MICKEY Joe Harte says releasing new music is one of the few weapons he has left in his armoury as Covid-19 continues to cripple the industry.
‘Under the Milky Way’ is the latest single from the Lifford man and is unlike anything he has released to date. With its edgy sound and part-animated video, it is all a million miles from the Eurovision anthem that made Mickey Joe Harte a household name.
Since rocking Riga with ‘We’ve Got the World Tonight’ 17 years ago, Mickey Joe has become a mainstay of the Irish roots and pop scene. He has also established himself as a ‘go to’ songwriter for many of Ireland’s best established artists. In March though things came to a crunching halt when the pandemic wiped out the live music scene. And with little sign of the storm clouds clearing, Mickey Joe, like virtually all of his peers, is contemplating what the future might look like for the music industry.
“I came back from Australia on March 18 and had to put a line through the diary,” revealed the Lifford man.
“I thought by this stage we would be doing something and that we might even get the tail end of the summer and the festival circuit. By now I would have a fair idea how Christmas is looking but there is absolutely nothing in the diary for the rest of the year.”
While a large chunk of his income is based around live performance, Mickey Joe’s talents as a songwriter meant the royalty cheques continued to drop on to the door mat throughout lockdown. But he admits that as time goes on tough decisions may well present themselves.
“I just don’t know what the future holds. Everyone has their own way of making a living and I have never looked down my nose at any profession, but I have never had to do anything else. If I have to then I would hope it would be in the field of entertainment as I feel I have that musical experience there. It is something you are having to start thinking about, is there an outlet there in musical education or possibly lecturing? I do have a couple of projects that I’m working on with other people but there is only so much of that too. Up until now it has been a sort of side thing but as things go on it is looking like that it might become more of a full-time gig and the live thing becoming secondary.”
While the live scene has been decimated, Mickey Joe has continued to record songs. And he remains determined to keep getting his music out there.
“The new releases will keep coming. Remote recording is the one thing we can continue to do. One of the great things about technology is that I can record something and then send it to someone else to embellish it. There are ways of doing it and I intend to put something out at the end of October and then something for Christmas.”
At just two and a half minutes long ‘Under the Milky Way’, Mickey Joe’s latest release, is ideal for radio play. For that reason it has been enjoying substantial airtime, particularly among ‘after-dark’ DJs.
“We kept it short and sweet and then we decided we should do a video to go with it,” said Mickey Joe.
“The reaction to it has been good, particularly on night time shows and the visual aspect of it seems to be working well for us on Youtube and Facebook.”
Under the Milky Way is available to download from all streaming platforms today. Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFKl3gMn11g