RISING STAR: Eoghan Colgan

Winner of the O2 Undiscovered award on leaving medicine for a career in music. Click Play Audio to listen to current single, 'Dream Satellite'

Having graduated from Queen's University, you worked for 11 years as a doctor. What made you decide to take up music full time?
I just can't shake my love of performing. I don't want to have any regrets in the future about not at least trying to have some success in the industry. As much as I love medicine I need to give this career a chance and it was too hard to do the two together.

In 2007 you won the 02 Undiscovered award. Was that a turning point for you?
Definitely. Medicine is a hard career to leave. I think the O2 Undiscovered was the little bit of recognition I needed. It was judged by a panel of industry experts in London so it was confirmation that maybe I have what it takes to succeed. Certainly worth giving it a go anyways.

How would you describe your sound?
I try to mix it up as much as I can. Everything from acoustic emotional songs about love and loss through to good decent rock and roll. Our new single is a fast pop number. I tell people it's pretty inoffensive. Vocally I've been compared to Jeff Buckley as I sing quite high at times.

You work out of Glasgow. Is Scotland more amenable to you as an artist?
When I left Northern Ireland the music scene here wasn't as developed as Glasgow. My sister also lived in Glasgow which was another reason for the move. Scottish audiences have been amazing. Its taken a few years but we've built up a really loyal fan base in Glasgow. But the Northern Irish scene is really booming now and its a very exciting time here for musicians.

You hail from Newcastle, hometown of global rockers, The Answer. Is there something in the air down there?
Yeah, I'm not sure what it is. The lead singer Cormac Neeson was a couple of years behind me at school, I think. There's a good local music scene in Newcastle and the success of Ash (from nearby
Downpatrick) probably helped inspire everyone in the area.

You've played glitzy London events like the Q Awards and the Grazia Magazine Awards alongside big name acts like Manic Street Preachers. As a relative unknown, how did you find those experiences? Was it all champagne and celebrities, or nerve wracking beyond belief?
I was probably less nervous for those gigs than any I have done in the past. I guess we didn't feel out of place in that company. Maybe that sounds conceited but I've been doing this a long time and it just felt good to be finally getting some recognition. It was certainly quite surreal at times mingling with celebs, but we loved every minute of it.

Where/how can people get their hands on your music?
The new single ('Dream Satellite') will be available on itunes from April 20. There are some other singles and EPs also on there too. My websites also has various links for buying material - www.eoghancolgan.com / www.myspace.com/eoghancolgan.

What’s the next step in your plan for global domination?
We're speaking to some major record companies at the moment and we're getting some great feedback from everyone about the new single. We'll wait and see if any decent offers come from this tour and single release. Otherwise we'll be back with a new single and album before the end of the year on my own label, Eject Records.

What advice have you received that has helped you most as an artist?
When I won O2 Undiscovered one of the judges advised me that a lot of people will promise you things but never deliver. It's easy to get swept up in promises and golden carrots dangled in front of you. Best advice is to ignore it all and just go out and make it happen for yourself. If you're good enough and its meant to be then the right things will happen for you. Don't sit back and wait for it to fall in your lap. 

Eoghan Colgan plays the Empire Music Hall in Belfast on April 5.

Lee Henry