New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
It took a crushing failure for musician Paul Hourican to discover his true passion.
His life always centered around music, but when he was a teenager, Hourican was kicked out of a band. It was a pivotal moment in his life, one that impacted him profoundly.
He was down but not out. Hourican used the moment as motivation to find success and fulfillment within the music industry through his own unstoppable drive.
And he's done it.
A New Venture
Hourican is readying the launch of his own music collective, Blackbird Sounds. Through Blackbird Sounds, Paul Hourican Ireland is able to dive deep into his true love — songwriting. For Hourican, being a songwriter is much more important than finding and sustaining fame as a singer.
What motivates him now is writing distinctive songs for others to embrace, songs that allow him to be creative and intensely personal.
It's an exciting new chapter in Paul Hourican Ireland's life. New York-based but Dublin, Ireland-born, Hourican grew up inspired by an eclectic mix of singer-songwriters, everyone from Bob Dylan and the Beatles to David Bowie, REM, and Oasis.
He felt instantly comfortable on stage, and singing was his first love.
Hourican played his first show in 1999 in London, then quickly set up Hurricane Records, his own label, later signing a deal with Warner Music Ireland to distribute from Hurricane Records. Pat Creed, the label's CEO, took a special interest in Hourican, taking him under his wing.
Hourican's ambition and confidence led him to send his first demo to acclaimed singer-songwriter Damien Rice, who reacted positively to Hourican's talent.
His own hits followed, including the tracks "All I Ever Wanted" and "One Step Forward," quickly establishing a following and earning praise from critics. His unique brand of guitar blues and catchy pop earned instant notice for a debut album.
Those first tracks also hinted at Hourican's songwriting talent and well-rounded approach to music, equally adept at crafting memorial ballads and full-on rockers.
Bowie's influence was particularly strong in Hourican's second album, "Sea-Change," mixing folk and pop sounds, engaging vocals, and striking strings. It is unique, memorable, and edgy.
Hourican's career began to shift when he met Dave Kavanagh, a legend in Ireland's music industry who died in 2018. During the band's early years, Kavanagh was U2's agent and later supported such popular bands at Celtic Woman and Clannad.
Kavanagh inspired Hourican to move away from performing to writing, ultimately leading to him signing a publishing deal with New York and Los Angeles-based Round Hill Music in 2012. Now, writing is Hourican's most satisfying outlet and the most rewarding creatively.
Round Hill was a great fit for Hourican, one that helped him develop more as a songwriter.
Joshua Gruss, Round Hill Music's CEO, and founder described Hourican as a rare and delicate talent.
At Round Hill followed in the footsteps of songwriters such as Bruno Mars and the Beatles. Round Hill's writers have crafted songs for such legends as Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, and Ray Charles.
He prides himself on crafting songs that other talented singers/songwriters can take and make their own. He wants the songs he writes to give people hope and make them joyful. He wants his songs to reflect everyday life but also inspire.
His approach to songwriting is also unique, more guided by his subconscious as opposed to coming to him while sitting down with a blank page.
He lets the inspiration come to him in whatever way it can, at whatever speed it arrives. He doesn't put the focus on himself or think about the singer who may sing his songs.
When it comes down to it, the most important thing is the song itself.
The Next Chapter
And now Blackbird Sounds is also the most important thing to Paul Hourican. The name of his music collective comes from a line in a song from an early recording, "Wishing Well": "the blackbird sings alone."
Through Blackbird Sounds, Hourican will be able to release his own music and showcase himself as a songwriter.
Late in 2021, the first EP under the Blackbird Sounds music collective is expected to be released.
While the tenacious and driven Hourican still loves performing live, it's songwriting that provides the depth he seeks as an artist.
Right now, he's focused on the launch of Blackbird Sounds and is open to the experiences the music collective will bring.
And right now, he's letting the songs come to him, typically when he least expects it, usually working in self-imposed isolation.
They come in teases of ideas and glimmers of melodies.
Blackbird Sounds is a legacy that Hourican is crafting, continuing his stellar career so far as a remarkably unique songwriter who puts the most value in the craft of songwriting itself rather than instant fame and adulation.
For Hourican, that's what it has always been about.