The current state of the world is a concern for all of us, but – from the outside at least – it could scarcely have come at a worse time for rising Waterford pop performer Moncrieff. The London-based musician was working his way towards the crest of a substantial wave, hotly tipped in many publications (including right here), after his first live performances back in Ireland blew people away.
He should have been moving onto bigger and better stages – and live is where the punchy performer particularly shines – and instead he’s stuck at home, trying to make the best of the time. Not that he sounds all that down about it, with the recent rollout of ‘PLAYLOUD’ punching at authorities and asserting independence.
“The track was written almost a year ago, but since lockdown it’s become even more personal for me because lockdown has made the failings of the systems of power we appoint even more painfully obvious. Regardless of the events of the last 6 months I feel like my generation has inherited a world that is riddled with the mistakes of those that currently sit in charge.”
“In the initial demo version of the song, it was just me trying to do kids’ voices,” Moncrieff says of the new track, which features a choral section reminiscent of a pop-lover’s ‘The Wall’. “Back last December when I was getting ready to support Walking On Cars on tour I realised I have like twelve little cousins back in Ireland who are all between the ages of six and ten so I rounded them all up one day before Christmas and we went to Camden Studios to record them and it turned out so sick. I paid them in pizza and cake.”
Outside of the music, Moncrieff has spent lockdown learning to edit photos and videos, as well as starting a clothing brand, but there’s no question the experience has been a frustrating one all things considered, even allowing for the “live shows” he’s put out on Facebook from his bedroom.
“I genuinely live for performing live, so not having an idea on when that can happen again is tough,” he says. “It’s given me an opportunity to build my relationship with my fans online but nothing can replace a live show for me.”
“The bedroom show was something new and novel and that’s why I really enjoyed it, but I’m a perfectionist and I feel that it can be a bit limited in terms of how creative you can get in your bedroom so I would like to keep my live streams less often and more special.”
“I want to do at least 100 shows before 2022. I still feel like I haven’t had the chance to tell the story of my music the way it’s meant to be told – in a packed out show.”
The future, of course, will also involve and album, though Moncrieff wants to get it formatted just right, and make sure he has the audience to make it all worthwhile.
“I’d like to think a year,” he says of the timescale. “Right now I have enough material for two albums but I still feel really new on the scene and I want to grow my fanbase and build my relationship with people who listen to my music before I put out a full-length body of work.”
“I love and really value vinyl, maybe more for aesthetic or nostalgic reasons but I love it nonetheless. I’ve designed an entire vinyl for “The Early Hurts” and was planning to release it this September, however the arrival of the beloved Covid-19 has kind of pushed that back but I WILL put a vinyl out soon and it WILL be sick.”