Paj: “I had a vivid sense of my place in the world and of starting a new phase even before lockdown”

Stepping out from the shadows into the limelight, Paj (a.k.a Paddy Groenland) – who has previously worked with everyone from Hozier to Ensemble Eriu – is slowly stepping out and starting to release music himself. Recent single ‘Superman’, for example, is a groovy ode to dealing with self-pressure and applying self-respect.

“I’d been messing with it since 2018 – a former Motown Records employee called the chorus ‘golden’ – and I had a basic demo.” Paj says of the track. “During lockdown, I was thinking about re-recording it. Fiachra Kinder was advertising that he wanted to lay down drum parts for people just to keep busy, I took him up on it and then it just spiralled. Joe Furlong and Uly agreed to play on it and my fellow Dutch/ Irishman Rob de Boer (whom I play bass for) and Zeenie Summers (who I play the guitar with) were enthusiastic to sing parts.” 

“I guess it has that nice combination of feel-good, kind of self-aware but with a relatable and useful message. The lyrics are for me really, telling myself not to be too ambitious, to not compare with others and to accept my mortality”

Paj released an EP entitled ‘Pastels’ last year, but life has been dramatic since, and he feels he’s moved on, almost to the point that he wants to forget it. It wasn’t about corona, either.

“A lot has changed,” he explains. “I cringe a bit now as my approach and message has developed. Earlier this year I was in Brazil with my wife and we had a transformative experience doing Ayahuasca and travelling in Brazil; I had a vivid sense of my place in the world and of starting a new phase even before lockdown.”