About Damien Dempsey
Damien Dempsey is an Irish singer and songwriter who mixes traditional Irish folk with contemporary lyrics to deliver social commentary on the positive and negative aspects arising from Ireland's Celtic Tiger society. He sings in English, and to a lesser extent in Irish.
Dempsey was born and raised in Donaghmede, a Northside suburb of Dublin. His father was a panel beater while his mother had a variety of jobs in the area. His earliest musical influences came from the post-pub musical sessions that were held in his parents' house when he was a toddler. This developed into a love of artists such as Christy Moore, Luke Kelly, Shane MacGowan, Bob Marley and Elvis Presley.
Shy as a teenager, Dempsey retreated to his bedroom where he spent his time honing his singing and guitar playing. He soon started to pen his own songs, testing the water on his pleasantly surprised family with "a song about smog". His family encouraged him to enter a 2FM song contest, and he came second with "Cardboard City", a song of his own about homelessness.
Although hugely taken with the Irish folk tradition, it was Bob Marley who inspired Dempsey during some of his darker times:
Growing up on the northside of Dublin, the six-foot two-inch Dempsey trained along with his older brothers , and competed for Dublin as an amateur boxer before committing himself to studying music.
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