19 Things You Didn’t Know About Gemma Dunleavy

The Up De Flats singer reveals her deepest, darkest secrets...


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My career highlight has been seeing my family and community’s joy at my music being released. I played a show at The Academy in November and they all got to come on stage with me and enjoy themselves, that was super special. 

My favourite season of the year is definitely summer, I hate cold weather!

My hopes for 2022 are to make another music project, my EP Up De Flats came out in 2020.

I take my tea with the teabag in, no sugar and with oat milk.

People who inspire me would be anyone who tells a story through their music, I love Laura Marling, her songwriting really inspires me. Producers like Mica Levi who do interesting things in production, anyone who tells a story through their sounds are inspiring too. 


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I’ve never really had a style icon. My Mam always made my dance costumes when I was a child so a lot of my outfits would reference those times, and my aunt has been making clothes since before I was born! I’d only really buy something if I really can’t walk away from it. 

I don’t really have a lucky number but if I had to pick a number between one and ten, I’d pick seven but isn’t that everyone else’s number too?

The tv series I last binged was Married At First Sight Australia, it’s such a guilty pleasure. They’re outrageous, I watched the UK version but it wasn’t as good as the Australian one!

The best place I’ve ever visited was Indonesia. I went a few years back and loved it, the climate, the landscape, the people, the culture, the traditions – it was so beautiful. I was in Bali and I travelled around.


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My desert island makeup product is black eyeliner. You’ll never see me without a black wing! MAC eyeliner in Blacktrack is my absolute go-to, I’ve been eating it since I’m about 14 and over the years the wing has only gotten bigger!

I have a parrot called Charlo and a dog, Panda. 

My childhood nickname was Gem, I’ve just always been Gem to my family! 

My earliest memory is being in my pram in the old flats we used to live in and just the image of the frill of the pram.

My signature scent is Versace Bright Crystal. I’ve been wearing it since about the same time I’ve been wearing my eyeliner. 

My favourite book is Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, it’s about the brain and how it perceives sound. There are lots of stories by this doctor who’s a brain specialist. his anecdotes about patients who had strokes and how their bodies responded to music before and after. 


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My most treasured possession is my laptop. It has all my memories on it, my programmes I make my music on, it has my reminders on it too. 

My dream dinner party guests would be Aretha Franklin for her wisdom and magic, Dua Lipa because she seems really nice and fun, and Solange, for her artistic mind and deep conversations. 

Lately, my favourite song to perform live is Stop The Lights, I wrote it out of a frustrated and angry place. Seeing it resonate with people makes it feel like it’s an outlet for the anger of the song and I feel people connect with it. Every time I perform it, I dedicate it to Terence Wheelock. 

Tickets for Gemma Dunleavy’s April 1st show in 3Olympia Theatre are on sale now.