Irish Music Month 2023 Launches With 25 Radio Stations

Dundalk neo-soul act Negro Impacto.

Irish Music Month 2023 Launches With 25 Radio Stations

Artists selected to take part include Celaviedmai, Sonny Casey, Grá C, JAEK, Shafto, Negro Impacto, Etaoin and Ferna.

Irish Music Month began this week on Monday 12 March and will run until Thursday 13 April. The initiative, which is now in its second year, is run by Hot Press and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI) and promotes Irish music and musicians on independent radio. This year, the project will provide €100k directly to Irish artists for radio performances and also manage a national talent call-out, A New Local Hero, with the winner receiving a single release on the Rubyworks label. 

Twenty-five Irish radio stations have joined the initiative, including 98FM, Clare FM, Cork’s Red FM, FM104, Galway Bay FM, Midlands 103, Radio Nova and SPIN South West. During Irish Music Month, the stations will increase their airplay of Irish music, run an advertising campaign in support of the artists, and administer the A New Local Hero talent search

Showcase event at the Academy
The twenty-five stations have already selected four artists each to be finalists in the A New Local Hero competition – the full list is in the latest edition of Hot Press
. Following live performances on the radio stations, each broadcaster will select one artist each, and a panel will narrow the artists down to six acts who will perform in a showcase event at the Academy in Dublin. The date of this showcase has yet to be announced. All participating stations will also broadcast a special recording of the live event. 

The prize for the overall winner will include the recording of a single at Dublin’s Camden Recording Studios – produced by Cian Boylan and mixed by Ruadhri Cushnan – which will then be released on the Rubyworks label and played on the stations. 

Artists selected to take part in the talent search include hip hop artist Celaviedmai (98FM), folk singer-songwriter Sonny Casey (Galway Bay FM), alt-pop singer Grá C (iRadio), Carlow two-piece JAEK (KCLR), hip hop artist Shafto (Live 95), Dundalk neo-soul duo Negro Impacto (LMFM), acoustic pop singer Etaoin (WLR FM) and Coleraine singer Hannah McPhillimy, performing as Ferna (Radio Nova). 

Commenting on Irish Music Month, Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said:

We are … thrilled with the level of support shown by Ireland’s independent stations, with a massive 25 radio stations getting involved. Make no mistake, Irish Music Month requires a huge commitment from every individual station. But it isn’t just the stations that are heavily involved in the project – staff, programme makers, broadcasters and DJs all over the country have been brilliant advocates for Irish Music Month. I have always believed that radio has an absolutely essential role to play in nurturing and supporting Irish talent, so it is really fantastic to see that being put into action together, by 25 stations that cover every blade of grass in the country.

Cian Boylan of Camden Recording Studios added: 

Radio play is such an important factor in building awareness of Irish artists and their music. We know from our experience at Camden Recording Studios that there is a huge amount of extraordinary talent making great records here in Ireland – so it is fantastic to see that being recognised and supported in this way by 25 radio stations.

Irish Music Month is the largest programming project of its kind across the Irish radio sector and is supported by the BAI under its Sound & Vision scheme. It is also supported by organisations including IMRO, RAAP, MCD Productions, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Camden Recording Studios and the Rubyworks label.

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Published on 9 March 2023

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