Tuesday 26 September 2017

From 1940s' jazz to Donal Lunny: singer's musical Irish family had that 'X factor'

AT the very start of her new book, Tulisa talks about her Irish connections.

"Looking back, I suppose it's no real surprise that I ended up where I am -- in the music industry. Both my parents came from a strong musical background. My mum, Anne Byrne, was raised in Churchtown, a suburb on the southside of Dublin, in a large family of seven children -- three brothers and four sisters -- and they were all musical."

Tulisa says two of her uncles were Brian and Mick Byrne who, with Donal Lunny, made up the 1960s' pop folk group Emmet Spiceland and had a huge hit with 'Mary from Dungloe'.

"By the time Mum was about 18, the family had moved from Ireland to Sheffield, and finally to London. Mum and her sisters formed a four-piece vocal group called Jeep and sang 1940s' jazz and cover versions of hits by The Andrews Sisters.

"I grew up listening to my mum and her sisters singing those 1940s' songs, and I learned them all myself, too. It's influenced the way I sing to this day, and there are certain jazzy tones in my voice that I most definitely got from singing along to those old tunes."

Irish Independent

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