple of months for actual release. So this is very much at an early preview. So we still got quite a lot to decide in terms of the release strategy. So the the label are working on that good.

It’s nice to have their their backup on it I bet this time around.

It really is it’s so important because as a creative writer, promotion, generally, you know, it’s not often not your thing. You don’t really I don’t really like doing that kind of stuff. I like writing and I like singing. I don’t really like posting things on Facebook or it has to be done but I don’t particularly enjoy it, you know? Yeah. Yeah, no, it’s good to have them. Great. Well,

let’s, I’m gonna play Blue Sky Baby for everybody. As, at the end of the podcast, I’d like to just thank you so much Imelda for all of your insights and sharing your story of how you got started. It’s been a pleasure. It’s been an honor. I love your voice. I love your music. I can’t wait to hear the EP now as well. So now I have a list of things to look forward to from you in the next few the next year or so. So is there anything else you’d like to say before we finish up?

Yeah, I would. I would. What I would say to your your listeners and your students in particular is remember that nobody else has a voice like you. Nobody has a voice like you. Your voice is unique to you. And although you might not be perfect, it might not be the best voice but it is yours. So don’t be afraid to use it.

Brilliant. Love it. Thanks everyone for listening wherever you are. It’s been our pleasure to be chatting together and if you have any question for me or are interested in singing, you can always get in touch. And definitely sign up for Imelda’s newsletter. Make sure your she can contact you and let you let you guys know when her her album is ready. So thanks again Imelda. Take care, God bless and lovely to see you. Bye bye

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