From Ireland to LA – the Irish recording artist following his musical dreams
For any aspiring entertainment creator, and perhaps especially for the would-be music artist, Los Angeles is seen as the place to be and the city in which to realise artistic and creative dreams. For one young up-and-coming Pop/Hip-Hop artist from Kerry, the decision to trade Ireland for America in 2016 is beginning to pay dividends.
For Steven Forde, a native of Tralee who re-located with his family to Fermoy in North Cork at the age of nine, each day is an opportunity to grow as an artist and to take another step forward towards his high-rise music ambitions. Having recently re-branded as ‘Stiofán’, the 24-year-old has taken a break from a hectic schedule of live performances and instead settled down to write and record his debut album.
Stiofán’s passion for music has been present since a young age and he says he always aspired to becoming a musician. Though he was understandably coaxed by guidance counselor's and family into completing a Commerce degree in University College Cork after finishing secondary school, Stiofán’s burning ambitions for a career in the music industry remained alight and soon brought him across the Atlantic Ocean to the West Coast of America.
“I realised that the burning love I had for music had not quenched and I knew where my future lied. I would look back on the four years I spent in college as a valuable use of my time and testament of character, grateful for having completed it. Now was the ‘leap of faith’ however and a couple months after graduating from university I packed my bags.”
Stiofán has actively pursued his interest in music from a young age; his earliest memories come from musicals and variety shows throughout Tralee, Killarney and right across the county. “I was very lucky in the sense my family was heavily involved in musical societies so I grew up around that and was able to ascertain a love for the stage from an early age.
“I remember song-writing began as early as primary school with me even forming a boy band in the Christian Brothers School in Tralee. There was like three of us in the group and we would perform songs I wrote in front of the whole class. From that point I don't think it ever really left me, that desire to write songs and perform them for everyone else to hear,” he says.
Stiofán points to artists such as Michael Jackson, Otis Redding, Elvis, Macklemore, Ed Sheeran, Luke Kelly and U2 as his music influences and while he described stumbling across Hip-Hop music as ‘just an instance of good fortune’, he soon found room within this genre to express himself artistically. He describes his music as distinctive and unique and draws on ‘my own experiences and distinctive outlook on the world’.
In his short time in Los Angeles, Stiofán has rubbed shoulders with industry experts and found his music resonates with people on a real level. In addition to breathless touring around the city and live shows at venues such as Molly Malone’s, Mom’s Bar, The Mint, State Social House and Bar 20, Stiofán was given the opportunity to record in prestigious studios with highly skilled engineers and other artists a like.
Stiofán says: “It's amazing how being out here just gives you a whole lease on life and unwavering energy. I'm going all day, to all parts of Los Angeles for various things. I want to be the very best and to do so I must work the hardest. I don't believe in wasting time and want to make each and every moment count. There are millions of people here in LA trying to pursue a similar dream and to stand out I must be willing to make the sacrifices they won't.”
With performing put to one side for the moment, Stiofán has shifted his attention back to the studio and is preparing his highly anticipated debut album. Stiofán says he is putting everything into making this album ‘the best project it could possibly be’.
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