In January 2022 a young man from Glaslough, County Monaghan sat down at his piano in his student flat and in a matter of minutes composed a piece of instrumental music that has gone on to be one of the international viral success stories of the year.
His name is Jamie Duffy, a 21-year old musician who is also a student at Queen’s University, Belfast where he is reading Politics and International Relations. He comes from a musical family where melody and lyricism spans the generations. Emphatically part of Generation TikTok, Jamie had started posting his compositions and covers online last year to positive reactions before ‘Solas’ arrived. Sitting at his keyboard one night in Belfast, he recalled the gem of an idea that had been flickering in his head for a few weeks.
Jamie says: “I didn’t know what to post, so I just played the first melody that came into my head. It came to me in about five minutes and I really mean that. I didn’t put too much thought into it at the time.”
‘Solas’ (Irish for ‘light’) was, quite literally, an overnight success. This hope-filled, inspirational, luminous piece of music started to resonate with listeners from around the world, from Turkey to Chile, Ukraine to France and beyond. A universal balm for those seeking comfort in sound away from the troubled times in which we live.
Fast-forward to October and Jamie Duffy and ‘Solas’ continue to find new fans around the world. The track has racked up an impressive 21 million plays on Spotify and over 6 million plays on YouTube. It is the most streamed debut release by an Irish artist of 2022 and is the biggest Irish streaming debut since Hozier’s ‘Take Me To Church’ .
Jamie adds: “ Seeing the reaction and growth of ‘Solas’ since I released it back in February has been unexpected, mind blowing and amazing. It’s been incredible to see how the music has touched so many people in different ways.”
Newly signed to leading Irish independent label Rubyworks, ‘Solas’ now has an official video to accompany the track, filmed in Antrim and directed by UK-based director Wolf James.
Back to Jamie to summarize: “The team and I have put blood, sweat and tears into the upcoming music video, one which I think is going to be very fitting to ‘Solas’, and will portray that sense of light and hope that’s in the music, in a visually breathtaking and beautiful way.”
Jamie Duffy has been back in the studio working on new music for release next year. While we wait for that, there is no better introduction to the musical world of Jamie Duffy than ‘Solas’.
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