Lucille Conway Bio
Lucille Conway is a singer / songwriter and violinist from Co. Armagh N.Ireland.
Her music is a mixture of contemporary folk with some pop / rock (80s) beats with beautiful harmonies on the vocals and violin.
Lucille’s influences are Dolores O’Riordan (from the Cranberries), Enya, and Sinead O’Connor. The Cranberries are her all time favourite band.
She has been out singing in cover bands for as long as she can remember with different folk and rock bands and fronted Trad Rock band Finvola who gigged all over N.I and some parts of the South for over 6 years and had some exciting times. Finvola appeared on Irish TV in 2017.
Lucille sang in many musicals and choirs over the years during her school days, and played the violin (fiddle) in Ceili bands, lots of music sessions and folk / rock groups.
She attended “Summer Song” with folk artists ‘Fil Campbell and Tom McFarland’ and music workshops with singers from all over where they met experts in the music industry for guidance with song writing, performing, vocal coaching and PR. (from IMRO and the Irish music magazine Hotpress)
And during Easter week 2019 Lucille attended a songwriting workshop with Marty Rafferty a local musician from Armagh who owns M.D Rafferty Music School where she wrote the 2nd song off her album “Dark to Light” Lucille met lots of musicians from all over the Armagh area and worked with them to form a group called ‘Black Pearl’ where they played at different venues and social gatherings when the times were good right up to December 2019.
In summer 2020 during the lockdown Lucile found a few poems given to her years ago by a good friend and poet Rose Moynes and she brought these to life adding beautiful sounds with vocal harmonies and violin harmonies and wrote her own songs and put these all together before heading to the recording studio “Starlite Studios” in Dungannon to create her very own first Solo album with the amazing music producer Plunkett McComb. Lucille says “Plunkett knew exactly what i was looking for in my music and introduced me to some amazing sounds and beats”
Her album is called “On The Surface” and has 11 original tracks which will be released in Summer 2021.
The first song of the album is called “In Heaven” and was released on Friday 2nd April through all the various distributors Spotify, ITunes, Amazon Music, Youtube, Tiktok etc… Lucille says “In Heaven has a feeling of warmth and a good vibe and reminds me of all those dear to us we have lost and especially my wee daddy who passed at 97 due to Covid this year.’ ‘It gives hope to us that are still here and is comforting’ quotes Lucille.
The album is coming along well and the 2nd song of the album will be released in May.
Lucille is super excited about her album as it’s always been on her mind that she has always wanted to do especially starting from scratch and building on the songs and tunes. “Music is my life, I believe my songs have that special ingredient of Love and Future.’ ‘it’s always been a goal to have my own album and 2021 is the year, “i’m ready now to move forward with it.”
The second song of the album was released on Friday 7th May with a great video on YouTube, go check it out.
Have you always been interested in music? What is your story and how did you start making music?
I had my first ever solo performance on stage in primary school when i was 10 years old and i did alto singing harmonies in the school choir, i have a great range in my vocals. Then in high school i sang in different school musicals and performed lots on stage. I also play the violin. I came from an Irish Traditional / Classical background and my parents were very supportive of me – here’s a wee write up about me copied from the local Armagh I news –
Lucille Conway, has been singing in cover bands for as long as she can remember with different folk and rock outfits.
However, the lockdown has provided her with the time and guts to record her own solo 11-track album, entitled ‘On The Surface’, which is due for release this summer.
Speaking to Armagh I, the 46-year-old said: “I have been in cover bands for years. I was the frontwoman playing violin and singing for Finvola, which was like a trad rock band, but this is something totally new to myself.
“I always wanted to do my own solo album from when I was young, but I never really had the guts to go for it until lockdown, when I was locked in and could write stuff.”
Lucille is originally from the town of Keady, where she describes being brought up among the sounds of Irish traditional and classical music.
“I’m an only child, both my parents very supportive,” she said. “They always said that if you get into music you can travel all over the world with it.”
