Daithí Ó Drónaí

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Daithí Ó Drónaí
Born (1990-03-16) 16 March 1990 (age 28)
Origin Ballyvaughan, County Clare, Ireland
Genres Electronic, house
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar, bass guitar, fiddle
Labels Independent
Website www.daithi.ie

Daithí Ó Drónaí[1] (born 16 March 1990) is an Irish musician and producer, best known for producing electronic music inspired by Irish culture under the artist name "Daithi". Daithi has developed a successful music career in Ireland, releasing an album with Sony Music Entertainment and independently releasing a range of E.P.s. Two of his singles, "Chameleon Life" and "Mary Keanes Introduction" were nominated for the Choice Music Prize.[2]

Daithi is well known for his unique approach to live electronic music.[3] His live performances are House music based, and use Synthesizers, the computer programme Ableton Live and a synthesised Fiddle. The performance is improvised, with each "track" being broken up into small loops and mixed together differently at each show.[3] His live show has been toured around Europe, and is a mainstay at festivals in Ireland. Daithi has supported international acts such as Disclosure (band), DJ Shadow, The xx, Santigold, Macklemore and Duke Dumont.[4]

In 2015, Daithi released a single called "Mary Keanes Introduction" a track which went viral in Ireland.[5] The track featured Daithi's 90 year old grandmother at the start of the track, talking about how she met her husband. The track stayed at no1 in the Spotify Irish viral charts for 6 weeks, was featured in NME[6] and received extensive radio play in Ireland. The track was considered the beginning of a change of direction for Daithi, moving from Pop music to Electronic dance music inspired by Irish culture and the west of Ireland.[7]

Early life[edit]

Ó Drónaí was taught the traditional fiddle by his family whilst growing up in Ballyvaughan, County Clare.[8] His Family, the Droney family, has a strong tradition of Traditional Irish music; his Grandfather is a well known concertina player, Chris Droney [1] .In his teenage years, he progressed to playing the bass guitar for local bands in North Clare.

Daithi attended boarding school Rockwell College in Tipperary. While he didn't particularly enjoy the sports focused school, it was here that he learned how to write music.

“I went through a hibernation period of two years just doing study, school and music. That’s where I learned how to write songs. I hated boarding school, but while I was there, I learned how to write music so it wasn’t all bad.”[9]

Daithi went to university at Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, studying Journalism and the Media.[9] While in his first year in College he began experimenting with the fiddle and a loop station, a type of Guitar pedal that loops sounds on top of each other. During his first year at college, Ó Dronaí auditioned for the first series of The All Ireland Talent Show. Using the loop station and the fiddle, He was selected to represent the West and was mentored by namesake Dáithí Ó Sé.,[10] and went on to perform in the Final of the show.[10] A year later Daithi appeared in the audition phases of Sky 1's Must Be The Music, gaining three yes votes from the judges. He later was chosen as one of the 15 Semi-finalists, and his tracks became be available to download on Sky Music. He became the first of two acts to reach the final of the show, and his track "Carraroe" reached number 6 in the UK Indie singles chart on the same night.[11] The final of the show took place in Wembley Arena, where Daithí performed to a 10,000 capacity crowd.

Embrace (E.P.) (2011)[edit]

Embrace was Daithi's first official music release. The E.P was recorded in Galway at the Forge Studios in Galway, and produced by David Phelan. The EP is focused on looped live fiddle over strong percussive beats.[12]

The lead single Sleep Like A Stone was premiered on Nialler9,[13] and featured a video from Feel Good Lost. The video was the first music video produced by Feel good Lost, who went on to produce the video for Hozier's Take Me to Church.

Following the release of the EP, Daithi began playing live shows across the country, including his first performances at Electric Picnic, Body & Soul Music Festival, and Castle Palooza.

