Singing and songwriting – Starting out in Dublin

BIMM music institute singer-songwriter Katie Lee shares her experience of starting a music career in Dublin – right before the debut of her first original song.

For 35 years, BIMM has been an amazing place for young people with a passion for music to grow their talent. Household names in the industry such as George Ezra, Fontaines D.C. and Natasha Bent are among the university’s impressive alumni. 

But how do students develop their love for singing and songwriting into a professional career for others to enjoy? 

Katie Lee, an aspiring Irish artist, spoke to The Liberty on the reality of starting out in the music industry in our city. The 22-year-old is from Clondalkin, Dublin and is in her final year at BIMM university. 

“I’ve been singing as long as I can remember and playing guitar since a young age. When I finally got the chance to perform for a crowd, I knew music was for me, and since then, I’ve only grown to be a better singer, songwriter and guitarist,” said Lee. 

Dublin is continuously expanding its musical side to cater for fresh talent with a need for platforms and places to showcase their skills, so it can be a competitive place. 

A more “hassle-free way”, as Katie described, to begin to get gigs and get into performing has been backing vocal work at concerts. 

The difficulty arrises when organising your own gig, though it can be a simple job of booking a venue, it can become a more lengthy process when searching for the right bands and promoting the tickets. 

Katie’s currently aiming to gig with her own music in order to gain more experience. Compared to previous shows where she just had to show up for soundchecks as part of a band, rather than having a bigger role in parts of work behind the scenes. 

For having such a lively scene for the arts, does Dublin have a welcoming and encouraging atmosphere for a young artist? 

“I’ve seen many young artists thrive with their gigs around Dublin in venues like Whelan’s, Workman’s Club and the Sound House. It’s a welcoming place, not only in terms of gigs but many young musicians in my circle have their songs played on Dublin radio stations and it’s truly an achievement,” Katie shared. 

Having BIMM in the heart of our capital is a blessing for young artists as it’s a fully facilitated campus, offering endless opportunities to its students with a nature to thrive in. 

From exams to auditions, Katie has felt that her time in BIMM is where she really found the confidence to write her own music along with making wonderful memories with other talented artists. 

Speaking of her own music, Katie explained where she got her inspiration for her first original song, which is about to debut on April 26th.

“I’ve always been drawn to the vocal melodies in Florence and The Machine’s music, and I like to think that there’s elements of her music to be heard in vocals. As for the lyrics, I’ve always admired Taylor Swift’s way with words and details. Pop music will always find its way into my original songs.” 

Since, there is so much to do in the music industry, Katie wouldn’t call it a competitive career. If you’re truly dedicated to music, it’s always possible to find a way to make a career happen – whether that be teaching music, playing at events such as weddings or working for a music label. 

Katie’s debut single, ‘Losing End’, is coming out on April 26th. Katie went on to discuss the process behind recording her original song. 

“It was a memorable experience, I got to bring incredible musicians who I met in BIMM to the studio with me to record all of our parts. We spent weeks rehearsing to have it perfect for the six hours we had in the studio. I recorded a guide vocal at the start of the session and we layered our instruments until we were happy with the sound of it. It was a simple and fun day, I look forward to recording my next song!”

The song will be available on Spotify and iTunes – and is currently available for pre save on Spotify. 

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