Irish Singer-Songwriter Lea Heart On Writing A Song For The Irish Women’s Football Team
“It was amazing!”
When lockdown hit in 2020, TikTok became the entertainment choice for over 315 million people worldwide. Whether you were watching others or contributing to the video content, it didn’t matter. It was clear TikTok would change the trajectory for many, as the social media platform gained popularity week in and week out.
One Irish singer took to the platform to create videos out of boredom and it completely changed her life. Kildare singer-songwriter, Lea Heart, started posting to TikTok at the same time as everybody else but instead of being at home, she’s now playing sold out headline shows at the 3Olympia and opening for Lewis Capaldi at the 3Arena.
Recently, Lea was given the opportunity to write a song to incorporate all the excitement around the Irish women’s football team headed over to Australia to play in the World Cup for the first time. We got the chance to chat to Lea all about writing the song, what’s next for her and of course what her favourite Cadbury’s chocolate is.
Hey Lea, how are you? So what first got you interested in music?
Since I was four or five, music was always my way to express myself. Growing up it was really an outlet for me to do that. Then when I got into my teenage years, I realised it was something I wanted to take more seriously. I feel so lucky to be doing something that makes me so happy every single day. I think the more I do it the more passionate I get about it and the more I want to keep doing it and keep getting better. Three or four year old little Lea saw herself on the stage and that’s kind of where it started from.
Since 2020, you’ve had quite a meteoric rise, how does that feel?
Amazing. I started releasing music properly at the end of 2020 but, it was still during lockdown so the first whole year of releasing music [was strange]. I had released a whole EP and I never really left my house. I’d done some Zoom interviews and that kind of thing, but I hadn’t really met anyone. I think in the past year and a half it has been amazing to really get out there perform gigs, play festivals and meet people in person. It’s just made my love for it grow even more. I can’t believe it is two and a half years since I released Older, it’s literally gone in the blink of an eye but yet so much has happened in that time as well and I look back and I’m like ‘God, I’m almost like a different person now’. It’s been a whirlwind but I wouldn’t change a single thing.
When you started sharing videos on TikTok did you hope or expect things to take off the way they did?
No, I think I joined TikTok the same time everybody else did and at the time I didn’t really know the ins and outs of it or what it could do. I definitely was posting videos wanting to keep myself occupied and have something to do during the day in lockdown but it was just for fun, I didn’t really expect anything. Now there’s a certain amount of pressure to make a video go viral but what I’ve realised is if you’re being authentic and just having fun you’re definitely more likely to get people to see them. It’s the ones you video in 30 seconds that end up doing great! I love it, it’s such a cool platform.
You played the Olympia this year, what was that like?
That was a dream come true for me. It’s such an iconic venue. Growing up, I went to see a lot of my favourite acts there, so to step on the stage and do my own sold out, headline [gig] was a really big moment in my career and something I always dreamed of. The best feeling in the world is having people in an audience sing back lyrics that you’ve written and that mean the world to you. That for me is the greatest thing ever, I almost cried on the stage. But, it was such an amazing night and now I’m like ‘when can we play there again’.
You caught the attention of one of the world’s biggest popstars of the moment. How did you react to opening for Lewis Capaldi in the 3Arena?
Lewis Capaldi is someone I really look up to. I love his style of songwriting and the storytelling in his songs. It was really cool to share the stage with him in the 3Arena. I met him backstage and he’s very down to earth. He’s very funny, just as much as he comes across online. It was a really cool experience and it just made me eager to play there again because it’s such a cool stage.
You’re also very talented when it comes to songwriting so which do you prefer, singing or writing?
They’re two very different worlds, but at the same time, you can’t have one without the other. For me going in, writing my songs and telling my story; putting words to paper about how I’m feeling, in one way is like therapy and in another way, it’s fun. It’s hard to say which I prefer because you need them both and they both bring me so much happiness. It’s like picking a favourite child to me, I can’t do it!
What types of topics do you hope to cover with your songwriting?
At the moment I’m writing a lot about things I really care about and mean a lot to me. I write about everything from personal experiences to general things I see in the news, tv shows, something my friends are going through, even my parents. I think there’s inspiration everywhere. You’ll be able to tell with some of my upcoming releases that I’ve gone on a storytelling path.
Have you ever written for another artist? If not, is it something you would like to do in the future?
I haven’t as of yet. I would 100 percent love to do it, but at the moment I have so much to say and I have so much that I want to put into my own writing first and when I’ve got it all out, I would love to go into rooms and work on stuff for other people. I think it’s really cool collaborating and writing with people because everyone brings something amazing to the table and at the end of it you have this great song that you wouldn’t have necessarily gotten with just your own thoughts. So if I was able to do that for someone else down the road that would be really cool.
How did it feel writing for the national team?
It was amazing! It was such an exciting day. I felt really inspired. The song came about really quickly, our goal was literally to write a supporters song that was exciting, uplifting and anthemic, that people could sing along to. We just wanted to incorporate all that excitement from the nation into a song. It was really cool and a great thing to be a part of something so big as well.
Women are often underrepresented in both music and sport. Does it feel good to be able to showcase the both of them together?
Absolutely! I think as a songwriter and a singer, from day one, I’ve wanted to showcase that I’m a woman in the industry and that women and men can do everything that the other can do. I love going on stage and playing the Olympia and being a representation, telling people anyone can do this. We’re seeing it so much now especially in music and sport, women are being represented really well and I think the girls getting through to play in the World Cup in Australia is such a massive achievement. There’s little girls all over the country looking at them being like ‘if they can do it I can do it’. It’s really cool to get behind them, especially being a female, and just seeing the country coming together to celebrate them is pretty amazing.
What’s next for Lea Heart?
I have lots of new music coming soon. I’ve been writing for the past eight or nine months. It’s all I’ve really been focused on, so I’m really excited about where the songs have ended up and what it is I’m discussing in the song. I’m also playing my first ever Irish tour in September, which is a dream come true to me. The tickets are on sale now on ticketmaster.ie, it’s going to be such a fun month! So lots going on, definitely keep an eye out on my social media as that’s where I tend to drop little hints here and there about what’s coming.
Finally, what’s your favourite Cadbury’s sweet treat?
I am a plain and simple, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk girl. Straight from the fridge with a cup of tea, it’s actually unbeatable.