The French connection – The Irish World



Singer-songwriter Cian Ducrot spoke to David Hennessy about his music dealing with domestic violence, being let down by friends he thought were there no matter what, and growing up as “boys French” in Ireland but “Irish boys” in France.

Cork-based singer-songwriter Cian Ducrot released his debut EP Make Believe late last year and is one of Amazon Music’s artists to watch in 2022.

The Franco-Irish musician has aroused enthusiasm and rave reviews. Among those who have defended him are Jack Saunders and Mollie King on BBC Radio 1, while the Daily Star describes him as “on the brink of great things”.

Her EP is autobiographical and, in part, about domestic violence. Cian was born in Douglas in Cork City before his mother left his father and moved with his sons to Passage West. He originally came to London on a music scholarship and has now lived here for over four years.

He dedicates his song, Hello Gorgeous, to the “incredible women in (my) life…and all the women and girls who have suffered or are still suffering.”

Cian told The Irish World: “It’s probably one of the most important and powerful songs on the EP and something that I think I’ve only scratched the surface of in terms of subject matter and style. topic.

“It was all triggered by seeing how my girlfriend was affected by her previous relationship.

“I had never been so close to that except with my mother, but it’s a completely different experience when you’re a kid.

“It made me see all the parallels it had with my mum and my dad and being able to look back and kind of look at my mum now and think, ‘Wow, that must have been so hard’ … what led my mother to leave my father.

“For her, it was just about making sure her kids were okay, that we were protected and that we had the love we needed.

“We were so lucky to have such amazing friends and family.

“It was obviously a really awful time and I think the more I look back and think about my mum, I think, ‘Wow, I don’t know how she did that’. Women are like supers sometimes. -hero.

“As you get older you understand it a lot more, what it really means and how much more serious it is.

“No matter how bad you think it is, you realize, as you get older, it’s so much more serious than you thought because you not only realize it happened to your mother, but that this happens to women all over the world.

“Women are victims of abuse, whether on the streets, in the workplace, in relationships.

“It’s just everywhere all the time, and we keep seeing it over and over and over again.

“Not only are we seeing it on a national level, but we’re seeing the worst level of this stuff, especially recently, even stuff in the news that is so heartbreaking.

“It doesn’t matter which girl I talk to, it doesn’t matter. They’ll say, ‘Oh yeah, I was definitely sexually harassed.

“I don’t think there’s a girl who hasn’t been bullied in some way and a lot of people have been through it in worse relationships as well.

“I’ve always wanted to use my music to help people in situations where I think they need to be heard, because that’s what music did for me when I was a kid.

“I was listening to music, and it just helped me get away from it all.

“It’s helped me go through so much and feel my emotions and become more connected to my emotions and understand myself. That’s what I want people to take away from my music.

“I’ve had people tell me they left their abusive relationship because of this song, it’s really powerful.

“It’s just crazy to think that you can write a song that can do something like that for people, really help them.

“It’s not like a pity story. It’s like a story of “Hey, you can go out and you can have this amazing life.”

“It becomes a song that is so much more than a song for my mother. Oddly enough, my mother doesn’t even see it as a song for her.

“When I told her about it and asked her if she was ok with me doing the video, she was so happy. Everyone on my team was like, ‘You really need to talk to your mom, you need to ask her, you have to make sure she’s okay, it’s a big deal”.

“I was like, ‘My mum is not going to care. If my mum has the opportunity to help women who are in this situation right now, she would say yes in a heartbeat’.

“The only thing I had to ask my mum was if she was happy to use images from our childhood and she was so happy that this moment in my life had arrived.

“She was just like, ‘I always knew you were going to do something special and you were going to do something more than just make music. You always wanted to help people’.

Was it difficult to write about such things? “No. We’ve really talked about it all our lives. We’ve had to do so much therapy and counseling and all that kind of stuff. It’s something that’s never been locked away, it’s always expressed and talked about .

“There are obviously difficult times, or times when it’s much more emotional, and so on, we could discuss it and go deeper and deeper. There can be stories that I don’t know that my mother will share with me either things that I don’t remember or things that suddenly pop into my mind, and we’ll talk about it.

“You have to be able to talk about it, and to be able to get into it and make something beautiful out of it, that’s also the magic of music. You can just bear the pain and do something beautiful, which is crazy.

After focusing on music at school, Cian won a full scholarship to study classical flute at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Following a trip to Los Angeles, he decided he wanted to be a pop musician, not a classical flautist.

Another song from the EP, Crocodiles, as in “crocodile tears” was born out of a difficult time in London when Cian found himself with nowhere to live.

“It was just the story of being let down by friends basically, my best friends who I thought would support me when I really needed it, and I just found myself left to the dogs. It was really hard, and it got worse the longer I was on my own, one of the hardest times of my early adult life that I went through feeling very alone, very disappointed, stabbed in your back by those who you would think would have your back.

“It’s hard to play, but I also like it because people relate to it so much, because everyone has bad friends. Everyone’s had a friend who screwed them up or let them down where you kind of see their true colors.

“It became a friend of mine who came up to me and said, ‘Hey man, guys really want you to move out. You can’t really stay here anymore, you don’t pay rent.

“I was like, ‘You know what? I’ll find somewhere else. I’ll find another friend who’s actually there for me.

“It eventually led to me having nowhere to live, it was really difficult.

“I know what I would do for a friend and that’s not what they did for me.”

Cian performed his music in Ireland last year at The Academy 2 in Dublin.

“It was so weird to come home and do a show and it’s not even in the town you’re from. You just assume no one will show up (but) it was an amazing turnout.

“Everyone wore masks, it was so weird, but somehow quite beautiful, much more intimate than I expected.

“My brother was in Dublin at the time also for a few days and my mum was with him. So they have to come too. I wouldn’t say the ideal time for a family reunion is around a show, or whatever. thing like that, because it’s always a hectic time.

“As a performer you just need to be in your zone and focus and not really think about everything else. I like being given my own space, so I feel like a bad son and a bad brother when I’m like, “Okay, see you in about four hours.”

Your mother is a professional flautist, your brother is a classical violinist, so they understand that?

“Yeah, they’re the first to figure it out. It was my mom who reminded me, ‘You know you can go do your thing, you don’t have to hang out with us or anything, we don’t want to bother you’. It’s the same every time my brother plays. We all understand it because it is our life.

“We grew up with music everywhere. My mother played the piano late into the night; I remember it not only because we loved it and it was her passion, but there was also a time when my mother had to work extremely hard because she was on her own as a single mother raising two boys.

“She just had no choice but to take every opportunity she could and work as hard as she could to uplift us the way she wanted to give us every opportunity we could have. She obviously does an amazing job.

“It was just constantly music, you couldn’t open our front door without someone playing violin, drums, guitar, whatever, something was going on. It was pretty amazing to be brought up in it, just a normal thing to be brought up in the way music would be your job. It was never really like a question.

Do you feel more Irish or French? “Well, it’s strange because when I was in Ireland my brother and I were always French guys, French guys. We grew up with a French mother, so we weren’t Irish at all.

“We had no relationship with any of our family in Ireland. I don’t have any Irish family that I see or talk to. All of my family was French. I have an amazing stepdad who is Irish .

“His family has kind of become the closest I have to an Irish family.

“But I feel both a lot. You don’t really feel one more than the other. I’m Irish, but I’m also French.

The EP Make Believe has been released.

For more information, click here.


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