BLOWN AWAY Westport-born singer/songwriter Maria Kelly was overwhelmed by the local support she received after she was named as a finalist in the recent RTÉ Other Voices Open Call competition.
After winning the RTÉ 2 Other Voices public vote out of 1,000 entries, Maria Kelly is returning to her hometown of Westport for a special ‘thank you’ show in Westport Town Hall Theatre on December 22.
Winning the competition has given her the chance to travel to Dingle to perform at the Eir Other Voices Festival. Her performance at the IMRO Other Room Recordings will also feature on the acclaimed RTÉ TV series ‘Other Voices’ when it starts next February.
Speaking about the competition, Maria said: “I really can’t thank everyone back home enough for getting behind the competition and voting for me – the amount of people sharing on social media, texting their friends and family, it really blew me away.
“Getting to play Other Voices and appearing on the RTÉ 2 programme will be truly surreal for me, and I wanted to put on a show back home to say thank you so much for the support.”
Growing up in Westport, Maria spent many years crafting and developing her sound into a delicate blend of atmospheric-alt-folk. In 2014, she signed to UK label Veta Records and began releasing a string of singles – most notably ‘Stitches’, which was quickly named one of ‘The 50 Best Tracks of 2016’ in The Irish Times and garnered an impressive 160,000 streams on Spotify.
Earlier this year, Maria was named one of ‘50 People to Watch’ in The Irish Times. She then released her debut EP, ‘The Things I Should’. The four-track EP received praise from various respected online publications, including Wonderland, Mahogany and The Line of Best Fit, as well as receiving extensive radio play on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ 2fm.
Live, Maria has toured extensively across the UK and Ireland supporting the likes of KT Tunstall, James Vincent McMorrow and Marc Cohn. This year, she also completed an Irish headline tour before performing at Brighton’s Great Escape and at Electric Picnic.
For tickets to Maria Kelly in Wesptort Town Hall Theatre (€15/€12/€10 each), visit www.westporttheatre.com or call 098 28459. The show starts at 8pm.