Inni-K is a singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. Originally hailing from Co. Kildare, Inni-K now lives in An Daingean, Co. Kerry. She was kind enough to have a few words with me ahead of her turn supporting Efterklang in the Cork Opera House saturday night.
How would you best describe your sound to the uninitiated?
‘A strangely evocative voice over delicate and quirky melodies’ – I had to ask a friend to help me out with this one cause I could spend all day at it and not get anywhere! The voice and the song is always the core of it for me, the instruments I use are fairly traditional – piano, fiddle but I like to add in something a little different with other unusual instruments and sounds – kalimba, ukelele, percussion, vocables. I use a loop pedal too so that allows me to create soundscapes to sing over.
You featured in 2012’s Other Voices. How did you find the whole experience of performing on the show?
Great! I didn’t know I’d be performing on Other Voices till about 2 weeks before so you can imagine the excitement! It all came about really from this little video I did with filmmaker Ben Dowden on a rainy day in the woods in Gort, Galway and it ended up on the homepage of youtube and exploded to 80,000 views!! I was living literally 50m away from McCarthy’s Bar in Dingle when the show was filmed last December, so I only had to stroll down the road – kinda surreal! I saw Aidan Gillen outside the pub doing some links and introductions for the show and I went in to do my bit. There’s a fantastic crew involved inOther Voices so it was a treat really. People really know about the show so it was a great honour to be part of it, and it helped me gain some more gigs and festival opportunities.
I really enjoyed your Gentle Star EP. It’s a lovely stripped back sound. ‘Find your beat’ is a great track. ‘Precipitate’ as well I really enjoyed. How did you find the recording process and what inspired the tracks?
Thanks very much! I absolutely loved the recording process. Jason Boshoff, the producer was just the right man for the job, and having someone there looking after everything was a new experience for me, something that really gave me the freedom to focus on my performance each day when I went into record. I went to London where Jason lives, so it was also quite nice to be away for my usual environment.
I remember the day we finished; I ran to catch the train to Stansted (we were working right up to 10 mins before train departure!!), I got on the train and burst into tears, cause the whole project meant so much to me and I felt so satisfied with it.
The EP Gentle Star is dedicated to my Dad who died in June of last year. ‘Gentle Star’ and ‘Precipitate’ were both inspired by Dad himself or by the experience of his illness and us all learning that the cancer was incurable. It was an extremely special time, sad and so hard but extremely special. Writing songs was a soothing balm for me during that time. Other inspirations for the songs on the EP would be books I’ve read and ‘Find your Beat’ was inspired by a river in Ventry, Dingle that flows into the sea, and changes its course every day depending on the weather. And dancing, dancing and moving. I’ve been recently working with contemporary dancers so that’s become part of my music too.
Who would you describe as your influences?
So many, and so many I’m not even aware of I’m sure! I listen to all sorts of music. I like singers who have something different, something special in their voices – Feist, Emiliana Torrini, Regina Spektor, Laura Marling. Of course, the greats – Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen…they’d always be there in the background. I also listen to traditional music from around the world; Irish, Malian, African, Indian. At the moment I like Sufjan Stevens, Sigur Ros, Elbow….and the list goes on…
What’s been the highlight of the year so far for you?
This year, I’d have to say recording my EP with Jason Boshoff in London and the excitement of releasing it at Vantastival Festival and Camden Crawl Dublin.
You’re supporting Efterklang on Saturday and playing the Hard Working Class Heroes Festival in October. What else is in store for Inni-K in 2012?
Yes, I can’t wait till Saturday! It’ll be an honour to support Efterklang! I love Cork Opera House as a venue, and I love Cork for eating! It seems I’m drawn to Cork a lot these days. I’ll be supporting Wallis Bird in The Triskel Arts Centre on 18 Oct, so that’ll be another one to look forward to too. I was delighted to be selected for the Hard Working Class Heroes Festival in Dublin in October, I’ll be playing on Friday the 5th in The Mercantile. It’s a great opportunity. And the rest of 2012?…as many gigs as I can shake a mic at!! And also I’ll be gearing up for recording the album as soon as I feel the songs are ready, and the bobs are gathered, but a Spring 2013 release is on the cards.
Inni-K plays support to Efterklang, Cork Opera House, Sat Sept 15th & Hard Working Class Heroes Festival in Dublin in October. Her EP ‘Gentle Star’ is now available.