In Conversation with Aine Deane

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Áine Deane, she is an extremely talented singer-songwriter who has already showcased her talents online as well as on stage, opening for the likes of James Bay, Henry Moodie and Sam Smith. She gained popularity by posting TikToks in her bedroom of her relatable songs derived from her personal life. 

My first question and also maybe the most important question – What’s your favourite cereal? 

Picking a solid choice in her breakfast food opinions, here’s what the artist had to say: “I don’t eat cereal very often, but the Special K with the freeze-dried berries in it – you know that one? I’d say that’s my favourite.” 

Congratulating Áine on her Bookstore Tour, I wondered how the idea came about and why she wanted to follow through with it. “I do pride myself on it! I did think of it myself and it’s really nice to be able to chat with every person that comes along, answer their questions, and be able to play things that people want to hear that I wouldn’t usually play. If you can do something that allows fans to have a much better experience, I don’t see why you shouldn’t do it. Headline shows are so fun, but as a fan, you have to like gigs and be okay with being in a crowd to want to go to a headline show. I feel like these [Bookstore Tour shows] are more accessible for all ages and all types of people.” 

Mentioning how I enjoyed that the intimate shows took place in the late afternoon over the course of three weekends, Deane discloses why she decided to do so.

“I get so worried about the girlies going home, especially now that it gets dark so early, also it means that i get to go back to London and get to bed at a reasonable time” the singer-songwriter tells me. “I think it’s so fun and so nice to be able to share the stories behind the writing process and play unreleased songs and covers that I wouldn’t normally get to play.”

“I didn’t have to do an upbeat cover to hype the crowd up a bit. I’d never play this town [Niall Horan] at a headline show, but I love it so to get to play it for a smaller crowd at the Bookstore shows has been so amazing. Everyone has been so nice – people have even brought their little sisters or their kids and it’s been the most wholesome thing ever.” 

At the shows, along with her merch, the tote bags all had handmade friendship bracelets attached to them, graciously made by Áine along with the help of her friends. Áine’s mum was the one on the merch tables, trying to help everyone get the bracelet that they wanted. (side note: she was so lovely and welcoming and it added to the experience of a cosy intimate evening that had an ounce of feeling like it was at an artificially produced event)

If you know the artist, it’s no surprise that she has an extremely loyal fanbase, so I had to ask her how she felt about being so supported by such a loving community.

“I feel weird calling it a fan base, I feel like we’re all just mates. Some people came to all of the London shows and some of the girlies had matching outfits.”

”It feels really weird that people who I don’t know personally are invested in me and my music and that is a really special thing. I don’t know what I did in a past life to deserve that, but it feels incredibly special and I don’t know why anyone would be a fan – like, thanks to all the people that are, I love you but it’s so crazy!” 

I briefly mentioned that personally as a fan, I unfortunately haven’t been able to make it to many of Áine’s performances, due to them mainly being London-based. We discussed why it was important for her to make sure that there were multiple cities included on her Bookstore Tour. “I’ve never done anything in Manchester apart from being a support act [to Henry Moodie], so to get to meet people that haven’t been able to make the trek down to London, and also in Leeds, is really cool.”

Intrigued by how her catchy songs are created, I was fascinated by how the essence of a song comes about and what the creative process looks like.

“It looks chaotic! I like to write songs that are pretty true to the story which means that there has to be a story. I’m constantly looking at ways to screw my life up a little bit all in the name of music. Usually, a line or concept will spring to mind before I fall asleep or when I’m on the tube or something like that, and I’ll write it down in my notes app. Then I’ll come back to it tomorrow or the next day, when I’ll figure out what I want to say or how I’ll say it and get other people involved,” the singer details, laughing about the recollection of her life experiences becoming the plot of her most popular tunes.

”I love writing with other people and getting producers in the room, especially when you’re writing a song because they get really into what you want it to sound like. I’m terrible at describing what I want something to sound like. I’ll just say, ‘can you make that sound a bit more sparkly’.”

It starts chaotically, then it mellows out and the song ends up being written a while after the concept is created. I’ll sometimes leave the studio and completely rewrite the bridge or the verse and not tell anyone. Then, I’ll show up like this is what we’re doing now. Sometimes that doesn’t happen, like David’s Song (an unreleased song debuted at her Bookstore Tour), which was written the day after something annoying had happened.” 