Her father, Thomas Murray, was a massive Tommy Makem fan and the pair would regularly make pilgrimages to his homeland of Derrynoose to visit Tossies Cottage.
Lucille said: “My dad always loved to see me going gigging, he was very supportive. He would have asked ‘where are you tonight?’, when I replied with somewhere like Castlewellan he would just say ‘that’s gonna be a late one’.
“We did a lot of travelling with Finvola all over Northern Ireland, but it was very hard with a lot of late nights.”
The inception of the album, although Lucille was not to know, began in the Easter week of 2019 when she attended a songwriting workshop with Marty Rafferty a local musician who owns M.D Rafferty Music School, Armagh.
“I took my three children to him, my two sons were learning the drums and my daughter was learning the keyboard, and I was going to brush up on my guitar skills,” she said.
“During that time Marty himself had set up workshops to write your own songs. So that was when I wrote my second song which is coming out called ‘Dark to Light’.”
She added: “I’d written songs years ago but this would have been the first song that I was actually prepared to actually take further and get out there.”
As for the children, it is on Lucille’s word that the apple does not fall far from the tree with her daughter, Lara, playing both the fiddle and the banjo.
Meanwhile, Thomas and Zakk take a very different tack, drumming away in the living room over the lockdown to the unusual beats of the Kings of Leon and Metallica.
“Lucky enough we live in the country,” Lucille jokes, “but I do believe it is good for their mental health and music is a great way for them to express themselves.”
With a growing family and the care of her parents, Lucille also revealed that finding the time to put together an album also posed an issue previously.
She said: “I look after my mother, she has got Alzheimer’s, so I have looked after her for seven years and my father, God love him, he moved in with us last last June because of Covid.
“Sadly, he passed away there in February. He was 97, so he was a wee Keady legend himself.”
It would be whilst in the shed playing her violin, during the first lockdown of the summer, that Lucille stumbled upon some papers placed in a box and not thought of for some time.
She explained: “They were poems written by a friend of mine, Rose Moynes. She said, at the time, ‘Some day sure maybe you’ll have a look at them and see could you put music to them’.
“So on the album, five of the songs are her poems that she’d written that I put music to and added a few of my own lyrics as well.”
Lucille then went, armed with her 11 tracks, to Starlite Studios in Dungannon to create her very own first solo album with music producer Plunkett McComb.
“I never had the guts, I never had the time but it just feels like now’s the time to just go ahead and get out there and see what I can do,” she said.
“I would have been worried about silly things, about people contacting you but I just don’t care anymore. I would have had the worries about what you look like, what you sound like and being compared to others.”
However, Lucille said she is more than confident with her creation as it has allowed her to produce her own sound.
“I love doing harmonies. There’s harmonies in all my songs, violin melodies and violin harmonies, that’s something that I’ve always wanted to do and that’s why I’m kind of excited about it because I’m now doing it,” she said.
Despite this landmark, there is a bit of sadness as Lucille admitted to missing the sound and atmosphere of a live performance.
She said: “This is the second year now that we haven’t been out playing. A lot of solo musicians and bands have been doing their own recordings, and their own in their own houses but I’ve only really started to do a couple of songs.
“I got myself together and thought right, I have to do this. It took me a long time to get my head around it because I had videos that were scrapped. I think it’s about feeling comfortable with yourself.”
Lucille confided that recording in the studio was not the same, and she found herself being over critical of her own work.
“It is so hard, but Plunkett McComb has been very supportive, he is a fantastic producer,” added Lucille. “Both of us have sat down and worked together since last August and it is great to see it coming together.”
What are you working on now? Any future releases we can look forward to?
