Irish musical powerhouses Elaine Mai and Ailbhe Reddy have teamed up for the evocative, flat-out banger of a tune, ‘Still Feel’. The pair chatted to GCN about inspiration, collaboration, and what they’re looking forward to when the live-music scene returns.
What was the inspiration for this particular collaboration?
Elaine: Ailbhe is an artist I’ve always admired and we got to know each other better when playing live shows with Daithí in the last few years. I was working on music for the album and knew that I’d love to collaborate with Ailbhe. I sent her some tracks and this one stood out for her and we went from there!
Ailbhe: We kept saying we should work on something together, so in the depths of lockdown 2020, she sent me a few tracks, once I heard this one I immediately fell in love!
Did you find working with each other made you look at your own style of creating in a different way?
Elaine: Collaborating in this way was pretty new for me. I’ve remixed and worked with lots of artists in different ways, but this process, especially in lockdown, was different and I really enjoyed the experience. The track was quite formed by the time I sent it on to Ailbhe and when vocals and lyrics are added, you get to see and experience the track in an entirely new way. It’s almost like starting over again. It’s really exciting, because you get to see something evolve in front of you and Ailbhe added such emotion to the track.
Ailbhe: I really love working with more electronic artists as it’s totally different to how I write my own music, I usually work through the whole song by myself. With this track I got a fairly finished piece of music and was fitting my vocal into it and making sure I could complement what was already a great piece of work.
How have you managed during lockdown without being able to play live?
Elaine: I’ve been pretty focused on writing and finishing off the album, so that’s been a great distraction. But, I really, really miss playing to a room full of people and feeling that energy exchange. I can’t wait to get back to it.
Ailbhe: I’ve done a lot of livestream gigs, and there’ve been some amazing people organising events to keep venues, engineers and artists going in the interim but nothing compares to people in a room!
What are you most looking forward to as the live music scene comes back.
Elaine: Playing live. Dancing. Loud conversations you only catch snips of. Seeing people I haven’t seen in well over a year. After parties. Hugs.
Ailbhe: I just want to be spilling a pint on myself while walking through a packed out venue. Singing along to a gig with a bunch of mates. It’s going to be amazing and I will cry.
© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.