“Never give up until you have tried your upmost to the best of your ability.”
Owen Mac is a breath of rejuvenating fresh air in the ever growing youth music world. This rising young Irish country star was born in 2003 in Coleraine, Northern Ireland.
I instantly fell in love with Owen’s chilled, folk style and pure, pitch-perfect treble voice. Of course, the Celtic roots resonate strongly with my own Scottish heritage and there is something that feels like home for me in Owen’s easy but sincere delivery.
I asked Owen a little about his musical influences:
“My biggest musical influences as I was growing up were Jimmy Buckley, Derek Ryan, Gene Watson, Rascal Flatts and of course my biggest was my Dad who was always there to encourage and advise me.”
I simply had to share this amazing father and son duet:
A beautiful and engaging aspect of Folk and Country music is the way the lyrics deal so bravely and honestly with a wide span of themes telling stories about family, identity and Faith. It often feels as if modern pop music has two or three predictable sources of content which are used on loop! Owen’s choice of repertoire is made all the more moving by his sincere and plaintive delivery.
“My first and foremost type of music is definitely country, should it be Irish, American or contemporary. I can appreciate all types of music but – personally for me to sing – I like the country style.
My Mum and Dad inspire me so much to do my music as I can see they get as much pleasure from listening to me as I get from singing it, and also the public who listen to my music – when they give me lovely compliments its very encouraging and inspires me to keep going knowing people enjoy what I do.”
A dormant tradition awakes…
I am personally encouraged when promoting young artists such as Owen who represent a tradition, still found in many cultures, where children are encouraged to sing and perform from an early age. More importantly, they are taken seriously as young musicians in their own right. I want to see more talented children and youngsters respected as the musicians they are now, not just the musicians they will be in ten years or more.
Music is now my career as well as my passion and I am acutely aware that the experiences that confirmed this for me were all when I was a young boy. It is so important that children are given the opportunities to perform and to build their musical experience from an early age. There is a lifetime of joy and fulfilment at stake for them and potentially enriching music at stake for their present and future audiences.
“My dream and aspiration is just to keep trying to improve what I do and to learn the guitar a bit better. I would love to maybe write my own songs in time as well and maybe visit Nashville…..or even sing there ….and take my Mum and Dad as my Dad has always wanted to go there
As usual, I asked Owen for his advice to other musical young people:
“My advice to other young people trying to achieve something no matter what it is is to never give up until you have tried your upmost to the best of your ability.”
An epic journey on a broken road
I love all the songs which Owen has released so far and I was hard pushed to pick a favourite. Then I heard his cover of ‘Broken Road’ by Rascal Flatts. The song spoke straight to my heart. As I was saying earlier, the Irish undertones are very close to home for me and the gorgeous landscape in the music video creates a wonderfully idyllic effect.
If I can get all personal for a moment, I often find very little to relate to in the glossy, Hollywood love-on-first-sight lyrics. For many folk, relationships are not a moonlit highway, but rather a long and ‘broken road’ that leads them, at last, to true love. Something about Owen’s innocent delivery of this simple truth makes it incredibly poignant. You might be one of the lucky ones that can watch him sing this and feel very little because your journey has been direct and uncomplicated. But if you are like me, you might find yourself overwhelmed with a strange combination of nostalgia, hope, and gratitude as you hear and see Owen singing these words:
Every long lost dream led me to where you are
Others who broke my heart they were like Northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
“I would love for anyone reading this article to keep an eye for anything new happening with my music and would appreciate if you could request my music on radio stations etc I would be ever so grateful. X”
Please follow Owen on his Facebook account for updates
As always, I gave Owen the opportunity to thank those who felt deserved a special mention:
“I would just like to thank firstly my family Mum, Dad, sisters, Shauna and Shannon and to everyone and anyone else who has helped me achieve even what I have done so far in my short life. It makes me so happy to know that people enjoy listening to me…. many, many thanks Xx.
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK YOURSELVES [Torchlight Talent and Rivenmaster.org] FOR TAKING AN INTEREST IN ME AND GIVING ME YOUR TIME…..Many Thanks….OWEN”
You are very welcome, Owen! Keep singing as you step along that tough but exciting ‘broken road’. You deserve the very best.