Drumsurn singer Rachael O’Connor has come a long way since she burst onto television screens throughout the UK on the talent show The Voice.
The teenager has been keeping star company after signing with ‘A&P Artist Management’, the same company as ex-Girls Aloud star, Derry lass Nadine Coyle. Not long after signing with the company, the former Limavady Grammar School student landed the gig with Riverdance king, Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley and his new show Dangerous Games, with the teen winning rave reviews for her exquisite solo performances. The 18-year-old has performed in the West End at the London Palladium and has enjoyed a whirlwind European tour and currently throughout the UK.
Back home for a few days, the County Derry singer-songwriter told the ‘Journal’ of her incredible journey since she dazzled the judges on the TV talent show.
“Life has changed incredibly!” said Rachael. “I’ve never been in so many airports or hotels in my life! I’ve met so many new people from all over the world and I’m seeing countries that I’d have never thought I would get to see!”
While Rachael’s days are a far cry from the times back home she happily performed at local charity events in Limavady, and the Derry Scor at Drumsurn some years back, she is doing the one thing she loves the most.
“I’m performing every night to a couple thousand and I get to call this my job,” she said. “I feel like anything is possible now if I keep working hard and stay focused.”
The daughter of Shona and Eddie O’Connor, Rachael said it is her parents, family and friends back home in the Roe Valley which keep her grounded.
“Fortunately, I have an amazing family who will always keep me right,” she said, explaining she still can’t believe how life has changed since The Voice.
“Although I have dreamed of singing and performing since I can remember, I honestly never expected any of this to happen for me! I feel so lucky and I could not be any more grateful,” she said. “It’s like a job in a way, but obviously the easiest and funnest job ever.”
However, Rachael isn’t taking anything for granted and knows success means hard work. She has her sights set on signing with a record label, and becoming a successful singer-songwriter.
“Me and my management team are working towards that but, for the next few months I’m going to be touring with Lord of The Dance, and there are a few countries I am very excited to see. Because the majority of the shows are at night, I have most of the day free to work on my songwriting and meeting up with songwriters on my days off. Things are going great and I’m excited for what’s to come, although I’ve been told so many times to be patient as it will all take time,” she said. Soaking every minute of home comforts back in Drumsurn, Rachael admits she misses lots of things about home, in particular “my mummy’s homemade dinners and fabulous cleaning skills...!”
Rachael is a huge fan of social media with accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Her more than 21,000 followers on Twitter get to see Rachael almost every day with photos she posts, get to hear her sing in clips she posts.
“Like every teenager, I love social media and spend every minute of the day on my phone! I don’t think I know anyone who doesn’t have at least one social media account, which is great because I can use it to promote myself as a person and performer, and get my name out there. I like to keep everyone updated on what I’m doing and what country I’m in, so I post a lot of photos and fun videos of me singing,” she said.
For others out there looking to get ahead in the showbiz industry, Rachael has this advice.
“Don’t overthink it and just go for it, and teach yourself not to care about what others think of you because it will always hold you back,” she said.
As for her most memorable career to date?
“I think it has to be my first performance on the West End. I was on stage with Michael Flatley and had my mummy and daddy watching in the audience. I can’t even describe the buzz I got from it. It was insane!”
Keep up to date with rachael on Facebook like page: Rachael O’Connor , on Twitter and Instagram @_RachOC and on Youtube Channel at Rachael O’Connor.