Originally from Waterford but now living in London, Moncrieff is a rising star of Irish pop, a singer capable of flitting across genres with ease, and one with a truly spectacular live show given weight by his distinctive and powerful voice.

Moncrieff sings from the heart, and despite his rapid progress to a level that enabled him to sell out – and quickly – the Olympia Theatre this week, the isolation of the music industry through Covid almost saw him say goodbye to it completely. Instead, he’s flying as high as he’s ever been.

“I’m getting a good bit of support on radio across Ireland, it’s growing a lot quicker than in London, so the shows feel a bit different,” he says. “Irish fans are great for supporting their own.”

“The EP, ‘Warm’, is a bit Covid-linked,” he says. “The first year of the pandemic, after it settled, I fell into this dark enough place where I didn’t really think music was going to come back. I thought about calling it quits. Kind of in the middle of that, ‘Warm’ was written, and became the catalyst for just having another crack at making really personal and honest songs. That’s where the EP comes from.”

“I was doing a lot of online live stuff at the time. It was fun but it also became kind of tedious, I wasn’t too sure of myself or where I was going, yet the online stuff gradually started to grow. Some of them were amazing for my mental health, and others weren’t good.”

The return has been spectacular. “Playing big stages like Electric Picnic… it’s been the biggest summer of my career and I’m trying to take it all in. I’m still not used to people singing my words back to me. It feels so fresh, and I love performing live. These songs were born to be performed to people, and sung back. It’s such a beautiful thing to hear people sing songs back to you that are about hope, essentially.”

“I always want to make my music feel hopeful, even if it’s dark, because music is something that gave me hope when I was at my lowest point. I find people reach out to me on Instagram, or TikTok. I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with that on a personal level, how much I should get involved. But I’m always there on DMs with lots of fans. People like to have that kind of soundboard. I’ve come through from dark places before, so I empathise with people.”

Music has also taken Moncrieff, already, to some wild experiences. “I made friends with this drummer at an open mic in London,” he recalls. “We exchanged numbers. Two weeks later I was on the ferry back from Rosslare, as I was so broke I couldn’t afford to fly. I got a text from him saying he had a thing with Adele the following week, and did I want to do backing vocals.”

“I asked ‘The Adele?’ It was as simple as that. I ended up doing backing vocals for her third album TV special, which was insane considering I’d just moved from my hometown maybe eight months previously.”

There will, eventually, be an album to go with the EPs. “Most of the songs are there,” Moncrieff says. “I want to have a strong foundation and a strong fanbase that wants an album. I want to keep putting music out until the demand is there, and then we’ll do it. I think the story needs to develop to a certain point, then I’ll get there. The EPs, to me, still feel like an introduction.”


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