London based artist Sample Answer talks about leaving Dublin, making his mother proud and being inspired by dinosaurs with Limerick Post Newspaper. He returns to Ireland this week for an Irish tour playing Limerick this Saturday.
Sample Answer is Dublin singer/ songwriter Maurice O’Connor who has released some very impressive EPs and videos since signing to ACP Recordings, home of Orbital and David Gray.
Maurice left Dublin for London at the young age of 18 and has been based there since gigging, writing music and making contacts. He started playing in open-mic sessions; his first break was support slot for Pete Doherty of The Libertines.
Sample Answer’s EP’s have garnered widespread critical support and radioplay. His singles ‘Good Boy’ and ‘Textile Baby’ were played by BBC’s Annie Mac and Zane Lowe. Music discovery site Pigeons and Planes included Sample Answer in their tips for “artists about to blow”.
Limerick Post caught up with Maurice O’Connor in London preparing for an Irish tour that includes Limerick city this weekend. The affable and super laid back 22 year-old singer is very welcoming and buzzin’ to get back home.
“Jayus, can’t wait. I’m going on Tuesday to get home a little bit earlier. Just chill out and see the fam and all that!”
Sample Answer’s music is a soulful mix of pop with hip hop and blues influences. He writes from the heart and his track ‘Proud’, written for his mother, is an honest statement from the singer who has spent the last three years away from home perfecting his craft.
“I give you everything that’s mine,
cos I want your time alive to be spent bending a smile,
you walk miles for me.”
“Yeah, the song is about my parents and anyone who has my back, really. Friends, teachers, anybody who seems to be on your side. Sometimes it does feel that we are all in it together rather than little old me doing it for myself. People acknowledge what you are doing and that is quite nice.”
Though playing solo, Maurice uses loop stations and samples for his live show giving his music a full-band feel to create the sounds of bands he used to listen to, bands that influenced him.
His influences are surprisingly from the classic 60’s and 70’s era of pop music, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bowie with a special love of T-Rex.
O’Connor’s father played records by Marc Bolan and T-Rex to his son and the music and much more caught his imagination.
“It was me Da! I’m going, ‘this is deadly’! And because I was obsessed with dinosaurs it all linked together and he looks like me, that’s weird.”
At school, Sample Answer was a bit of a rebel. Starting out as a T-Rex obsessed glam rocker wearing glitter, purple pants, and frills and looking like Prince. His version of ‘Yonkers’ by Tyler the Creator went down a storm at the school talent show when bashed it out on an acoustic guitar and beats from his Casio keyboard.
Since moving to London, O’Connor has worked hard to make a name for himself.
“I used to sell self-made CDs, wrapped in lined copybook paper, held together with duct tape. Sold them on Camden High Street for a fiver. Sometimes I’d only sell one, maybe two at gigs, so had to live off that.”
Sample Answer will play Dolan’s this Saturday November 19.