Sligo Champion

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Back in the groove

Cathal Mullaney chats to artist, Miles Graham, a Dubliner living in Coolaney who has just released a new EP having taken a break for a period from the music scene

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Miles Graham and Terry Wogan after Miles performed live on the Weekend Wogan BBC2 Radio Show in 2015. Photo by Colin Gillen

Miles Graham and Terry Wogan after Miles performed live on the Weekend Wogan BBC2 Radio Show in 2015. Photo by Colin Gillen

Miles Graham and Terry Wogan after Miles performed live on the Weekend Wogan BBC2 Radio Show in 2015. Photo by Colin Gillen

Dublin-born but now Sligo-based, the latest release from Miles Graham is yet another addition to a growing collection of music which is entertaining fans all across the Ireland and the UK.

Last Friday was the landmark day for Graham's new EP, 'All the Right Things' and adds to the unique assortment of music he has produced over the course of the last year or so.

Living in Coolaney for over a decade, Graham took a break from the music business in 2018 to focus more on family life, but the time away also provided an opportunity for him to reflect and write new music, with significant success.

'Don't Change' has received plenty of air time in recent months, while 'Sunbeam' and 'Give it Up Now' are also set to firm favourites with fans.

"The EP and the new single is out since the 10th of July," Miles told The Sligo Champion.

"The new single is 'Give it Up' and it's starting to get some radio play here and in the UK. It's nice to have a body of work out. I have a lot of music unreleased, a few albums worth that I just didn't put out for whatever reason."

Though Graham is now a well established artist, his initial expectation when entering the music industry was to focus on a different area.

"The goal for me would be an album, that was my goal from the start when I got into it," he explains.

"I started writing and I was just looking for publishing, I never really fancied myself as an artist. I suppose i just gained a bit of confidence, people liked my voice and I got good feedback from the voice.

"I started to work with DJs in the house genre which was totally unexpected so I've kind of expanded the writing side of things which has been interesting."

Graham's exploits are unique in so far as he is based in Coolaney, the south Sligo village at the foot of the Ox Mountains.

The relocation to the west over ten years ago provided the Dubliner with a new perspective in his new surroundings.

Miles says: "I moved to Coolaney in 2008 or 2009, it's a lovely place to live. There's great pride in the community.

"I've a lot of friends here that are involved in the Camino and the community cafè which is coming along brilliantly, and in coaching soccer. They're going back to the soccer here son, and I also coach in Strandhill with the under-16s which I really enjoy and I really miss that so I'm looking forward to getting back to that as well.

"I moved out of Dublin quite a few years ago but I love Dublin, I love my people there and love going back there but I also love coming to the west as well, it just suits my personality I think.

"When I first moved up here, Dublin was really busy, caught up in the rat race, and I moved into the country.

"The west of Ireland is beautiful and you just see things in a different light and that open landscape makes you think outside the box a little bit I think. I started writing and getting into the arts pretty much when I moved up so I think it has been a influence."

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all, but music artists have had a complete and change in lifestyle.

They thrive on the gig environment and live crowds, but all of that has been put to one side as the country and the world grapples with the virus that has put a halt to all major gatherings.

Miles, however, is thankful for the other opportunities presented by the change in lifestyle.

"It's good because I get to spend time with family and I'm at home," he says.

"I can do a lot of stuff from home and that's a huge bonus. I love the live gigs and getting a response, obviously you don't get the same on these Instagram Lives after playing a tune, but I've done some gigs to fans that have stuck with me in Germany and Holland and the UK just reached out to them during the lockdown when the 2km restriction was in.

"There's an awful lot of lonely people out there in different circumstances and single people that are missing family and it's a really tough time for people.

"So it was nice to play some music and hopefully lift the spirits a little bit."

Challenges abound for the industry in response to Covid-19, but living in Sligo has provided Miles with some inspiration to revive his career over the course of the last two years.

"Creating music is what he feels he is born to do.

"It is already a tough business to be in, but for everybody in the industry right now there are not a lot of gigs," he concedes.

"But, for me, I took a break for a couple of years, I'm only coming back into it so I haven't been playing live and I was looking forward to coming out of it and getting back.

"I gave up music back in 2018 just to concentrate on family and just change my life and within that kind of period

"I started writing songs again, even living in Sligo there are artists, poets, creative people everywhere, there's something about this place.

"It's in the landscape and that's my therapy getting through what was a tough period in my life.

"I came up with these few songs through that period, just creating music really therapeutically at that point with no ambitions to release anything, and through family encouragement as well to keep at the music, and it's in my character not to give up and to fight for what's important in your life, family and what's part of your DNA and I'm just creative.

"I've been like that since I was a kid. if you go into a job and you just know it's not right for you.

"Put an artist working in a bank, something's going to give!"

Miles Graham's new EP 'All the Right Things' is now available for download.

For details and more information, visit milesgraham.com

Sligo Champion