Ciaran Moran’s most recent EP is a return, in a sense, to who he truly is. In it, Moran takes the stories from life around him in the North Inner City, and attempts to summarise them in a form of music that has a specific sense of place.

The result, ‘Life Inner City’, could easily have been a full-length record. Instead, it’s a refined but far shorter five-track, one that will draw parallels in terms of feel with the likes of Christy Dignam and Damien Dempsey. Moran eschews convention, preferring to reflect on his roots.

“The North inner city is where I was born and raised, about two minutes from Smithfield Square,” Moran tells us. “I wanted to create a project that represents the community and beauty of the struggle in the North Inner City, something that people from that area could feel a part of, or as if they own a piece of the project and feel in some way involved in it.” 

“Throughout the project, I tried to let people know of the truths and downfalls, what really happens, but also how great this place is. You’ll hear this particularly in ‘Devil’ and then just some reminiscing throughout ‘Miss The Rain’ and ‘Life Inner City’”.

“Quite frequently the best souls, community spirits and talent in the inner city are overlooked, but there’s a special vibe in that place. Everyone knows everyone, everyone supports everyone, and they’ll remind you of where you’re from. In recent years, there have been projects written about certain parts of town and the flats etc., But the difference with this project is I never adapted my style or genres to suit modern culture or trends. It’s as real as it gets and can be listened to easily by the folk it’s, at times, written about. I wanted people from the area to take the project as ‘Life Inner City – Life In Our City’.”

There’s plenty of inner city fame to be found behind Moran, who cites major influences ranging from Christy Moore to Roddy Doyle.

“When I lived in town and was about 13, I went to my local youth centre, Bradog,” he recalls. “There was a great bloke (Sparky) who introduced me to Colm Querney for a songwriting course. Colm and Sparky actually started me off writing, but through the youth club I had some great opportunities, and one of them was to do a fighting words workshop with Christy Moore, run by Roddy Doyle, on a road not too far from Croke Park.”

“It was unbelievable, to have that experience before I was even 15 or 16 was crazy. Christy was in touch about a track recently, he gave me some really great advice to improve the craft. He’s a big Inspiration, as are Sparky and Colm Querney.”

“I think of my music as real, authentic, raw, untouched storytelling through melody. The style I do is never to impress modern day cultural trends or to impress labels or big heads. I could write more poppy songs, or love songs or whatever styles that are trending now, and I’d be doing bigger numbers, bigger venues, more radio play, and working with more opportunities.” 

“If I did that, there’d be a night once a week I’d sleep, and feel I sold my soul to impress today’s society, and that’s not me, I’d much prefer to lose a game knowing that I tried to win by being myself.”


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