Music at Home: An Interview with Somebody’s Child

Photograph by Nicholas O’Donnell

Cian Godfrey is an emerging multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter from Dublin, and he is also the frontman of Somebody’s Child. Since appearing on the scene, Somebody’s Child have played the BBC introducing stage at Reading and Leeds in 2019, and have made an appearance on RTES The Late Late Show. Their new single ‘We Could Start a War’ has just been released. Cian chatted to The Jumble Magazine about anonymity in music, music he is loving, and the upcoming EP ‘20-Something‘.

Tell us a bit about yourself, how did Somebody’s Child come about? 

I got into music at a pretty early age, at around 16 I started writing my own music, and started studying it in college, that’s when I got off my ass and started trying to do something about it. As an act, the name Somebody’s Child resonated to me as it did not allude to male or female, a band or a solo act, it gave nothing away. I like that anonymity. Beforehand, as a songwriter I really struggled to come up with a distinct sound : once I was able to put a name on my music that wasn’t my personal name I felt more free to let the creative juices flow. The music was always made for a band, so I needed a band around me- and shortly after my first song I got one. Almost two years later, here we are. 

So We Could Start a War is the second single off of ‘20-Something’: what’s the vibe of the EP?

Sonically, 20-Something is the first time we have reached a place we are happy with, I was always playing around with past singles in terms of what I really wanted to release, and sometimes that takes time- but for the first time I had a whole collection of music I wanted to put out there, mostly because it actually matched what I love to listen to. I was brought up on classical music, but that didn’t resonate with me as a child and I gravitated to pop, as I got older my friends got me into that indie rock style, and you can hear elements of all of that in the music. Lyrically, all four of the songs talk about my life as a young adult, I’m 25 now, and it’s a strange age, people move away and relationships change, all while you’re still trying to find your feet. There’s a lot of anxiety involved, especially with the current political climate in the backdrop. 20-Something is my representation of all of that, it’s the world around me- as accurately as I can describe it. 

What music are you loving at the minute? Any local artists? 

I’m really into Sam Fender at the minute. I love what he’s doing, he’s across the water, but the UK has a whole lot of alternative music, so I think that’s where a whole lot of my influences lie. Back home, I went to college with the guys from Fontaines D.C, and they’ve definitely had an influence on me too. I try not to get stuck on one artist for too long, I like to mix it up, I find that if I spend too long on one artist it can start to filter into my own songwriting. 

I noticed that your song ‘Hold Me Like You Wanna’ has an isolation music video. How was that process? 

It was pretty easy actually. Normally; videos are really expensive, and obviously not possible during the peak of the lock down, but I knew we all had lots of footage, and we get tagged in fan footage all the time, so I thought it would be a good idea to utilise that and get a whole community around us involved. We asked everyone around us to send stuff in, and it matched the whole theme of Hold Me Like You Wanna which is nostalgia. The video was full of footage of us playing gigs, which were all super nostalgic for right now, so that felt fitting. 

I take it you’re looking forward to getting back to gigging then! You’ve played reading and leeds in the past …Do you prefer indoor or outdoor gigs? 

Good question! I think I probably prefer outdoor, but we have only had one summer as an act, so there’s not a whole lot to compare just yet. There’s a certain buzz that comes with an outdoor gig, but that does come with the downside of having to lug around a whole load of gear at a festival. I guess when the weathers great the outdoor gigs are ideal. 

Post lockdown: what’s the plan? 

It’s a little bit up in the air, well no- it’s a lot up in the air. We have gigs planned that we are hoping to announce for 2021 (including a Belfast date) but it all depends on what the world looks like and how safe it would be to do that by then. There’s more music coming too, so watch out for that, we’re using this time that we can’t gig to make as much music as possible.

You can keep up to date with Somebody’s Child on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and their website.

You can also listen to their music on Spotify.

Check out We Could Start a War on The Jumble Magazine Local Music Playlist.

Interview by Sam Dineen

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