Bonneer (Bláthín O Connor) is a piano playing songstress from Co. Meath. She discovered her love for music at the age of four when her mother started teaching her classical piano. She was also taught violin by her late father.
The 38-year-old grew up in a home where music was a big part of her day-to-day. She remembers her parents listening to the likes of Brahms German Requiem in the kitchen, while anything from John Martyn to The Bangles would be blaring from her brother’s room at the opposite end of the house.
Her talent for singing was first realised at the age of ten, when her brother gave her the album ‘Dummy’ by Portishead as a birthday present. This album in particular had a huge influence on her wanting to write music.
At the age of eleven, her father sadly died after a short illness, and this is when she stopped playing the violin. She did however continue singing and playing piano, and it was around this time when she began singing as the lead soloist in a local youth choir directed by the late Sir Colin Mawby, founder of the RTÉ Philharmonic Choir.
In May 2018 her best friend was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given just five months to live. This was the catalyst to Bonneer’s creative explosion. Wanting to let her friend know how dear she was to her, she composed a piece of piano music in her honour, which was played on the day of the funeral.
Shortly after, Bonneer began songwriting, unleashing her untapped creativity. To date, she has written over 100 songs and has composed several pieces for piano. Her inspiration comes from her own life experiences and observations, and her style is perhaps her own in that it is slightly difficult to define.
There are folk, pop and classical elements, but it is quite clear that she’s heavily influenced by the music she grew up listening to.
Her debut single ‘Strangers’ was recorded in Darklands Audio with the very talented Dan Doherty. Both Bonneer and Dan produced it; Dan on the drums and bass guitar, and Bonneer on the piano and a few other instruments (courtesy of the BBC orchestra).
You can stream Strangers below: