Sunday 19 August 2018

Duo who landed massive record deal for new Irish band open talent agency

Bressie to act as Senior Advisor after initial success

Shane Gillen and Greg O'Donoghue. Photo: Kymann Power
Shane Gillen and Greg O'Donoghue. Photo: Kymann Power
Jason Kennedy

Jason Kennedy

Two friends who landed a massive record deal for a newly-formed band have set up their own talent agency in an effort to repeat their success.

Sligo native Shane Gillen and Meath man Greg O’Donoghue's company Big and Bright may be brand new, but it has already launched the career of Offaly band Chasing Abbey.

Chasing Abbey have signed a record deal with Universal Music.
Chasing Abbey have signed a record deal with Universal Music.

The agency has also signed up some well-known names to their talent ranks, including broadcaster Rick O’Shea and celebrity chef Adrian Martin.

The ambitious duo secured a global record deal for That Good Thing singers Chasing Abbey with industry giants 3 Beat UK and Universal Music Group Worldwide, the same group that manage the likes of Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Kanye West.

"It’s incredibly rare what happened with Chasing Abbey," Shane (29) told

"What people may not know, is that we had offers from every major label in the UK. The guys now have a deal for three singles and an album, so it's quite significant."

Bressie is joining Big and Bright as a Senior Advisor. Photo: Dara Munnis
Bressie is joining Big and Bright as a Senior Advisor. Photo: Dara Munnis

Although it may seem like an overnight success, Greg and Shane spent a lot of time and energy trying to get those vital initial plays on radio and gigs around town.

"We had to pitch them to a lot of places and the fee was quit low," Greg (27) said.

"Now we have to turn down gigs and we have a reasonable fee."

After this initial success, Greg decided to leave his job in public relations and manage the band full-time.

"I've always wanted to set up my own business. It's something that was in the back of my mind all throughout college. I saw that entrepreneurial mind in Shane too, so I think it's a good match," he said.

The business partners also expressed their delight at having Blizzards frontman and Voice of Ireland coach Bressie on board as a senior advisor.

"Having Bressie's industry knowledge is a huge advantage. We’re in contact with him most days for his advice. He’s a great asset to have and his network is invaluable," Greg said.

Big and Bright will also be representing Camden Recording Studios, which is co-owned by Bressie and Slow Hands singer Niall Horan. The agency is currently planning on running a monthly event in the Dublin studio which would feature one up-and-coming artist and one established act. These intimate gigs would be performed in front of an audience of 40 ticket applicants, chosen at random from a draw.

As well as the more familiar names, Greg and Shane are looking to boost the profile of an number of younger entertainers, including Northern Irish magician and mentalist Joel Mawhinney.

"For now, we're really happy with the acts that we have. We're so busy as it is that we couldn't think about signing anyone new," Shane said.

"We want to make sure we have the right fit for each discipline."

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