David Connor is a young, fresh voice of country music and a weekly social dancing attendee from Co. Mayo.
The Claremorris native gives Conor Halpin, journalism intern, an insight into his musical career and his upcoming Glór Tíre appearance. The former secondary school art teacher now works in Albany in Claremorris.
When did your interest in music develop, David Connor?
I grew up listening to Irish and American country music. My dad was a big fan of Big Tom and the Mainliners. Midwest Radio was always played in the background, and I grew up with country music. I started singing and learning to dance.
I love that it appeals to all niches and everyone can participate in the dancing and singing without being out of place. My first stage experience was as a teenager singing in a local youth variety show.
Then, I formed Southern Revival, a country and rock band. We regularly performed in bars in the west, such as Claremorris, Roscommon, and further afield in Longford.
What singers are you influenced by?
I began listening to American country rock and Irish folk music. My favourite Irish singer-songwriter was the late Liam Reilly from Bagatelle.
Other influences include John Fogerty from Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Eagles, Elvis Presley, Michael English, George Strait, Glenn Campbell, and Garth Brooks.
When did you release your first song?
As a proud Mayo man, I recorded a duet with my sister, Jenny, entitled the Mayo Cup Song, accompanied by a video for the 2016 All-Ireland Football Final. All proceeds went to Cystic Fibrosis.
Last January, I performed my debut single written by Zach Brown called As She’s Walking Away to a sold-out audience in the Town Hall Claremorris at the Local Stars concert.
I then performed in the McWilliam Park Hotel as a special guest for Eunice Moran and her band. Furthermore, I released You Couldn’t Have Come At A Better Time produced by Wayne Thorose at the end of August. The song was written by Luka Bloom and is a lively tune based on the Kesh jig.
The song combines folk and traditional music. It is perfect for a slosh dance and a sing-along. It reached number one upon release in the iTunes Irish country charts.
A video made by Uppercut Productions accompanied the song. It is available on YouTube featuring locations around my native Claremorris and home parish of Crossboyne.
Starring local musicians, my sister and her accomplished dancing college friends, I plan to release an album by the end of this year with the next song available in the next month. I am thankful to all the radio DJs. Mid-West Radio has given my songs huge airplay.
Where have you performed?
I performed at The Keane family Christmas Concert in Claregalway in 2015, and I supported Finbar Furey at the Town Hall in Claremorris in 2016. Also, the aforementioned event with Eunice Moran.
Who is your mentor on Glór Tíre?
My Glór Tíre mentor is Michael English. He is a talented musician and performer. I am a big fan of him, and his songs are brilliant, catchy and lively.
He is a professional and humble gentleman. He has provided great advice and is always available to talk to. I am delighted he is my mentor.
How did you hear about Glor Tíre?
Mam heard an advertisement on the local radio station where Michael was looking for a contestant for this year. She encouraged me to apply, and eventually, I did as I always wanted to do the show. I was delighted to be picked by Michael, and I want to make the most out of this opportunity.
What are you most looking forward to in the series?
As a yearly viewer, I have dreamed of being on this stage, and I enjoyed meeting all the contestants, musicians, presenters, and production team.
It has been a surreal experience so far and enjoyable. We all feel part of the Glor Tire family already in a warm and friendly environment. I look forward to learning new elements from fellow contestants and guest artists.
What challenges have the global pandemic posed for David Connor?
The pandemic has affected all our lives. There is so much uncertainty in all industries, including the music industry. I had to postpone concerts with Eunice Moran, Michael Commins, and other charity events.
The country closed down after my first supporting dance, but it will eventually improve. The pandemic has impacted the distribution and exposure of my latest song.
I am a people person who loves socialising and going dancing around the country. You make many friends, and I miss the weekly social dancing in Foxford, Claremorris, and Claregalway.
It is a great way to meet people and learn to dance. It takes your mind off work and is some exercise while enjoying yourself and having a laugh.
Glór Tíre will be a very different experience this year with no audience. It will be the same for everyone. I am looking forward to the road ahead, which will bring turns and twists along the way, but I will do my best.
When will you first appear on Glór Tíre?
On Tuesday, January 5th, at 9:30 pm, there will be an introduction night featuring all the contestants. Voting opens after the programme at 10.30 pm until the first elimination programme on Tuesday, March 2nd.
- Download the Glor Tire App from your App Store if you have an iPhone or from Google Play if you have an Android device.
- Enter your email address
- Then, enter a password of your choice
- Click to vote for David Connor
There are five free votes available on the app. On Tuesday, January 26th, I appear with my mentor, Michael English, who will be performing on that night. The live elimination shows will then commence on Tuesday, March 2nd, where one contestant will be eliminated.