Determination and passion are key attributes to Essex based Roisin O’Hagan’s flourishing success as a singer-songwriter and new release Sunset Valley heralds a coming of age as she transitions from a teenager to a woman in her early twenties.
Roisin, 23, has been surrounded by music since an early age, her father is an avid record collector and her mother a singer. The musical osmosis clearly started when she began to accompany her parents to local gigs and the recording studio, where she sat in the corner drawing, crippled by shyness. Her love and understanding of music and its creation led to a private exploration into songwriting from her teenage bedroom floor. When eventually brave enough to share her songs with her parents, they took her to the studio and introduced her to their producer David Booth, a key figure in Roisin O’Hagan the artist’s formative years.
Booth served as a mentor to Roisin during her early years as an artist and it is through him that she was introduced to the live music scene. Having released her first song aged 13yo, she worked her way around gigs across Essex and London, progressing to several BBC Introducing appearances and support slots for Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters) and Olivia Lane.
Roisin’s songwriting belies her young age and her ability to be objective about her own shortfalls and weaker areas stands her in great stead as she progresses from the less personal songs of her earlier years to a more focused, intimate and emotional sound. Having always previously written with just herself and a guitar in mind, her new approach brings into play the possibilities for full band sets and songs with larger production.
Written early in 2021, Sunset Valley was performed for the first time at Tennessee Fields Festival, after which Roisin was approached by Strategia Management. In partnership with Strategia, Roisin has collaborated on the production process for the first time, working with experienced session musicians Tim Galloway, Brian Allen and Miles McPherson from Nashville, yet still retaining creative control.
The fictional location of Sunset Valley is home to the heartache of a teenage relationship. One party leaves to pursue their dreams, with the other left behind waiting for his return. Roisin’s musical influences cover a broad spectrum of artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Counting Crows, and most notably, the Folklore/Evermore era of Taylor Swift, whose story-telling abilities have inspired the more personal nature of Sunset Valley.
“Sunset Valley speaks of someone who hangs on to what they had with their first love in times gone by. The protagonist wonders where that person is now, whether they achieved their goals and whether they have found someone else. Despite being content with her life today, there is a hope and blind faith that the two of them will find each other again. This unfulfilled love will spark anew, as a love that wasn’t over. She holds on to the belief that the best things are going to take time.”
Roisin O’Hagan has not only fallen in love with the creative elements of music but, having graduated from a Music Journalism degree from BIMM London in 2020, has a keen eye for the business side of the industry also. Her analytical approach to her own writing and musicianship spurs her on to continue to improve and progress her own style and follow her own path as she enters an exciting new stage of her career.