Other Voices is one of Ireland’s most unique music events.

The annual gathering, which started in Dingle, has evolved since its inception in 2002 to establish itself as a true 'one of a kind'. Now stretching along the Atlantic Way from West Kerry North to Derry, Other Voices attracts an expanding array of artists from across the musical spectrum to perform at this intimate musical event which is transmitted worldwide online and as a television series.

Past performances include Ellie Goulding, Amy Winehouse, Elbow, The National, Damien Rice, Snowpatrol, Ryan Adams and many others.

Our second PLAYIRISH USA v OTHER VOICES post brings you additional music from artists the played The Other Voices Music Trail, curated and booked by Martin Byrne.

Scroll down to read about featured artist Christian Collins' "Long Island Romance."

Take a listen to the future of Irish music ...

Artist: Christian Collins



Long Island Romance

My very first kiss was with a girl from Long Island, NY. I was 12 years old, and I remember being utterly terrified, yet, also awfully excited about the whole thing.

We met where I grew up in a tiny rural part of Ireland, where her Irish cousins lived right next to me. I was best friends with one of her cousins, so we were bound to meet each other while she was visiting Ireland that summer. Cupid had his targets set and his bow drawn.

I never really got to say much to her when she was in my friend’s house. Frankly, because I was a really shy kid and I just instantly saw her as some inaccessible sort of angel. I thought she had no interest in me on any level. How could she? She was far beyond me. From some exotic other world across the Atlantic.

It was all so fantastical. She was this new girl from New York. The paradigm of beauty. She had the accent I had heard watching TV shows growing up and she seemed so much more grown up than us country bumpkins.

There I was, the small country boy who wasn’t quite sure of himself starring up at this celestial creature. Even if we happened to both be in the same room, she seemed so far away ...

Until one night at home, when I got a text message from her telling me she liked me and that she wanted to ‘hook up.’

This revelation absolutely blew my mind. We planned to both meet on the last evening she was in Ireland. We met in the park, just by this lovely little stream on a small footbridge. It was all really sweet and innocent. She could only be gone in the park with me for five minutes because she was afraid her mom would find out she had left the house.

So we kissed, and that was it. I’m not even sure if we exchanged words to each other. We kissed and that was it.

It was the proudest moment of my life and I felt like I was truly entering into adolescence. It was all so perfect. My first kiss, just before high school began, with a beautiful blonde with big brown eyes from Long Island. It all felt too good to be true.

Part of me still couldn’t believe it as I walked home after kissing her goodbye. There were remnants of her sticky lip gloss that were left on my upper lip, I kept dabbing it gently with my finger to convince myself of what had just happened and to revel in my first ever romance ...

From then on, we stayed in contact online and by phone. We became really close over the years. She drove her parents insane once by raking up the phone bill for hundreds of dollars making international calls to Ireland! We would see each other almost every year up until I was about sixteen years old. We are still friends to this day, ten years later. She is a really sweet and awesome girl. I would love to visit New York sometime. It would be a dream!

If you are interested in supporting Irish music, here are couple of small but significant things you can do:

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IASCA is the Irish Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. Based in Ireland, their members are the Irish music writers of all genres - artists, songwriters, composers and lyricists. Their goal is to represent their members, support them, protect their interests and create an environment where new talent can thrive.PLAY IRISH is an IASCA initiative to promote Irish music both at home and overseas. This playlist is brought to you by the IASCA, visit their website here: www.iasca.ie.