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Here’s the Irish artists Niall Horan thinks you should be listening to

The singer-songwriter shared his top Irish musicians while behind the scenes of his recent Rolling Stone UK cover shoot

By Hollie Geraghty

Niall Horan
Niall Horan (Picture: Christian Tierney)

“Irish music’s in a good spot,” Niall Horan told Rolling Stone UK behind the scenes at his recent cover shoot. “We’re very happy about it as a nation.”

Along with speaking about how life and love inspired his new album The Show in his cover interview, the Irish singer-songwriter and former One Direction star shared his favourite Irish musicians that are contributing to a booming music scene in his home country right now.

“I think as a singer-songwriter, hearing Damien Rice – the album O specifically – for the first time, was a game-changer for me,” Horan explained. “Huge inspiration, as an Irish [singer], coming from a small place and realising that it’s doable.”

Horan added that Ireland is a “strong country” in regards to the music scene right now, before listing other artists like Hozier and Dermot Kennedy, explaining that the latter is “absolutely nailing it at the moment”.

The singer also praised Inhaler, describing them as “the ones that have really caught people’s attention at the moment”. He went on: “An amazing Dublin band, kind of with that indie root.”

Horan also shouted out The Academic, a band from his hometown in Mullingar, County Westmeath, who he described as another “really cool” indie band.

Another hometown artist he’s a fan of is Amy Michelle, a “young, contemporary” singer-songwriter who he described as “dark and spooky” and “a really good lyricist”.

“That was my public service announcement for Ireland,” Horan joked.

In his cover interview, the star also reflected on his own musical achievements and ambitions for the future. “I’ve achieved a lot in my young life, but I’m still fired up to do as much as I can,” he said. “My career has felt so good because it reminds me of everything I thought the music industry would be when I was a kid. I got the good end of the stick [in terms of] travelling the world and playing to millions. And I still want more of that.” 

You can buy our 12th issue, which features Niall Horan on the cover, here.