‘Seeing Hozier write music demystified the process for me’

Singer-songwriter Loah is this week’s Music Month guest on Róisín Meets

Hozier has also been an influence on Loah. Being around her then boyfriend while writing songs for his debut album taught her a lot about the artistic process, she said.

Hozier has also been an influence on Loah. Being around her then boyfriend while writing songs for his debut album taught her a lot about the artistic process, she said.

 

“I can say this because he has said it a thousand times in interviews, but we were dating at the time,” says Loah, about her co-writing credit on one of Hozier’s biggest hits, Someone New.

“I said, well if you’re going to do it then these are the ideas that go with it and this is what it’s supposed to be about. I had the full narrative, I just hadn’t got around to crafting it,” she told Róisín Ingle on the latest Róisín Meets podcast.

Better known as Sallay Matu Garnett to her friends and family, Loah broke up with the Bray musician before he hit the big time and she released her own EP, This Heart, earlier this year.

Loah’s mother is Irish and her father is from Sierra Leon, which meant she grew up between Maynooth in Co. Kildare and in West Africa, living first in Gambia and then in a post-war Sierra Leon. They fostered a love of music in Loah and her three siblings, filling the house with fiddles, a piano, saxophone, drums, and any other instrument the Garnett children showed an interest in.

Róisín Meets:singer-songwriter Loah

She has an operatic singing voice too and spent time training with Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke’s Dublin-based voice coach Judith Mok, who made a huge impact on her.

Hozier has also been an influence on Loah. Being around her then boyfriend while writing songs for his debut album taught her a lot about the artistic process, she said.

“Sometimes seeing someone actually do it is so much more of an imprint than hearing them talk about it in an interview…actually seeing them go up to their attic room and spend nine hours on the same thing every day, you’re like, that’s how you do it. It’s not a mystery.”

Also on the podcast, Loah spoke about her teenage years in West Africa, growing up as “the only blacks in the village” in Maynooth and her struggle with balancing her work as a pharmacist with the desire to create music.

To listen to her perform three songs from her EP This Heart on the latest episode of the Róisín Meets podcast, got to www.irishtimes.com/podcasts, iTunes, Soundcloud or your preferred podcast app.

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