The group behind the massively successful Coláiste Lurgan music videos has set their sights on international success.
Irish language group, Seo Linn, won worldwide acclaim two years ago when their collaboration with the Irish-language summer camp Coláiste Lurgan on the Irish language version of “Wake me up” by Avicii went viral.
Despite their various collaborations with TG Lurgan earning over 15 million views, the band has continued to play around Ireland, bringing their unique brand of Irish language music to new audiences, on a purely amateur basis.
Now, however, Cathal Ó Ruaidh, Keith O’Briain, Daithí Ó Ruaidh, Kev Shortall, Conor O’Móra and Stiofan O’Fearail are looking to pursue their musical dreams full-time through providing music workshops in schools, recording an album, and touring around Ireland and the US.
The band has established a Kickstarter campaign to raise $55,800 (€50,000) to allow them to continue with their goal of bringing the minority language to a wider audience.
“We chose Kickstarter because it allows you to get involved and help our efforts to promote the Irish language,” Daithí says of the campaign.
The band is asking for their fans and future fans alike to “Invest in identity, invest in Irish” as they aim to make the promotion of Irish through music their full-time career.
Stiofán explains how the band learned Irish while playing together in summer colleges and, as a result, they understand the importance of fun and enjoyment when learning a language.
“To bring the Irish language to the people in a fun way,” he says, “no pressure about it, you don’t even need to think that you’re learning Irish … you're engaging in your culture and it’s all about the fun.”
In their dedicated promotion of the Irish language, Seo Linn has three main aims.
Their first is to establish a company that will provide music workshops for teenagers through the medium of Irish. The workshops will incorporate the various elements of music production and performance into a polished, tried and tested workshop which is fun for teenagers to get involved in, similar to the approach taken in Coláiste Lurgan that uses music to engage their students.
The band will secondly concentrate on working on their own music by recording and releasing their first album of original music.
“The kind of music we try to make is a mesh of clear harmonies and strong percussion beats,” says Keith.
“There’s also a lot of traditional instruments in the group, for example tin whistle, button accordion, so what we’re doing is taking a strong Irish traditional influence and meshing that together with pop."
Cathal explains: “We’re six musicians with a love for our culture, language and predominantly, music. We want to bring the three together through the power of pop music which encapsulates people all over the world everyday but this time, as Gaeilge!”
"When the button accordion, whistle and sax come together you really feel as if you are delving into a new, fresh style of Irish cultural music. Our vocals and harmonies reinforce the power of the Irish language through voice,’ adds Daithí.
As well as promoting the language at home, Seo Linn hopes to travel the world, allowing those with an interest in Irish culture to engage with their music.
“We’re hoping to tour America and bring our unique brand to anybody to engage with their roots,” Kevin says.
“To bring our music to all corners of the world and help promote the Irish language and Irish culture, we wouldn’t be able to pass it up, and the more people talk about the Irish language, the more it spreads it.”
“In return for your funding, we’re offering you the opportunity to embrace your Irish heritage, preserve the Irish language and most importantly, enjoy the show,” Keith continues.
They also offer other prizes for supporting the band. Prizes range from a Twitter/Instagram thanks for pledging $2, to the band doing whatever you choose (within reason) such as playing you down the aisle or washing your car for a pledge of $7,800.
A popular prize so far is having a band member of your choice pour a liter of milk over their head for just $33, while you can also be recognized as a band benefactor for $5,580.
Stiofán says: “We’ve really enjoyed the past two years, but now we’re really looking forward to the next challenge and hopefully the public can help us make it happen."
“'Riverdance' gave you Irish dance, Celtic Thunder gave you Irish traditional song, Seo Linn gives you the Irish language through contemporary music,” concludes Conor.
If you want to help Seo Linn reach American shores, you can contribute to their Kickstarter campaign here.