Local singer/songwriter Ben Kelly, who rose to fame following his performance on the first season of BBC singing show ‘The Voice’, has released his first record.
Entitled ‘Home’, the single is a tribute to Derry, and the accompanying video showcases the city both today, and in times past.
Produced by another Derry musical legend, Peter Cunnah of D:Ream, the single has been released on Walled City Records, a new label set up by Oran O’Carroll and Damian McGinty of Glee fame.
Almost 18 months in the making, the single is, for Ben, his contribution towards next year’s City of Culture celebrations.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday he said: “I have always felt that the City of Culture year shouldn’t just be this expectation of ‘What are we getting?’; instead it should be ‘What can I contribute?’
“I wrote this song almost 18 months ago, so it’s been a long time in the making, but I’m delighted that it has been released just before Christmas. “For me, it’s always Christmas that makes me yearn for home, and it’s great to have this single out there ahead of 2013.
“I’m hoping that the song will hit home with a lot of people.”
With Peter Cunnah producing his work, Ben has the cream of the city’s musical talent backing his work.
“It was great to work with Peter, we work very naturally together, and we will continue to work together as I produce my first album.”
Now that the single is out there and the video has been watched some 2000 times in just 24 hours, Ben is looking ahead to next week’s gig at the Nerve Centre, where he will share the stage with Damian McGinty, in a long-awited homecoming.
Preparing for the gig, the two performers have been chatting on Skype and Ben says they both have a “clear idea” of how the gig will go.
With Damian firmly behind Ben and his music, he cannot deny that it helps with publicity.
He said: “It’s what I call the ‘Damian effect’. As soon as Damian tweets a story or a link his fanbase are all over it. You can’t ask for better exposure than that!”
Meanwhile, the pair will be out and about in the city next week, promoting their gig and there’s no doubt that the audience will be hoping for a duet as they both take to the same stage.
“I’m sure there’s something we can do,” joked Ben.
‘Home’ is available to download now on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. The video is available on YouTube.
Tickets for next week’s gig are still available to purchase from the Nerve Centre box office or online at www.wegottickets.com