Limerick's 'Slim Shady' goes viral
A talented young rapper from Limerick has become a global internet sensation after racking up an incredible seven million hits on YouTube.
Jack Daniel Lynch - or MC Lynchy as he is known to his legion of online followers - has been nurturing his unique form of freestyling ever since his father came home with a club mix CD when he was just nine years old.
Now aged 18, the young man who is being described as Limerick's own 'Slim Shady' has become a web celebrity after his latest lyrical performance - surrounded by school friends at a bus stop - went viral. The down-to-earth youngster, who has attracted a staggering 22 million on Facebook and is packing out teenage discos, said he is "overwhelmed" by the response to something which started as a hobby in his bedroom.
He told the Sunday Independent: "I fell in love with a single called 'Bounce' that my dad had on a CD and started listening to it over and over, and watching tutorials on YouTube about how to MC. My friend in school had a recording mic and we started uploading videos and suddenly the whole thing blew up. It just went viral."
In the 60s age of counter-culture, pirate radio stations paved the way for new artists and unknown bands, cutting out big record companies and allowing them the freedom to reach a bigger audience. Now artists such as MC Lynchy are similarly cutting out the middle-man via sites such as MySpace, YouTube, and Spotify. Niall Haribson, the co-founder of digital media agency Simply Zesty, says record companies need to take note.
"I don't even think kids are that bothered about recording contracts anymore," he said. "The idea of going on programmes like The Voice to get discovered - those days are gone. They don't need it to get the recognition. People are discovering and sharing artists among themselves and they are ahead of the record companies now. This guy has sold out halls across Ireland now and he is making good money for a kid in school."
He added: "The record companies should watch these trends. The Original Rudeboys is a really good example of how a band was almost forced on people and they haven't really gone anywhere near expected. Music is blowing up organically now, there's no money needed, here you have someone doing something after school and it gets good traction."
Superstar artists originally discovered online include Justin Beiber, Sean Kingston, Soulja Boy and Carley Rae Jepsen. Multi-grammy award winning singer Adele was still in high school in 2006 when a friend posted her demo on MySpace. Now, so voracious is our consumption of music online, established talent such as Beyoncé are releasing internet-only albums.
Meanwhile, back in Limerick, MC Lynchy, who is hoping to get into the recording studio over the coming weeks, is freestyling about what he sees in Limerick, where he still attends St Clement's school in the city. "I live in the country and if I started rapping about living out here, I don't think I'd get very far," he laughed.
"But I go to school in the city and I am wise enough to see what goes on there. A lot of people who grow up in the city come across drugs so I have touched on that. But there's the nice side of things that I rap about too. The girls here are fair good-looking."
But unlike the real Slim Shady, MC Lynchy says he avoids anything that would upset his peers. "I don't rap about anything that would offend people," he said.