Belfast Telegraph

Five things you need to know about Dermot Kennedy

The rising star has topped the UK album charts with his maiden record.

Dermot Kennedy is celebrating after his debut album, Without Fear, topped the UK charts (Matt Crossick/PA)
Dermot Kennedy is celebrating after his debut album, Without Fear, topped the UK charts (Matt Crossick/PA)

By Keiran Southern, PA

Dermot Kennedy is celebrating after his debut album, Without Fear, topped the UK charts.

The 27-year-old dethroned the Beatles in the process, completing a remarkable rise to the top.

Here are five things you need to know about the Irish star:

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Dermot Kennedy has become the first Irish artist to score a number one with their debut album in almost 20 years (OfficialCharts.com/PA)

He has emulated Ronan Keating

Kennedy has become the first Irish artist to score a chart-topping debut album in nearly 20 years.

Ronan Keating was the last to do it with his solo debut Ronan in July 2000.

Keating’s achievement came off the back of a hugely successful career with Boyzone, making Kennedy’s triumph even more impressive.

He has appeared in the Live Lounge

Kennedy performed a stripped down version of his hit single Outnumbered in Radio 1’s Live Lounge, impressing fans with his raspy voice.

And he won a host of new fans thanks to his mash-up of Taylor Swift and Kanye West songs.

Kennedy put his own twist on their hits Lover and Flashing Lights.

He has worked with one of the biggest producers in hip hop

Revered producer Mike Dean, known for his work with stars including West, 2Pac and Jay-Z, collaborated with Kennedy on an EP in 2018.

The Irishman said being in a hip hop studio environment completely changed how he views his music.

He told the Recording Academy that seeing how Dean and his collaborators were “vibing off it changed my mind and then helped me see it without my ego attached to it — I listened to it as if it was just a piece of music. That was really refreshing”.

He started out busking on the streets of Ireland

Following in the footsteps of Damien Rice and Glen Hansard, Kennedy began his career in music as a 16-year-old on the streets of Dublin, travelling to the city from his home town of Rathcoole.

While not without its challenges – someone once threw a carton of milk at him mid-performance – he credits his experiences on the streets with preparing him for his current success.

He told GQ magazine: “You develop a thick skin busking in terms of not caring and just playing regardless.”

Spotify was instrumental in launching his career

Shortly after putting his first songs on the music streaming service, one got added to the Discover Weekly playlist, which automatically appears on every user’s account each Monday.

The royalties Kennedy earned funded his gigs in the US.

He later emailed the CEO of Spotify and thanked him for the help.

PA

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