Cork-born Niall Connolly said he knew he was going to be a musician “around the time I started my first band when I was 15 and it became apparent I wasn’t going to be a professional soccer player,” he said in a recent phone interview. Around the same time, there were “two bands that had success in the UK — The Frank and Walters and The Sultans of Ping — and we were really excited and inspired by that.”
After “cutting [his] teeth” doing the folk and indie rock circuit in Ireland for several years, Niall spent time touring across Europe. “Sometimes the gigs between the big cities when you’re coming through town can be really magical experiences,” and often “music brings me to places geographically that I wouldn’t have gotten to.” He also said in order to make a living as a musician in Europe, “you have to keep moving!” And keep moving he did, until he settled in New York City six years ago.
Niall’s latest album, Sound, is “full of curiosity — about the lives, personalities and circumstances of the fleeting encounters with countless people.” It’s his sixth studio album — and his favorite.
And his plans for the future? “Worldwide fame, obviously,” he joked. “I have a new album that I’m really excited about. And I’m always aspiring to get better. When you stop trying to get better, you might as well stop.”
You can keep up with Niall and his travels on his Facebook page. — Alex Honeysett
“The Year of the Dragon”