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07th Nov 2021

Gemma Dunleavy: “I forgot what I was missing, it’s magic”

Ellen Fitzpatrick

“I’ll remember the last year and a half of shows and work forever.”

Singer Gemma Dunleavy has been popping up everywhere, from our screens to our radios, we can’t seem to get enough of her.

Slipping onto our radar in the middle of a global pandemic, Gemma won RTE 2FM’s Rising Star and solidified her spot in the Irish music scene.

Gemma spoke to about her rise to stardom and how it felt for people to know her name, during a time we couldn’t see anyone in person.

“It feels like everything that we work for is happening for us, and that’s a really special feeling. I’ve always been super driven from when I was a kid, that’s been a huge consistent with me, whatever I’m feeling like every obsessive about it, I go down a rabbit hole, and I kind of don’t come out, I kind of knew that’s the way it would go if I kept at it, because I’m quite obsessive like that,” she said.

“You do appreciate those moments more, I find myself stopping on stage, smelling the roses, like is this actually happening?”

Back on tour now, Gemma has learned to be more appreciative of the little things over the last 18 months, and putting out music during this time clearly has her picture her career in a whole new light.

“If you really love your craft, you find ways to adapt. And I think that’s something that we did during the pandemic, we really adapted well, and we didn’t really moan or we weren’t really sitting around going, ‘Oh, my God, this is terrible’,” she added.

“So I think the turn around in things going back to normal has been extra sweet for us. We forgot what we were missing because we’re still appreciative for what we were doing, I forgot what I was missing. It’s magic.

“It didn’t really feel like much of a compromise for me because my music was released during a pandemic. Aside from the launch, which I had been imagining since I was writing, everything else was a bonus.

“It made us slow down, but the one kind of takeaway for me is that I will have so much more memories of my career over the last year because it wasn’t just during a rat race, trying to get everything done, everything else was really slow-paced, and we still got to do small shows, pre-recorded shows, I remember every single one of them and they all feel really special in their own way. I’ll remember the last year and a half of shows and work forever.”

So what’s next for the singer? Gemma tells us that once her tour is finished, including the “big shows” she has lined up before the end of the year, she’s already working on some new projects.

While she doesn’t know when it will be released, she’s more than happy to enjoy the process of creating it and taking it all a little bit slower.

Knowing how much of a privilege it is to share her music, Gemma says that there is something magical making her music and listening to it before the rest of the world gets their hands on it.