Our Spotlight Interviews feature one artist on the last Tuesday of every month who will have been handpicked by our German artist manager, Christina Otto Sauer. Touching on musical origins, interests, future projects and inspirations, we hope you enjoy reading our artists’ answers as much as we do. First up – Son of Loughlin!
- Tell us a bit about yourself and your career as an artist so far.
My name is Padraig McLoughlin, but I go as Son of Loughlin – partly because nobody can pronounce my name correctly outside of Ireland. It’s ‘Lock-lin’, just for the record 😉 I had performed under my own name for many years before adopting the moniker, and released a 5 track EP a few years back. But I moved to Berlin at the start of 2018, and after a year and a half of performing regularly in my new city, on the street and in venues, I felt that I needed to take things in a new direction. I choose Son of Loughlin as the ‘Mc’ in Irish surnames stands for ‘Son of’ so it felt like a natural transition.
- Was there a turning point in your life that made you want to become an artist (performance, song, experience)? If yes what was it and why?
I think the turning point for me was about three years ago when I left my studies. I had returned to education as a mature student to obtain a degree that I was essentially chasing just for the sake of getting a degree, and not because I was passionate about the subject! I couldn’t stand the fact that I was wasting any musical potential that I had by rotting away working at something that was never going to fulfil me. So, I quit the course and said that I would just have a crack at pursuing music. Then in early 2018, just before my move to Berlin, I found street music. And through performing regularly on the street, and playing some gigs here and there, I have been able to support myself as a musician ever since.
- What is the predominant influence on your songwriting or creative process?
I always find this a hard question to answer, but I would have to say that I don’t usually sit down with an idea or topic in mind when I want to write a song. And what tends to happen is I will just find a chord structure I like, sing nonsense over it to fill melodies that work, and then through simply singing whatever comes out I find something among the noise, like a word or phrase that stands out and means something, and that then will inspire the direction that the lyrics will take. I find this a cathartic experience as I’m usually finding out my view on particular things or situations as the lyrics unfold in front of me. Sometimes it’s not as fluid as that and the lyrics take a bit, or sometimes a lot, of refinement and further thinking into them. That probably sounds a bit pretentious, but it’s the way I tend to experience songwriting.
- What is your favourite track to play live?
I really enjoy playing ‘Start Again’. It’s a track that came about at a time when I was reading a book by Eckhart Tolle called ‘A New Earth’. That book somehow helped me out of a rut I’d fallen into, and so whenever I play the song, at least lately anyway, I tend to feel a little more positive in that moment.
- Who would you most like to perform with on stage with or collaborate with?
Damien Rice was the first artist to inspire me to play music, so a chance to share a stage or a song with him would be immense. From a production point of view, I really like the work of Dustin Tebbutt – so a collaboration with him perhaps would be fruitful and rewarding.
- Sentence or two to describe your musical style?
Songs born out of periods of reflection and introspection, with honestly that I can rarely portrait away from the craft of songwriting.
- If you had £1,000 to spend, how would you spend it?
Right now I would use it to make an advance on my rent. With the money I’d have over I would invest in a new delay pedal, and perhaps stock up on guitar strings.
- What can we next expect from you in the next coming months? New material/projects/shows?
I am currently working with a friend of mine, producer and musician in his own right, Ivo Vollering, on four tracks that I’m going to release as an EP early in the new year. I want to get a single out in early January. The tracks that will follow the debut release ‘Readjust’ are a little more pacey, electric guitar driven, and better represent the sound that I want to achieve. Financial obstacles have been presented but I am determined to overcome them and get these tracks out early next year.
- Any artists you’d recommend listening to at the moment?
The aforementioned Dustin Tebbutt. I think the guy is making great stuff.
Listen to Son of Loughlin on Spotify.
Photo © Chris Montgomery