As we approach BalconyTVs 10th anniversary, I thought it would be interesting to interview some of the first artists that performed on the show and find out what has happened to them in the time since.
Una Healy performed on July 24th, 2006 and went on to big things thereafter. It was great to catch up with Una to reflect on the ten years since.
Stephen - You were one of the first artists to perform on BalconyTV. What, if anything do you remember about the performance?
Una - I remember it was a really warm summers evening and carrying my guitar up a few flights of stairs to meet the team at BalconyTV. I must admit I was a little nervous meeting strangers in an apartment in Dublin but was relived to meet such lovely people who were so relaxed and friendly. I had chosen to sing a song I had recently written at the time called “Sorry” and all was filmed on a small camcorder on a very small balcony overlooking Dame street in the heart of Dublin city. I basically pulled my guitar out of my case, made my way to the balcony and was it all happened so quickly. I could hear the heavy traffic in the background and seagulls literally provided the backing track along with my acoustic guitar.
Stephen - What was the song about?
Una - It was written literally "the day after the night before"… one of those where you regret words that were said with a few drinks in.
Stephen - How long had you been playing before that?
Una - I started playing guitar and writing songs at the age of 13 but I had at that time I only recently moved up to Dublin to attempt to make a go of it as a serious singer/songwriter at the age of 23.
Stephen - What were your ambitions then, compared to what they are now?
Una - I still have the same ambitions and goals as back then as I have gone full circle in a way and I am about to release my own solo album this year. I joined the “The Saturdays” in 2007 and we went on to have huge success over the years. We are currently on a hiatus and doing our own thing. I have taken a break since then from performing and have concentrated on raising my young family and spending lots of time writing songs and recording. I am ready to back out there and give it a go!
Stephen - The internet has completely transformed music in the last 10 years. When we started out, YouTube was just starting and MySpace was the thing. How have you found dealing with the digital revolution?
Una - The opportunity for young musicians to get spotted is definitely made a lot easier with the use of the various online tools. I really miss those Myspace days and very happy to have been around for them!
Stephen - What do you make of the Irish music scene?
Una - Ireland is famous for having so many success stories over the years. Being a coach for the past two years on The Voice of Ireland has really opened my eyes to the wealth of undiscovered talent in Ireland.
Stephen - If you could give the you of 10 years ago advice, 10 years on, what would it be?
Una - I wouldn’t change a thing…I always followed my dreams and although it wasn’t easy I think we all got to make mistakes in order to learn and we create our own destiny that way… whats meant for you won’t go past you!
Stephen - What has been the best thing to happen to you in music and life in the last 10 years?
Una - It would have to be when we had our first Number 1 single in The Saturdays with a song called “What about us" feat Sean Paul.
Stephen - What is the one song of yours you're most proud of that people should check out?
Una - I won The Glinsk Song Contest in both 2004 and 2006 and I was so proud of that. I am about to release an album later this year and I have so many I am really proud of… watch this space!
Stephen - Who has been your favorite Irish artist of the last 10 years, and your favorite international or mainstream artist?
Una - I would say my favourite Irish band over the past 10 years are The Script and as for solo act it would be Hozier.
Una - Ed Sheeran has to be my favourite overall act in a long time.
Stephen - Hah, I found myself accidentally filming yourself, The Script and Ed Sheeran on BalconyTV. Final question. What would your words of wisdom be for anyone starting out? Be as brutal as you like.
Una - Don’t do it! it will drive you insane… in a good way of course! If you are passionate and determined I say go for it… you will face many ups and downs but you just got to dust yourself and try again.. never give up if you want to succeed.
Stephen - Thanks Una!
https://www.facebook.com/UnaHealy/- Stephen O'Regan