Best known as a member of the Choice Music Prize winning band Delorentos, singer-songwriter Ro Yourell announced his arrival as a solo artist with a freight train of a single called ‘Freedom’ last month.

The song takes aim at the rigidity of our structures and institutions, and the unwillingness of those in power to rectify inequality with lyrics like “Crunching over others’ bones, ‘til all is dust and we are just the same.”

We caught up with the Dublin musician to learn more.

1. What’s the music that you listened to growing up, that you still listen to today?
My folks were teens of the ‘60s and ‘70s, so we had lots of classic rock and folk coming through our car stereo. Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchell, the two Neils (Young and Diamond), Simon and Garfunkel. I loved the different melodic qualities of these artists and that love of melody has really stayed with me. When it comes to making my own music, it's nearly always a melodic idea that gets me going.  There was also a healthy dose of disco thrown in, via the likes of Boney M.

2. In three words, describe the minute before you walk on stage.
Excitement. Sean-Nós. Focus.

3. How do you wind down after a gig?
I’m from the Christy Moore school of sweating. My gigs tend to be full on, with lots of energy swirling around. Depending on the night, I could be high as a kite and want to keep a buzz going, via seeing another gig or going for a dance, or I might sometimes be very happy basking in the fuzzy aftermath, having a drink and chatting away to whoever. Definitely a shower first, though.  

4. What’s the one song (by another artist) you wish you’d written or recorded first?
I’m very happy stumbling around in the dark trying to figure out my own songs, but I can talk about a song I really like. ‘Two of Us’ by the Beatles is beautiful. It’s deceptively simple, with a gorgeous melody and John and Paul’s voices harmonising in such a cosy way. The B section has a bittersweet shift that makes the return to the “We’re on our way home, we’re going home” chorus extra-rewarding. I sometimes sing it to our young son, on the way home from a long drive. I think he likes it, but he’s very polite, so you wouldn’t know.

5. What is your pet peeve?
I hope I’m a reasonably easygoing person. I don’t have many peeves, but one thing I am a stickler for is manners. Whether it be saying ‘thank you’ or simply cleaning up after oneself, I think all those little courtesies add up to an easier world to live in. 

6. Name one record, one book and one film that everyone should hear / read / see.
Record - Lisa O’Neill’s “Same Cloth or Not.” - A hugely inspiring record for me. I think Lisa is one of this country’s most unique and articulate voices. A favourite track is hard to choose, but I’d recommend “Come Sit Sing” as an example of her lyrical power and restraint as an arranger.

Book - “Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman” by Haruki Murakami. Murakami is one of my favourite writers. His fiction is full of vivid and surreal imagery. If you like food, which I do, you’ll love his descriptions of cooking and eating. The book I’ve chosen is a collection of his short stories, which give you a great flavour for his style.

Film -  “Inside Llewyn Davis”  - Directed by the Coen brothers, it stars Oscar Isaac as a folk singer struggling to make his mark in the music industry of the 1960s. At times the struggle is a bit close to home, but the movie chronicles the day to day highs and lows of a working musician in a revealing and often really funny way.

7. Pick the director and lead actor(s) for a biopic about your life.
I have some Mediterranean heritage and my pals used to call me Sly Stallone, so I suppose if he’s happy to play me in a biopic retrospective, looking back at the trials and travails of how successful I ultimately become, that would be fantastic. Scorsese to direct, of course.

8. You’re ordering take-away, what do you get?
Tandoori chicken, garlic and coriander naan. 

9. Describe your perfect day off.
I tend to try and pack too much into my days, so why would I stop here. I’d start with a run or swim on my own, do a forest walk and lunch with my family, and in the evening have a meal with my closest peeps. If we were going great guns, we might check out a gig afterwards or go for a dance, where the DJ would play The Rapture’s ‘House Of Jealous Lovers’ on repeat. 

10. Tell us, in one sentence, why we should come to your next gig (whenever it may be.)
Because there will be lots of sweat, and who doesn’t like that?

BONUS QUESTION: Recommend a podcast and tell us why we should subscribe to it.  
I would recommend “History Daily,”  produced and narrated by Lindsay Graham. Every day there is a 15-20min podcast based on a pivotal moment in human history that took place on that day, however many years ago. Mr. Graham is a brilliant narrator and the intro music is really dramatic. Whatever is going on in my day, this never fails to suck me in.