A young Co Armagh musician and TikTok star has told how he almost cried with excitement after a song he wrote a few months ago featured on hit dating show Love Island on Wednesday night.
Odhran Murphy, (23), from Crossmaglen, was watching a football match when he got a call from ITV to tell him his self-penned track Stars was part of the show’s soundtrack that night.
With only minutes to spare before the episode started, Odhran left the match and raced home, just in time for the show.
The romantic ballad, inspired by the musical The Greatest Showman, was used during a recoupling scene and prompted huge interest among viewers, with thousands turning to music app Shazam to find out the artist’s identity.
The singer/songwriter, a Love Island fan, said it was ‘surreal’ hearing his song feature on such a massive platform. And he said it was ‘crazy’ to think that millions of viewers were listening too.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Odhran said: “I worked on Stars for the past two months and put a small clip of it in on TikTok.
“The new series of Love Island had just started, and I posted along with the video ‘Imagine if this was on Love Island’.
“I woke up the next morning and there were over 100,000 views and people tagging in Love Island and ITV.
“It made me think this song could have potential to get onto the show, so I sent it out to a few friends.”
One of the people who received the song was Co Down DJ and presenter Ryan Hand, who passed it onto an ITV contact. It was then sent to a senior producer on the popular ITV2 programme and she loved the song.
Odhran was watching his brother play football when he got the call to tell him Stars was going to be included that night — and he promptly rushed off, telling his surprised friends ‘I’m going to be on Love Island’.
“I had 20 minutes to make it home and was never as pleased to get my foot in the door as I was on Wednesday night,” he said.
“I managed to tell my family and friends in time. We sat around the TV watching Love Island and when Stars came on, I couldn’t quite believe it.
“The whole thing was surreal. I was nearly crying with excitement. My aunts were FaceTiming me and my phone stared to blow up, with loads of people messaging and ringing me.”
Odhran said he was particularly pleased to hear Stars used in a romantic interaction between one of the couples, Gemma and Luca, as it had been written as a love song.
“The song is about two people who are at the other side of the world from each other, but no matter where they are, they can both see the stars when they look up,” he said.
“I love the musical The Greatest Showman and the song was inspired by the music in that.
“When I wrote it, that’s what I was thinking of, not Love Island, but once the series started, I did think it would be a good fit.
“I just didn’t imagine that this would happen.”
Odhran, who plays the Indiependence Festival in Cork later this month before heading back into the studio to write and record, has amassed over 350,000 likes on TikTok and a loyal following of fans. But his Love Island association is set to bring him many more.
“The feedback has been crazy. So many people have been going onto Shazam to find who I am,” he said.
“I wanted to get my music out to a wider audience, and I couldn’t have asked for a better platform.”
Odhran Murphy will be appearing at the Belfast Telegraph “Music Against Homelessness” show in the Europa hotel on 10th September. Tickets are priced at £15 and are available from Ticketmaster.