Exposure: Esther O’Connor
Esther O’Connor - Saturday Man
‘I was brought up in a musical and artistic family where to want to do music as a profession was perfectly normal,’ says singer-songwriter Esther O’Connor.
Fusing her gorgeous vocals to instantly hummable folk and country-inspired melodies, her music’s memorably been described as ‘Neil Young meets Beyonce round at Joni Mitchell’s house’.
‘I’ve been involved in the music business in one way or another my entire life, and it's where I feel most at home to work and earn a living.’ She says her influences go back decades, explaining: ‘Being influenced by the great singer songwriters from the 60s and 70s, there is a retro feel to my music. I love people that use music to connect and tell stories, and some of my favourites are Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Carol King. I'm also inspired by soulful country blues music, people like Bonnie Rait, Foy Vance, John Martyn and The Fortunate Sons.’
She has been attracting plenty of acclaim in the process, with Paolo Nutini covering one of her songs (‘Running On Empty’) on his US tour, and she also runs her own record label, Redhed Records. Establishing it in 2006, Esther feels it gives her more freedom than being signed to a major as she has in the past – and its name is a nod to her hair colour (‘being a redhead rocks and it’s excuse to break things in a temper I reckon’ she says - quite rightly).
‘I run Redhed Records with Jamie Duffin and Tim O'Connor and we are releasing my second album 'Right Here' in November this year. Things are changing in the music business so fast that being independent keeps you light footed. I am passionate about the organic music scene in Glasgow and across the U.K, and the power music has to communicate and inspire.'
Esther O’Connor plays Brel, Glasgow, Wed 29 Oct.