Keith Cullen is the singer songwriter behind the track “Say Something” which recently featured in Michael Damian’s movie High Strung. He describes his music as ‘honest pop’ which a typically Irish characteristic of carrying the craft lightly. Beneath the charm is an ability to nail lyrical precision through human aspiration, and a vocal range that pushes pop limits.
With his first full length album being prepared for release in the new year ARTISTdirect thought it a good time to get in ahead of the crowd for a quick chat with Keith, to discuss his professional ambitions, the meaning of family, and just what a GRAMMY would mean.
Where are you right now?
Right now, I’m in the concrete jungle otherwise known as New York City, baby. One of my favorite city’s to visit, purely based on the awesome vibes, art and you know, it is the city that never sleeps, what’s not to love.
Tell us about your new project: Who did you work with? Where was it recorded? What’s it about? Is there candy?
My latest song is called “Say Something” which was actually featured in the new dance movie “High Strung”. I wrote it with JJ Daly and Robert Cutarella when I first arrived in LA, it basically describes how I felt when I first moved there, and yeah, have a listen if you want to know more. It’s available to stream on iTunes, Spotify etc.
How do you describe your music to new friends?
My music falls under the honest pop category but to my friends I usually describe it as my personal autobiography. It’s a collection of songs that sums up my past, present and my future. Friends are usually surprised by how strong my message is throughout my songs.
Other than potatoes, what should your hometown be known for?
Haha, yes we are pretty famous for our love of potatoes. Aside from that I think I’d have to say the people. Irish people are some of the best story-tellers ever. It’s a common fact that we’re a bit of a crazy bunch, there’s literally never a dull moment so if you ever visit Ireland, be ready for a wild time with some great people.
Please look around you right now and please describe the first item or person you see that’s significant to you and that your relationship with it/them.
The first thing I see is this picture of my nephew Cian, my screen saver *take a look* He is literally the light of my life. For my birthday the other week, he actually sent me a message all by himself wishing me a happy birthday, including emojis might I add and he’s only 7. Safe to say that has made my year.
What first inspired you to pursue music? If it was a musician or a specific piece of music, please tell us all about why you find it so inspirational…
I can’t even tell you one specific musician or piece of music. We live in such a musical world. Just living inspires me and makes me want to create. Music is the soundtrack to people’s lives, so therefore this is me living out my true authentic self.
What’s the best advice anyone has given you about pursuing a life in music?
A common quote which people often use is “if you’re doing something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” This is something which has resonated with me from a very young age. It doesn’t matter whether it’s music or whatever you enjoy in life, once you love what you’re doing, you really can’t go too far wrong.
Not including your current crew, who (alive or dead) would you love to have in your van for an all day drive from gig to gig?
This is a great question. I’m big on family values so I’m going to have to say my mam. My mam is so much fun, she makes the best out of every situation and every time we’re together, we literally laugh uncontrollably, there’s a super strong bond between a mother and her son. I would take her with me everywhere, if I could. I’m a real momma’s boy.
What song best sums up your life right now?
Has to be ‘The Greatest’ by Sia. It makes me feel powerful and well.. great!
What is the best reaction to your music you have experienced so far?
I had a girl send me a video of herself dancing to “Say Something” she had heard the song in “High Strung”. Art inspiring art, what more could you want.
Take a moment to dream – Where do hope to be a year from now?
World domination over time. In a year from now though, I hope that my music is reaching an even larger audience than it is now! I’m hoping to inspire more people and use my talent in a way that makes other people happy. As a child growing up I always watched the GRAMMYS, so winning a GRAMMY has always been a huge dream of mine, that’s my main aim and anytime I’m having a hard day, the thought of winning a GRAMMY, always gets me out of bed and gets me working.
What’s your next step towards that dream?
COMMUNICATION, I get to work with an amazing team and it’s amazing that when we’re all on the same page, the kind of magic we can create.
My journey over the last year has been pretty crazy, needless to say I’ve absolutely been doing what I love and I think when you’re doing that, you can’t really go wrong. So with that said, I’m basically going to continue doing what I’ve been doing, pushing as many boundaries as I can, working as hard as I can and inspiring as many people as I can.
Purchase Keith Cullen music on iTunes
For more information visit Keith Cullen on ARTISTdirect