After watching her busy life on social media, I thought it would be the perfect time to ask the artist what she does to destress and wind down from her hectic schedule. 

“At the moment, as you know I watch Strictly Come Dancing and drink a lot of tea,” she reports, as nobody at the Bookstore Tour gave any spoilers as to what had happened on the TV show if she hadn’t caught up with the latest episode. “I love going out to dinner with my friends. It always makes me feel really happy when me and the girls are just sat around a table chatting shit about everything. It’s so much fun. Or, I just rot on my sofa and watch crappy rom-coms.”

Being known for her love of Aperol Spritz as well as a good cup of tea, I had to ask which of the two she would pick in a life-or-death situation: “This isn’t fair! My two favourite forms of liquid and you’re making me choose between them! I’m gonna have to pick tea because I do drink it every day, but, I would be sad for the rest of my life.” 

Performing at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, I was curious as to whether there was a venue in particular that Áine would love to play. “Personally it would be the Cambridge Corn Exchange. I grew up in Cambridge and did musical theatre shows there. It’s a really special venue to me, and I think if I played there I’d be like ‘yeah I’ve made it now’.”

“For the slightly more delusional ones, I’d love to play Glastonbury. If that ever happens I’ll die. If I were being even more delusional, it would be the pyramid stage at Glastonbury; I’d stand at the entrance and just play for people if they’d let me to be honest. Also, Red Rocks in America -that’d be bloody cool. When I first moved to London, my dream venue to play was Omera and I got to do that, so that was really special.” 

Following up with that, we got to talking about what gigs have been the best experiences to attend.

“Coldplay at Wembley – that was a life-changing concert. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience, it was incredible. I went to see Ed Sheeran at the Electric Ballroom last year, so that was cool also. I queued for like two-and-a-half hours and was two rows from the front. So to get to see him at such a small venue anyway, but to be so close to him, was amazing. And, ohh my god, how could I forget One Direction?!”

After discussing our love for the 1D boys and having figured out her dream venue and favourite gig, it’d be rude of me to not ask her who she would have as her dream collaborator. “I have to say Ed Sheeran because he’s the reason I make music. But if I wasn’t going for the obvious, I’d love someone like Noah Kahan or Lizzy McAlpine. Obviously, Taylor Swift, but that’s very delusional too.” Witnessing Áine performing a cover of Stick Season by Noah Kahan, I can firmly say that it is hands down the best cover versions of the song that I’ve heard. “I love playing that one live. Everyone just gets on board with it, it’s so fun.” 

Given her fashion choices of various dungarees, I thought it would be fitting to ask what her favourite item of clothing is and I was met with a response that really did not warrant the question in the first place. You guessed it, her dungarees! She then followed up by saying, ”My original first pair of dungarees from Depop… they were vintage Calvin Klein and they started it all for me. But, I also just got a new pair of jeans from Glassworks and they’re really comfy. I’ve never had a pair of jeans that I love so much, so at the moment it’s these” she reveals. “I’ve finally found a pair of jeans that I can wear at home and I’m not gasping to put on my pyjamas. They’re actually so comfy.” 

To end our little chat, we discussed how Áine’s following has grown and how her fans discover her.

“I’ve thought a lot into this. I think a lot of people come from TikTok and social media, but more at the start of all of this when TikTok was used to find musicians and things. There are so many people on TikTok now, but occasionally you find the odd hidden gem.” Deane expresses, “I think how people find me the most at the moment is through supporting other artists on their tours.”

“Lots of people have found me through Henry Moodie, New Rules and Hozier so that’s cool because live music is such a passion for me that if people see me live and want to listen and follow along with the journey, it’s really special that they thought I was good enough to get invested. That’s the whole point of support acts and that is why I love supporting other artists. You get to tap into their fanbase and see if they like you. If they don’t, it’s not a big deal but if they do, its really special because they didn’t pay to see you. They don’t really care about seeing you but you’ve managed to win them over. Hopefully it’s also word of mouth. I like the idea that people tell their friends about me and their friends like my music.”

I then got to tell Áine that I discovered her and her music through another musician who mentioned her name in passing, which I now am very grateful for that brief interaction that led me to her and now I get to experience her music, whether it be on streaming platforms or her live performances. 

Listen to Áine on Spotify 👇🏼

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