Last week we attended the Ford EcoSport Live! event in Barcelona, where Ford were celebrating the launch of their new EcoSport SUV. The new EcoSport benefits from Ford's new SYNC with AppLink, which allows customers to voice-activate smart phone apps such as Spotify, Radioplayer and Audioteka from behind the wheel. Which is pretty fecking handy, if you ask me.
Regarding the event, the concept was simple, Ford wanted to bring 10 of the most exciting, up and coming, musical talents from around Europe together for a one off gig; a gig that was streamed live from the Catalonian Capital.
The event itself took place atop a mountain overlooking Barcelona, offering a wonderful setting for what was a showcase of Europe's rising stars
After the gig, we caught up with Ireland's representatives on the night, The Delorentos, for a quick chat:
Q: How was tonight for ye?
A: It was very good tonight, you know, all lot of people were crying, screaming and one guy actually had an orgasm, but he was in the band, so that probably doesn't count.
Q: And were they crying and screaming in Spanish or English?
A: Spanish. But, it was translated so it was fine.
Q: Haha! Have ye ever played in Spain before tonight?
A: Loads. We've actually been very lucky, Spain has been very good to us. I think we've played in Spain more than any other country over the years, including Ireland. And, actually, 3 of the biggest audiences we've ever played to have been in Spain. In Madrid, Murcia and Santander. So, we've been really fortunate. The Spanish people have always responded really well to us wherever we play, they are so welcoming and so receptive to new music and they really have a deep appreciation for it. It's always been a pleasure playing here.
Q: So where are we, as regards a new album?
A: We've actually finished the new album.
Q: Oh really? And when can we expect to get our hands on it?
A: Well, some time in the next 2-3 months, all going well.
Q: Great! Musically then, how do you think the process of writing albums has changed overtime, for ye?
A: Everyday I think we get a little bit more relaxed, and this may sound a little bit cheesy, but I think we get a bit more musically honest, perhaps. At the beginning, there may have been times where we were writing songs that were trying to be a certain way, but I think now, as we've gone on as a band, we're actually writing about things that we care about, and that makes the songs much more honest. Now, I don't mean 'better' because everything is subjective and there are some people that would say that the songs on our first album were our best, and those people aren't wrong. At the end of the day you've got to be proud of everything that you've written, and we are proud of it all because it all represents little parts of our lives, you know.
Q: These days, as we know promotion and marketing of new albums is so important, so much so that some would say that the music is almost secondary. What are your thoughts on that?
The most important thing is the music. The music is absolutely primary. Of course, the things that you do to promote the music have to be innovative and clever, but the thing about it is, if you are releasing an album into the world where there are millions of albums existing already, it has to be good enough, it has to be worth people's attention. If you want people to spend 45 minutes listening to your album it has to be worth their time, it has to be good enough to be worth their time, you have to put everything you have into it. It's all about the music, it can't be nearly secondary, it has to be primary.
Q: Obviously the music industry is very competitive now, it's easier than ever for people to record and publish their work. What affect do you think that has had on music?
A: I think it's called Stadium Theory, If you're in a stadium and you stand up on your own you have an advantage, you can see the match better and everyone can see you, but if everyone stands up then everyone's at the same level, and that's a good thing. But the thing about creating music is , just go and create it and use it for yourself because not everyone is going to make it, not everyone is going to become a millionaire, so if you can let go of that thought of competition and just play and make music for the basic joy of it, that is the main thing, everything else is besides the point. Of course, I mean you don't need a million dollar marketing budget to market yourself now. The playing field is more level now. But I think, perhaps, blazing your own trail has always been the way to go. And I think artists have been tripped up in the past due to the desire for quick success, but once you start to embrace what's true to yourself, while trusting in yourself and your band, then that will lead to good things. Concern yourself with what you're trying to make instead of all the other variables, because there's nothing that you can do about them.
Q: This will be your 4th album, right? That's a great achievement.
A: To be on a 4th album is incredible for us, we're so proud of it, and to have had any sort of success has been amazing, because you know people like it and people believe in it and that gives you confidence. But I think this next album will hopefully be a step on from all our previous albums. At the same time, though, we know that you're never going to nail something 100%, but we would like to think that we get a little bit closer with every album.
Q: Excellent. So will ye be touring with the new material from now on? Or is it going to be a mix of everything?
A: We were actually thinking, and nobody really does this, of not touring any of our own songs and just making stuff up on the spot.
A: No (collective laughter). But, seriously, we won't be playing a huge amount of shows before the new album comes out but we will throw in a one or 2 of the new ones for those shows.
We also caught up with a few promising talents from abroad, namely Celine Cairo of the Netherlands, and Natalie McCool of the UK.
Natalie (below), a graduate of the Liverpool Institute Of Perfroming Arts, has just released her new album, the self titled Natalie McCool, and showcased her new single Dust and Coal at Ford EcoSport Live.
Celine (below), hailing from Amsterdam, is relatively new to the music scene. The singer songwriter has released 2 EPs, her song Frozen Waters she officially launched at Ford EcoSport Live, and is currently working on a full album release, which she intends to release some time this year.
Both Natalie and Celine hope to tour Ireland in the near future, so keep an ear and an eye out for these 2 names over the rest of this year.
There she is, the Ford EcoSport. Isn't she a beauty.
Photos: Caolan Barron