The first time I spoke to Sophie Doyle Ryder, I received a very nice personal email about covering what I believe was her first single. This time, the email came from one of Dublin’s most successful PR firms. This is not by any means a criticism: it’s a sign of how far Sophie has come in a few years; from a little-known upstart to a regular across the Irish airwaves.

Still just 21, it feels like Doyle Ryder has spent the last few years learning her trade, and is ready to burst out with the kind of playful, pop-rock inspired songs that simply hook themselves into your brain. Latest single ‘Steal Your Lover’ comes with its own comic twist (go listen to it!), one typical of her offbeat style. Fresh from performing on a boat in the middle of the Liffey, she told me all about how it’s been going…

Hi Sophie. It’s been about three years since I last spoke to you – how have things been going music wise?

Hi! It’s great to catch up again. The past three years have been quite a journey! I released my debut EP ‘Beginner’s Luck,’ played at some amazing festivals and gigs, and collaborated with incredible songwriters and producers. Each milestone brought growth, both musically and personally. I’ve been experimenting with different sounds and genres, which has been really exciting.

‘Steal Your Lover’ has a quirky twist. How did the narrative of the song come together?

‘Steal Your Lover’ came together during a Zoom songwriting session with Lauryn Gaffney. The narrative was quite spontaneous. I wanted to tell a playful yet relatable story that captures the mischievous side of love and attraction. Plus, I loved the idea of a song called ‘Steal Your Lover!’ The lyrics explore desire and the lengths one might go for love, but with a fun twist. Lauryn and I work so well together, it often feels like we’re reading each other’s minds.

Are you generally quite into the early 00s pop punk sound?

Absolutely! The early 00s pop punk scene had a huge influence on me growing up. Artists like Avril Lavigne, No Doubt, and Paramore were on constant rotation during my teenage years and still are. There’s something timeless about the energy and raw emotion of that era. I love blending that pop punk edge with my own style, creating something that feels both nostalgic and fresh. It’s fun to pay homage to those influences while adding my own twist.

Your music is generally upbeat to the point of almost euphoric. Is it a reflection of the fun you’re having writing it?

Yes, for sure. Writing music is one of my greatest joys, and that happiness and excitement naturally infuse my songs. There’s something incredibly freeing about creating music that makes people want to dance and feel good. Even when I’m writing about more serious emotions, I find a way to bring a sense of optimism and energy into the mix. It’s important to me that my music brings joy and a bit of escapism to listeners.

How do your songs typically come together?

My songwriting process is pretty fluid and can vary from song to song. I write almost everything with Lauryn Gaffney. Sometimes we start with a melody stuck in our heads, other times it’s a lyrical phrase that sparks inspiration. Generally, we sit down at a piano and play around until something clicks. Once we have a basic idea, we build out the song structure and layer in different elements. Collaboration with my band and producers often brings new perspectives that help shape the final product.

How difficult have you found it to get attention for your music? Do you feel you fit well into the Irish music scene?

Gaining attention in the music industry is always a challenge, especially with so many talented artists out there. However, I’ve been fortunate to have massive support from the Irish music community, from radio to other media. Social media has also been a huge help in connecting with listeners and building a community around my music. The Irish music scene is vibrant and diverse, and I’m proud to be a part of it. There’s a real sense of camaraderie among Irish artists, and we all support each other.

Are there any other Irish acts that are grabbing you at the moment?

Definitely! There are so many incredible Irish acts making waves right now. I’ve been really into what CMAT is doing; her lyrics and voice are just so powerful. Bands like The Academic and Fontaines D.C. are bringing a fresh sound to the scene. I’m obsessed with Anna Leah; her songwriting skills are second to none. And who isn’t infatuated with Kojaque these days! It’s an amazing time for Irish music, and I feel lucky to be part of such a thriving community of artists.

What are you like as a live act?

Performing live is one of my favourite parts of being a musician. I love the energy and connection that comes with a live show. My performances are all about creating an experience that’s both fun and memorable. I try to bring a lot of energy to the stage, interacting with the audience and making each show feel unique. Whether it’s a small intimate venue or a big festival stage, I want people to leave feeling uplifted and inspired.

You played an unusual show on the Liffey recently. How did that go?

That performance was incredibly unique and memorable! Louise Tighe from FM104 came up with the brilliant idea of having a few Irish artists perform on the Liffey. Performing on the river was surreal—I’ve never done anything like it before! Singing my song ‘Insecure’ acoustically, accompanied by the talented guitarist Tadhg Leahy, added a special touch. The setting was so atmospheric, with the city’s skyline providing a stunning backdrop. It was a one-of-a-kind performance. I’m looking forward to more outside-the-box performances in the future!

What are your plans going forward?

Looking ahead, I’m focused on continuing to evolve and grow as an artist. I’m currently working on new music that I’m really excited about, pushing myself creatively and exploring new sounds. There are plans for many gigs, hopefully some festivals. I also want to collaborate with other artists and writers, both in Ireland and internationally. Beyond that, I’m interested in exploring different aspects of the music industry, perhaps even venturing into production or songwriting for other artists. The main goal is to keep creating and sharing music that resonates with people.


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