I’m a secretary in a primary school and i’ve been going to recording studio every week to finish off my new album being released this summer. The album is called (On The Surface). I released my first song off the album called “In Heaven” on Friday 2nd April and my second song on Friday 7th May called “Dark to Light”, and i’m releasing the 3rd song called “A Tribute to Van Gogh” on Friday 4th June and my 4th song off the album called “Don’t let me go” on Friday 2nd July and the full album in August.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry?
This is to be part of a touring crew and back up as the warming up band my favourite singers of all time – Sinead O’Connor…… Miley Cyrus……….Spandau Ballet (Tony Hadley) ……Annie Lennox ……. Bastille……….Madonna…………..Tina Turner…………really anyone who’s interested in my music…… I want to gig and tour lots and see different country’s of our world and sing my little heart out warming up the big crowd and playing several festivals on the bill for them would be totally awesome.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
In Ireland we have little festivals and i used to be lead singer in a Trad / Rock band called Finvola and we headlined a festival (mini one) in our own home town it was great to see everyone singing and clapping along and appreciating out Trad / Rock outfit. We had them dancing and enjoying our set and also at the Rory Gallagher festival in Ballyshannon town Co. Donegal we played at that and the place was buzzing.
Our favourite town for gigging was Castlewellan Co. Down where we were guaranteed a big crowd 3-4 times a year when we played there.
How do you go about writing a song? Do you have a melody in your head and then write the other music for it or what’s Your typical songwriting process?
I’ve attended a few songwriting workshops and at my last one i wrote the song “Dark to Light” of my album at Easter time 2019. I had the tune and drum beat in my head and everything else flowed. I had the violin solo down too the put in a violin harmony and lots of vocal harmonies.
I like to have a melody first then add words afterwards. I’ll hum a melody and then think of the words afterwards. But the time i had Covid tis year (January 2021) real bad i was lying in my bed and the lyrics came right out and i did the melody with the words. This song called Covid 19-21 is on my album.
How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
In Very positive and negative ways – for me its hard to get out there as everyone seems to focus on huge stars and it’s hard to get people to listen to your song and you have to pay lots of money to get a song boosted EG on Facebook to get it out across the world. It’s all about networking and keeping communicating on the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I find it a bit all overwhelming at times to be honest, especially when you’re on your own in the business.
List some famous musicians currently on your playlist
Sinead O’Connor, Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Tina Turner, Elton John, Queen, Dua Lipa, Bastille, ColdPlay, U2, The Killers, Stereophonics, and OASIS (My favourite band ever) and of course Irelands own Imelda May i so would love to support her. I also love Amy McDonald and Ellie Goulding XOX
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
I had office jobs and was a manager in the retail sector. My mum took alzheimer’s in 2011 so i had to take a career break to help look after her then i started really getting back into the music again when she took ill she loved to hear me sing
Would you have any advice for young people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
It’s a real long tough road to follow but if you get your sound right, and especially get in with the right people and have good friends to support you, your on a roll. I’m still on that ladder myself lols.
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
To make sure solo artists get paid more as it costs a fortune to get an album up and running and then on top of that a music video then paying for promotion etc… A solo artist these days can’t just rock up to e.g. ABBEY ROAD in London and expect the world its very time consuming and takes a lot of effort and several ups and downs its like riding a rollercoaster and getting in with the right people is probably crucial atm…. getting local radio stations to play your songs etc…lots of hard work if your on your own.
How do you feel about originality?
I love it, i’m all about the tune, beats, bass and lots of harmonies on the violin and vocals that’s my treasure. I believe my stuff is original i’m a singer, violinist and harmonies on both makes me totally original but i do have the Dolores O’Riordan (from the Cranberries) lilt in my songs i have a little bit of her voice with me which feels great after all i am Irish.
Is there anything else we should know about you? or Something that you would like to add?
I’m dying to get my music out there for the world to see but its tough stuff and i would love if you could really help me , Thank you and Kind regards Lucille Conway, check out my YouTube channel – Lucille Conway – for my 2 original’s out there now. “In Heaven has lots of different versions” THANK YOU LC