In Flight (Album) (2014)[edit]

At the start of 2012 Daithi was approached by Sony Music Ireland, and signed a development and record deal with the company. Daithi began working with David Kitt, learning song writing and structure. He then went on to work with Ian Ring, a producer from cork band Young Wonder. Ian began teaching Daithi production skills, and the pair went on to record several songs for Daithi's debut album. During the process, Daithi developed an interest in pop music, which became the focus for In Flight.

"I started working on the idea of making tunes which would sound amazing on radio. Myself and Ian even made up these rules: three minutes or under, get to the chorus as fast as possible, a tiny intro. Certain chord structures work really well on the radio. When we started writing, we came up with these amazing songs.”[9]

The album was well received in Ireland and the Uk. The Irish times gave the album 4 stars in their review, and said "It’s one radio-friendly, dancefloor-teasing nugget after another, an album of superbly sculpted tracks each primed to catch the ear."[14]

Talking about the lead single Chameleon life, The Guardian said the track "has a sophistication that sets it apart from the tsunami of identikit EDM bangers that are out there, riding a wave of euphoria that barely lets up throughout its three and a half minutes.".[15] Chameleon Life went on to be nominated for a choice music prize.[16] Pigeons and Planes stated that the second single Case Closed "is the sort of soulful deep-house that could either capture a dancefloor late in the throes of the night or soundtrack more personal (albeit beat-driven) moments, intelligent house music that employs pop structure and good writing (usual themes of love, relationships gone wrong, and striving on through it all abound) to complement a warm groove."[17]

Tribes E.P. (2016)[edit]

Following the release of In Flight, Daithi parted ways with Sony music to pursue a change of direction. Moving from Pop production, Daithi wanted to write music more focused on Irish culture and the west of Ireland.

“I recorded an album two years ago which was a real pop album so when I went back into writing again I decided I wanted to work on something a bit more personal and take a bit more influence and inspiration from around where I am. It felt like a really good time to use this inspiration and explore what it like to live in Galway and Clare for so long."[18]

The E.P was very well received in Ireland. The first single Mary Keanes Introduction went viral, and charted at no1 on the Spotify Viral charts for 6 weeks. The track was nominated for a choice music prize.[19] State.ie said "Love's on top", the second single featuring Sinead White, was "A force of emotive, charming composition, White’s soaring tones pair wonderfully atop Daithi’s unique spin on electronica."


  1. ^ "The Shackletons – Indie / Punk / Ska Band". Unsigned.com. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Daithi, Choice Music Prize 2016-3". 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  3. ^ a b "Daithi – Button Factory, Dublin". 2014-04-25. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  4. ^ "Daithi on Breaking Tunes". www.breakingtunes.com. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  5. ^ "Song featuring the memories of a 90-year-old Irish granny goes viral". 2016-07-13. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  6. ^ NME.COM. "Irish artist Daithi turns an interview with his granny into a subtle dance track | NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  7. ^ "How Daithí uses Ireland — District". districtmagazine.ie. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  8. ^ "Daithi brings his fiddle to Tralee venue". The Kerryman. 4 November 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  9. ^ a b c "Daithí Ó Drónaí: next stop, pop". Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  10. ^ a b "Daithí makes All-Ireland Talent Show final". RTÉ. 9 February 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2009. 
  11. ^ "Pepper & Piano, Daithi win 'MBTM' semi – Must Be The Music News – Reality TV – Digital Spy". Digitalspy.ie. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Daithi Ó Dronaí launches his debut EP tomorrow". Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  13. ^ "Video: Daithí - 'Sleep Like A Stone' • Nialler9". 2011-02-16. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  14. ^ "Daithí: In Flight". Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  15. ^ Cragg, Michael (2013-05-29). "Daithí – Chameleon Life feat Raye: New music". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  16. ^ "Nominees Announced for Meteor Choice Music Prize - Irish Song of the Year". www.imro.ie. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  17. ^ "Video: Daithí ft. Senita - "Case Closed"". Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  18. ^ "Listen to your Elders". The Clare People. Retrieved 2016-08-31. 
  19. ^ "The 10 nominees for the Choice Music Prize Irish Song of the Year". JOE.ie. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 

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