Interview : Aine Cahill, Emerging Diva

Aine Cahill has released a new song Blood Diamonds. I first heard her singing Black Dahlia, a startling song which shows Aine isnt afraid to tackle dark subjects.

She has a fantastic voice and is a real artist. Below is an interview I did with her, following her first appearance at Glastonbury in June 2016.

Q. Is your voice trained?

Aine.  No, my voice isn't trained. I've had two singing lessons before but they tried making me sing classical music and that's not what I wanted. So I didn't go back.

Q. How does the cinema inform your songs?

Aine. I get inspired by the stories, the sound tracks, the characters, etc. I want my songs to be like mini films, I try to tell a story, I want you to get lost in my music like I get lost in a film while watching it.
One of my songs is called The Pictures, which is about escapism and how going to the cinema or watching a film in general can take you away to another place.

Q. The Black Dahlia case (about the killing of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short in the late '40s in Hollywood) was gruesome and very disturbing. You had no qualms about using the story of Elizabeth Short as subject matter?

Aine. No not really, I like to write about things that are different or dark. I was just really drawn to the name 'Black Dahlia'. It stood out to me straight away. I found out about it while watching American Horror Story, then I looked up the actual story.
In a way I feel like Elizabeth Short, I can relate to elements of her story. They say she was an aspiring actress following her dreams. Like I am an aspiring singer/songwriter following mine. She was also very close to my age as well.
I'm not talking literally about Elizabeth in the song, I think 'Black Dahlia' is a metaphor for my career, how things could possible end at any moment.

Q. Marilyn Monroe wasn't actually famous at that time, but she probably was in a similar position to Short, chasing fame. Was using her name in the song, poetic licence for you?

Aine. Yes, I think in 1947 Marilyn's first contract with Twentieth Century Fox was finished and didn't get renewed. As I said, I'm not talking about Elizabeth Short in a literal sense, just using her story to tell a new one if you like.
I'm very heavily inspired by Marilyn, a lot of my early songs have some link to her, 'Hollywood', 'Pin-Up Queen' and mainly 'White Piano'.

Q. How do you write your songs? What is the process?

Aine.  I usually start with a title, like 'Black Dahlia'. Or I remember sitting scrolling on Instagram and 'Paper Crown' appeared in a picture then I wrote the song.

I write lyrics and melody at the same time, structure will come some times when I have all the parts written then I'll rearrange it to what sounds best. I work on piano, and chose a chord progression that I like, or something that I think fits into the mood of the song.

Q. Who are your favourite songwiters/musicians?

Aine. I'm really into a lot of people at the moment so I'll just list them off, these are people I could listen to on repeat for daaays: Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Marina and The Diamonds, Melanie Martinez, Halsey, Michael Jackson, St. Vincent, Florence and The Machine, Lorde and Hozier.

(Image: Natalua Marzec)

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