By Mary Dennehy
A CLONDALKIN native is set to become one of the youngest ever musicians to play Electric Picnic when the music festival takes to the stage this September.
It all started for 15-year-old Curtis Walsh in his nana’s sitting room, where his grandad Tommy thought him how to play guitar as a nipper.
Making it to the final of Teenstar Ireland twice, Curtis’s confidence has grown over the years, with the talented youngster winning the Irish Youth Music Awards and playing one of his own songs in the Aviva Stadium earlier this year.
Despite his young age, Curtis is already a hardworking musician and is a support act in Clondalkin pubs such as The Swallows, The Village Inn and the Laurels.
He also regularly works venues in Portlaoise – where he now lives with his family – including DeBruns and Kavanagh’s and plays events such as the Prosperous Festival in Kildare, which is taking place in August.
In between music, school and teenage life, Curtis also volunteers with Special Olympics Ireland, of which his brother Sam, who has autism, is a member.
Now, Curtis is getting ready for the biggest stage of his music career and despite a pretty jampacked schedule he took five to speak with The Echo.
Were you influenced by family member band/musician?
I was influenced by my grandad Tommy. He bought me my first guitar and thought me how to play. I looked up to him, especially when he used to play in the sitting-room in my nana’s house. My mam also thought me to play piano.
When did you start writing music?
I started writing in 2013 when my grandad Tommy died, I wrote my first song about him and how it affected me. It’s called “Clocks in Reserve” and it’s on ITunes.
What inspires your music?
Any feelings or thoughts that are important to me. I make music as a way of keeping a memory or positive thoughts.
How would you describe your music?
I try to keep my music as relatable as possible, but at the same time keep it meaningful to me.
How did you end up on the Electric Picnic line-up?
I play in Kavanagh’s Pub in Portlaoise and the manager there nominated me for battle of the bands and I won it – and the prize was to perform at EP on the Oxjam Stage.
How do you feel about landing Electric Picnic?
I feel very grateful.
Why is music important to you?
Music is important to me as it is a really powerful way of clearing your head of any thoughts good or bad and to keep positive thinking.
If you could perform on stage with any other artist, who would it be and why?
Ed Sheeran, because he has been a big influence on me and he inspires me to try different things, as I do with the loop pedal.
What does the rest of the year hold for you?
After Electric Picnic I plan on finishing recordings of my demo and that any good new opportunity that come my way.
Any plans for an EP or album?
I’m working on an EP at the moment.
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