Interviews Music

Music | Interview: Stephanie Rainey

Stephanie Rainey’s profile is rising in the Irish music scene, especially since the Cork native went ahead and did one of the most difficult tasks in the music industry, breakthrough without the help of a manager, label or media event for breakout single.

The story goes that Stephanie had uploaded the track to social media and within a day, it hit and surpassed one million views.

The track, titled ‘Please Don’t Go’, would later go on to break a lot of milestones and it became a triumphant moment given its personal nature. The song, which was penned as an ode to Stephanie’s one-year-old nephew Fionn who passed away following a bout with meningitis, had now been given sincere recognition and offered some comfort.

“I think there’s power in being able to anonymously relate to something.”

“Honestly, it was so unexpected and it caught me off guard a bit. ‘Please Don’t Go’ has always been special to me since I wrote it. It sums up for me what I went through when I lost my nephew and it was only years after it happened that I could put it into words. I think the song and the video just
married perfectly and people who have been through any sort of loss found comfort in the fact that their grief was somehow summed up. I think there’s power in being able to anonymously relate to something. With ‘Please Don’t Go’ you can sit alone and watch it and you can let out some of the pain your carrying. But I think the fact that there are people in the video that are talking so openly about loss you don’t feel alone when you watch it and I think that’s why it unfolded the way it did. I am so proud of that video.“

The video was emotional too. Filmed over two days at Miki Barlok’s studio in Cork, Stephanie’s cousin Kate was on hand to help out with those who appeared in the video, asking them sensitive and thoughtful questions given her experience in production. The video featured her brother Dylan, Irish comedian Cian Twomey, to name a few people who had had each suffered a loss and who stood together to share messages about their loved ones.

“Everyone in the room was crying. I don’t think I can ever properly sum up how amazing these people were.”

“What happened was phenomenal. Everyone came in, sat down and just starting talking so openly and honestly about what they’d been through. Everyone in the room was crying. I don’t think I can ever properly sum up how amazing these people were. How brave and forthcoming. If you read the comments under the video, it has helped so many people to process their grief and that’s down to the people in the video.”

Fast forward to the present day, Stephanie is preparing for her show at The Sugar Club, Dublin, on the 28 February and more live dates across Ireland soon after. Today, she has released new single, ‘Question Mark’ and is planning some more releases before the Summer when festival season is likely to take over.

Working mostly by herself, Stephanie’s set up has been out of her “little home studio in Cork” while also taking some time in London for getting down some tracks.

“There’s a peace you can’t recreate in your own space so it’s always worked out well” says Stephanie, “Different things inspire all of the songs, Sorry and Nothing of You Left to Love are about the people I’m lucky to have around me, my experiences with them through the good and the bad times and 100 Like Me is just an anthem for never feeling alone. They’re not your typical songs that you hear these days on the radio and they seem to be resonating with people so that’s very cool to see.“

Stephanie Rainey plays The Sugar Club, Dublin, on Wednesday 28 February, tickets for this show and her Irish tour are available now from Ticketmaster Ireland. Her new single, ‘Question Mark’ is available on all major platforms.

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