To walk down Shop Street is to hear the beautiful music of Katie O'Connor. Have a read of the songs that Katie can't go without...
One of Galway's most recognisable buskers, her dulcet tones and beaming smile brighten up even the dullest days in our city. And not just in our beautiful city, Katie has travelled Europe and busked to huge crowds in some of Europe's main cultural hubs. Performing is her passion and she has earned a living from busking, which is no mean feat.
But what kind of music influenced her journey to becoming a busking musician? Here, Katie tells us all about the songs and musicians that influenced her style and her songwriting. So have a read, and a listen, below...
Ani Difranco - Hour Follows Hour
Ani Difranco is one of my biggest influences. All about those LYRICS! Her words are so perfectly put together, her guitar style, heart and attitude played a big part in shaping my own style and having fun in my own musical world of wit and womanhood.
Tracy Chapman - Across The Lines (Live)
Growing up, Tracy Chapmans' self-titled album was the first CD I heard. Funnily enough, with her look and voice I unknowingly misgendered her for a good few years and now I often find myself in the same boat when I'm busking! This song was one of the first ever to really grip me.
Suzanne Vega - Marlene On The Wall (Live)
Vega is a wonderful storyteller and this song with its critical and cynical eye, would have influenced me a little in my song 'Mirrors'.
Fiona Apple - Paper Bag (Live)
Some dark days spent with Fiona Apple. This one in particular had me in a vice. So incredibly talented and truly authentic.
Tegan and Sara - Nineteen
I'm sure these sisters guided a lot of Lgbt+ teenagers to destination: adulthood with minimal emotional scars and the ability to laugh at the tragic, angst-riddled journey it took to get here.
Sia - Breathe Me
Fadó fadó when Sia released this song, it felt like my heartstrings were being tugged and twisted and wrapped around my neck. I love the instrumental arrangement too. Urgh my God! It's gorgeous.
Aimee Mann - Wise Up
This song has travelled with me through a few personal learning curves. Simply hits the nail on the head.
Angus & Julia Stone - Draw Your Sword (Live)
I discovered Angus & Julia Stone when I first came to Galway in 2009 and loved them ever since. They are letting the emotion rip in this song.
Elvis Presley - If I Can Dream
Thanks to my grandfather, I grew up with a massive grá for Elvis. This one I always found really encouraging for the here and now.
Lifehouse - Somewhere In Between (Live)
This is a band that I grew up, away from external expectations and into my own self with. This track is beautiful in acknowledging that we are all on our own little wander and doing our best in the moments we find ourselves in.
Enjoying Katie O'Connor's taste in music? You can hear some original music, along with her recommendations, by checking out the SoundShapes Spotify Playlist HERE. Keep up to date with Katie O'Connor on Facebook or by logging on to her website.
Feature photo by Kathy Walsh