Chanele sings her way to national title

Charlene McGuinness

Charlene McGuinness

A 21-year-old singer songwriter has wowed some of the best names in the business to win a national contest.

Chanele McGuinness from Ballyshannon was one of three finalists chosen from more than 550 entrants to sing live on The John Murray Show Thursday morning on RTE Radio 1.

The panel of judges included singer Jerry Fish, former Pogues bass player Cait O’Riordain and Caroline Henry from The Saturday Night Show.

She so impressed the judges with her performance of one of her own songs, Numb, that Jerry Fish invited her to play at Electric Picnic. He commented: “It was an absolutely stunning peformance. I’ve fallen in love with Chanele’s music.”

Chanele told the Democrat she’s over the moon at the win. “It’s an absolute dream.

“I don’t normally enter contests but the John Murray show has always been really great for supporting up and coming singers, songwriters and musicians. And the prize is brilliant - not just a once off thing but a weekend in a recording studio, singing live on The Saturday Night Show and some great exposure.”

Astonishingly, Chanele is relatively inexperienced when it comes to performing live on her own. After attending Colaiste Cholmcille in Ballyshannon, she jetted off to California to tour the world with Young Americans, a non-profit organisation.

“We would do group gigs but I haven’t done much on my own, just me and my guitar.

“I’ve mainly been writing away, for my first EP, Untold, which came out last year, and for a new EP I’m working on. I’ve also been busking on Grafton Street, and playing a few small gigs since I came back home.”

Judging from her performance yesterday, she won’t be doing small gigs for much longer: bigger and better things look to be in store.

Tune in to The Saturday Show at 9.50pm Saturday night on RTÉ One to watch her perform. Or click hereto watch her on youtube.




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