BY SEÁN P. FEENY
LAST Monday two well-known Donegal DJs released a new collaboration, featuring a young talented singer/songwriter, which has already received world-wide attention and had thousands of people dancing.
Breathe is the latest release by Meath man John O’Callaghan & Full Tilt, aka Timmy Gibson and Tommy Conway from Letterkenny, and features Karen Kelly, a young talented singer from Letterkenny, on vocals.
The new song has been picked up by a world-renowned producer, been played on radio world-wide and had over 20,000 people dancing in Mexico.
Tommy said: “The track initially started as a collaboration between ourselves and John O’Callaghan. We were doing a follow up to a track we did with him a couple of years back called Talk To Me which featured local singer Deirdre McLaughlin which did really well us.
“We started the idea back last summer, we just threw some chords together and a melody and sent it to John to see what he thought. He thought we could do something with it so he did a few of his own tweaks and sent it back and we took it from there.”
Timmy and Tommy wanted to put a vocal on the track so they decided to give one of the entrants to the Full Tilt Studios ‘The Audition’ competition a chance.
Tommy said: “As Karen (Kelly) was writing some of her own stuff, we thought it would be a good idea to give her a go at it.
“We got her over to the studio and gave her some direction as to what way we would like it to go and she came up with a great hook for it.”
The producers got the ideas down and sent the track back and forth with John until they were all happy with the end product.
A big deadline loomed over them to have the song completed before Christmas as world-renowned trance producer and DJ Armin Van Buuren was looking for new track to include on his new A State Of Trance 600 CD.
Tommy said: “We sent it off and thankfully he picked it up as part of the CD. He then played it a couple of times on his radio show A State Of Trance and suddenly a real buzz was beginning with it. It was great exposure as he has millions of people listening to that show.”
Just last week Van Buuren was holding one of his famous State Of Trance 600 ‘The Exhibition’ World Tour events in Mexico and two of the DJs played Breathe.
Tommy said: “It was brilliant to see about 20,000 people in the Mexico City Arena dancing to it. The arena itself really did look amazing. It’s a great start for Karen as it is one of her first releases and it will be a real boost for her. She is a very talented writer and singer.”
“The single got released on Monday and has already charted on the Beatport charts so fingers crossed it continues to rise.”
Talented producers Timmy and Tommy are always working on new projects and so they are not resting on their laurels and the next collaboration is nearing completion.
Tommy said: “We are just finishing a collaboration with Bryan Kearney, who is doing really well at the moment, and it also features Deirdre McLaughlin on vocals.
“We have also a couple of originals and remixes ready for our own label Full Tilt Recordings which will be coming out in the coming months ahead also.”
As DJs the two friends also have a busy line-up with yet another trip to the United States organised for next month. Tommy said: “We are off doing a three-date tour in the USA over St Patrick’s weekend.
“We have one date in Boston and two dates in New York, which we are really excited about, as they’re two great places to be over the St Patrick’s weekend. It is always good to catch up with some of our American friends and family when we are over.”
When Timmy and Tommy return from the States they will be playing at the Subculture Easter party in Dublin hosted by their friend and collaborator John O’Callaghan.
These events are always top class and it is always nice to be asked to be part of it. The Dublin crowd are always brilliant, musically educated and up for party, everything a DJ wants really,” said Tommy.
This is John's first trip to the World Championships where he will come up against full-time professionals.