BY SEÁN P. FEENY
Under his latest project, Rory & The Island, the Kilcar native who lives in the small village of Uga on Lanzarote is about to release a brand new single in aid of Ó Lá Gó Lá, an Irish organisation set up to help reduce suicide, depression and stress-related illness.
The launch of his latest song The Battle To Stay Positive this Friday, September 9, coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day on Saturday and is Rory’s way of giving something back to an organisation that helped him through a tough period in his life.
“I came across the website of Ó Lá Gó Lá nearly two years ago when I experienced depression badly myself for a few months.
“It was my own fault, I was working too hard and drinking every night, which isn’t hard when you’re living and working in a holiday resort,” he said.
“I was in bad form after the release of my first solo album. I was disappointed that things hadn’t gone better with the Revs and then my album didn’t do as well as I had hoped.
“I think for a year I was double gigging every day and drinking Jaeger and Red Bull to keep on the go and then during the day I’d be wiped out and stay in bed all day.
“It was crazy and I think I didn’t write songs for over a year.
“I’m one of those people that needs to be creative and I wasn’t doing that at all.
“But after being diagnosed clinically depressed I thankfully got out of it with the help of Ó Lá Gó Lá.
“One of the things they told me to do was to keep a diary and it was from doing this that I got the lyrics for The Battle To Stay Positive.”
This latest single is the third in a series of releases, following on from the online releases of Colours and Champagne Lifestyle On Coca Cola Wages which both made the Top 20 in Ireland.
“I’m just trying something different this time, aiming to release a new single every six weeks.
“Since the release of my song Ryanair Blues last year, which also charted, there has been a lot of renewed interest and it set me up to release more of my ‘serious’ music.
“Colours went straight in at number 8 and it’s actually a song from even before The Revs. I used to play it around home with a band called Bulb and it local favourite,” he said.
Rory isn’t the Pink Floyd or Bon Iver type of songwriter, what you will get from him is more down the lines of the Undertones or the Beatles.
“I’m better at that short, sharp shock stuff, getting a message across with a good groove and a nice melody, I guess at heart I’m just a pop song writer,” he laughed.
Rory, who was performing at the Electric Picnic this weekend, said he will continue to release singles until he has eight songs to which he will add two or three unreleased tracks for his new album Auntie Depressant & Uncle Hope which he hops to release early next year.
The Kilcar man can be see regularly at Charlie’s Live Music Bar in Puerto del Carmen where you never know who might pop in and join Rory on stage.
“I’ve been really fortunate that the owner lets me do my own thing and I get to play at least 15 of my owns songs and sometimes we even have some very special guests.
“We’ve had both Sharon Shannon and Mundy come in and play with us. it;s amazing to see the people’s faces, who can;t get over seeing these great artists on stage in a pub inSpain and free as well,” he laughed.
Rory & The Island’s The Battle To Stay Positive will be available on iTunes from Friday. Check out roryandtheisland.com and visit olagola.com
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