Co. Carlow singer/songwriter Derek Ryan started his musical career in Irish boyband D-Side. Nowadays he busy is forging a successful solo career singing a mix of classic country songs and original material. In 2014 The Sunday World awarded him ‘Entertainer of the Year’ and ‘Album Of The Year’ for his number one album, The Simple Things. This month he kicks off an extensive tour of Ireland and Britain with the first British gig in Warrington on April 16.
What are you up to right now?
At the moment I’ve been spending any free time from the tour doing some songwriting, getting some new material ready and recorded in the studio for my new album later this year.
Who are your heroes?
The people I look up to musically are Bryan Adams, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.
What’s been the best decade of your life so far and why?
This one definitely — so much has been happening and over the past few years especially, spending my time doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do!
What song sends a shiver down your spine?
A song has to tell a story and connect emotionally to people. Two that stand out to me would beWhiskey Lullaby by Brad Paisley and The Dance by Garth Brooks.
What is your favourite place in Ireland?
Killarney, Co. Kerry — it has everything! Not only is it a beautiful place with great scenery, there is also great nightlife, great restaurants and great people. A lovely place to get away to for a break.
What makes you angry?
Being on the road a lot, I’m going to say indecisive drivers — actually, bad manners in general. Manners cost nothing, everyone should have some, I think.
What book influenced you most?
I’ve recently read Paul Galvin’s autobiography In My Own Words and it really made me see why he is successful. He is full of dedication and has a great attitude towards what he does and sport in general, we could all take a leaf from that one.
What was the worst moment of your life?
There hasn’t really been one moment that stands out. I suppose everyone has their ups and downs, but there is no point in dwelling on it.
Which local star in any field should the world outside Ireland know about?
There is actually a man in my home town that is well known for having ‘the cure’ for bone setting. He works wonders, a great man!
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
Well I used to wish I was taller, but now I’ve just come to terms with the fact I will always be small. Only joking— I wouldn’t change a thing.
What is the best lesson life has taught you?
When one door closes, it’s shut — it’s best to move on and look forward. What will be will be.
What is your favourite film and why?
Crash — it’s one of those films which gives you some aspect, covering all attitudes of racism.
What trait do others criticise you for?
When I get an idea in my head, like songwriting for example, I can’t get it out of my head. I focus on that until I do it, ignoring everyone in the process. I’m sure that is actually quite annoying for other people.
What are the best and worst things about where you live?
I live in Garyhill, Co. Carlow. The best thing about it would be the scenery, it is beautiful and in the middle of nowhere. That’s probably
the worst part too — no one knows where it is! I say “I’m from Carlow”, and they say “Carlow, is that even a county?”
What do you believe in?
It may sound cheesy, but I believe in love at first sight!
On what occasion is it OK to lie?
I think a white lie is OK — if you are protecting someone’s feelings, negative comments can sometimes be left unsaid. If that constitutes white lies, so be it!
What do you consider the greatest work of art?
In secondary school I went on a school trip to Barcelona and saw La Sagrada Família — the architecture just blew me away, so to me, it’s the greatest work of art that I have seen.
What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
I’m a sucker for a rom-com.
Who is the love of your life?
That would have to be a toss-up. It’s 50/50 between music and my girlfriend — just don’t tell her that!