A young Co Armagh musician is being tipped for stardom after winning an online singing competition run by Irish chart-topping pop star Dermot Kennedy.
Odhran Murphy (21), from Crossmaglen, beat dozens of hopefuls taking part in Kennedy's #betweenmeandparadise challenge, to walk away with a signed guitar and words of encouragement from the Dublin singer-songwriter about a bright future ahead.
Kennedy, a Brit Awards nominee whose debut album Without Fear has just sold one million copies and is currently number one in the Official Irish Albums Chart, had thrown down the gauntlet to budding pop stars to post a cover version of his hit single Paradise on social media.
And classroom assistant Odhran, whose own online performances were already starting to go viral and garner widespread attention, was the one who caught Kennedy's attention - and won the acoustic guitar.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, a delighted Odhran said he initially thought his friends were playing a prank on him when he saw Kennedy's congratulatory post on his Instagram page.
"I'm a huge fan of Dermot Kennedy's and I've seen him play a few times in Dublin so when I saw he had organised this competition, I decided to try my luck," he explained.
"He asked us to post a cover of his dance track Paradise with producers Medusa online, which I did. We had to use the hashtag 'betweenmeandparadise', and then he picked the winner.
"I posted my cover around 11pm but loads of people were entering so I thought nothing of it. I went off to bed and the next morning my mum asked me if there was any news.
"I couldn't believe it when I looked at my Instagram. My performance had received around 13,000 views overnight and Dermot had posted that he loved my cover version and that I'd won.
"At first I was convinced it was one of my mates playing a joke on me but then I realised that no, I had actually won."
Kennedy sent Odhran a signed guitar, bearing the words 'To Odhran, wishing you all the best. See you down the road'.
He intends to try out his new guitar when he takes to the stage at Crumlin Road Gaol on May 28 and 29 for his first headline shows.
"So much has happened in the last few months and it's all pretty overwhelming," Odhran said.
"I released a few songs, Older and Ours Tonight, which have been getting a lot of radio airplay, then I did the virtual Cocoons gig with Matt McGinn, which got great feedback and now I'm playing my first ever headline shows in Belfast. I've also just been booked to play a couple of dates at Crumlin Road Gaol in October.
"The first gig I announced for May 29 sold out within 24 hours, which is amazing. I'm still pinching myself."
Odhran said he was 'chuffed' with the words Kennedy had written on his guitar and that he hoped he could perform with his hero some time 'down the road'.
"Who knows what's going to happen. Maybe someday I'll get to perform with him on stage or be his support act. That would be class," he added. "But in the meantime, I'll be sending him an invite to my Belfast shows. Whether he makes it up to Belfast is another matter, but I'd absolutely love to have him there."
Limited tickets are still available for Odhran's May 28 gig at Crumlin Road Gaol. Tickets via www.ticketsource.co.uk