In the modern age, the way in which artists are being discovered is ever-changing with the introduction of platforms such as Soundcloud, amongst others leading to the unearthing of hot, new talent. But for this individual, it all began when uploading her covers to YouTube and now the rise of Northern Irish Country singer-songwriter Catherine McGrath is gathering serious momentum.

The 19 year old sensation for a long while has been infatuated on hauling the sounds of Nashville to the UK and making them her own and is destined for a possibly career defining appearance at The Great Escape next month. The festival is known for producing undeniable success stories, the likes of which other festivals across Europe cannot hold claim to. Brighton, it’s setting, seems to fuel attraction too and like many others McGrath cannot wait to play at one of the UK’s most charming seaside towns. It was not long ago that ‘open mic’ nights were the norm for the teenager, now it’s festivals, playing iconic interviews and record deals. However, not fazed by her transition into the limelight, GIGsoup’s Ben Bowman caught up with her before heading down to Brighton in May and it’s fair to say that McGrath doesn’t shy away from her excitement in the slightest.

How does it feel to be playing The Great Escape?

I’m so excited to be playing The Great Escape! I haven’t played a lot of festivals before so I can’t wait, and I can’t wait to be in Brighton cause it’s so pretty there!

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What do you know about the festival?

I hadn’t heard of The Great Escape until this year but once I did and looked it up I got so excited! I went to Brighton for the first time last year and thought it was one of the cutest places ever so to be there while this festival is on is going to be so much fun, I can’t wait!

What can we expect from your set at The Great Escape?

I’ll be playing songs I’ve released but also some that aren’t out yet. One of my favourite songs I’ve written isn’t out yet so I like singing it live to see how people respond, it’s called ‘Wild’.

What do you know about the other acts playing this year and who would you like to check out?

I’m really excited that Picture This will be playing! They’re Irish too and I’m going to be joining them on their tour soon so it’s cool that we’re both playing Great Escape this year!

What is the best thing about Brighton? / Have you been to Brighton before?

I went to Brighton last summer and it’s hard to pick one best thing about it but I loved walking around into random little shops there, and walking along Brighton pier in the sun!

What were you doing this time last year?

This time last year I was still writing songs and playing shows but I hadn’t signed my record deal yet and I was playing open mics, it’s so weird to be a year on and get to be playing festivals and having a bunch of songs that I really love, I’m so excited to see where the next year goes.

When you go to the Beach what can you not go without? Sunglasses, Pennies for the slot machines? A Ball of some sort?

Money for Ice cream… Ice cream makes trips to the beach so much better! And having a camera so I can capture the moment of course…

What is the best seaside holiday you’ve been on?

Almost every year me and my family take a trip to Donegal in Ireland and camp beside the beach. There’s no particular year I can think was the best but doing that every year is definitely my favourite seaside holiday. It’s such a pretty part of Ireland and it’s nice to have the whole family together for the week.

What’s your favourite thing to get from the Ice Cream Van?

Either vanilla Ice Cream with a flake or an Orange calippo Ice Lolly, they are SOOO good!

What are your plans for the rest of the Summer?

I’ll be playing loads of festivals this year which will be fun and hopefully will have a week or two at home with my family. I also plan on working on a little tan and eating ice cream all day!

If you want to delve deeper into the story behind Catherine McGrath’s journey, ‘Going Home’ is a short film about growing up with her family in Northern Ireland.

Including her appearance at The Great Escape, McGrath has announced a whole host of live dates for this Summer which you can check out below.

MAY

Thu 11th – Under The Bridge, London (supporting Kelsea Ballerini)

Mon 15th – Bush Hall, London (supporting Una Healy)

Thu 18th – Electric Ballroom, London (supporting Picture This)

Sat 20th – The Great Escape Festival, Brighton

Tue 23rd – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham (supporting Picture This)

Wed 24th – Oran Mor, Glasgow (supporting Picture This)

Tue 30th – Olympia Theatre, Dublin (supporting Picture This)

Wed 31st – Olympia Theatre, Dublin (supporting Picture This)

JUNE

Fri 2nd – Olympia Theatre, Dublin (supporting Picture This)

Sat 3rd – Olympia Theatre, Dublin (supporting Picture This)

Sun 4th – Olympia Theatre, Dublin (supporting Picture This)

Wed 7th – The Waterfront, Belfast (supporting Picture This)

Fri 9th – Marquee, Cork (supporting Picture This)

Sat 10th – Marquee, Cork (supporting Picture This)

This is your daily reminder that tickets are selling fast for The Great Escape. For more information on tickets and for the full lineup,  click the picture below.

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