Glenn Murphy tells us what makes him proud!
Glenn & Ronan have been bubbling away in the background for a couple of years now after initially being thrown into the spotlight when their rendition of an Adele medley went viral. They’ve just released their own album “Horizon” and have just announced some live show dates. We caught up with Glenn ahead of the live shows to talk about what makes him proud this Pride season….
Glenn, for those that don’t know, give our readers the quick Glenn & Ronan backstory…
Myself and Ronan first met when we were both in a choir in UCD, where we were studying music. We got on like a house on fire straight away. He’s an amazing piano player so when we would be early for rehearsal we would mess around with songs and see if we could change them up. We recorded one or two videos purely for fun, and the reaction was great. When Adele was coming to Dublin we decided to put together a couple of her songs to mark the occasion and by some bizarre twist of fate, people started sharing the video and lo and behold we ended up being invited on stage by Adele herself and she asked us to sing the medley in front of 15,000 people in the 3 arena. Surreal doesn’t begin to cover it!
So much has changed since those early days, and your music is literally played around the world, how does that make you feel?
It’s incredible to think that something that began as a fun hobby has gone on to be a career for us both. We just love making music together and sharing it with people, so to know that people from different corners of the world can listen to our music is pretty amazing.
Your music has a very distinct, acoustic driven sound. Do you think this has been a help or a hinderance in getting your music heard in a world filled with a much more commercial sound?
It took us a long time when we were putting this album together, to figure out what our sound is. There was a lot of trial and error but in the end we feel like we’ve discovered a sound that works for us and feels right. I think the music scene at the minute is so full of incredible talents (especially Irish artists, who are killing it right now), that realistically being that bit different can actually work to your advantage. Myself and Ronan have always said that if we stay true to what we feel is the best sound we can offer, then we can keep pushing forward.
On your new album there are covers, there’s a song on there written by Ed Sheeran, and there are songs you guys have written yourselves. Which track on there gives you the feels and why?
I think the most emotional song on this album for me is “Stay Close”. From the moment Ronan first played it for me, I remember feeling there was something really special about it. Music has the incredible power to help people who are grieving or working through such a wide range of emotions, and this song in particular always hits home to me when we sing it.
And while we’re on about the feels, going by your social media it looks like there’s a special guy in your life, tell us about him, how’d you meet and how long have you been together?
Haha ah yeah, himself has been on the scene now for almost 3 years! It took me a long time after I realised I was gay to become comfortable enough to be open for a relationship. I was in my final year of college when I finally plucked up the courage to give Tinder a go and that’s where we met! Being a musician, there’s a lot of uncertainty in your professional life so it’s amazing to have someone to be a constant for you in your personal life. I’m a lucky guy!
You’ve been fairly low key about your sexuality but on one of your videos you made a statement by wearing an “Equality.” T-shirt. The ROI has moved ahead of NI on social issues recently, largely due to the general population there having a voice. Would you have a message for a young LGBT fan here in NI who’s struggling?
I feel like there’s definitely a big change happening right now, especially with the younger generation realising that their voices can be heard and make a difference. The marriage referendum was one of the contributing factors to me finally learning to be happy with who I am and inspired me to love myself enough to be truly open and honest with others about my sexuality. I had to learn that I am not defined by my sexuality and it is only one small part of what makes me me. What makes you different is what makes you special and powerful. What I would say to those young LGBT people is to surround yourself with people who love and accept you and remember that this too shall pass. Love will always win out.
Do you remember the first Pride you went to? Did you march in it?
Since I became more comfortable with myself in recent years, I haven't actually been in Ireland for Pride! So, this year is going to be my first ever Pride! And I am so excited for it!
Have you been to any other Pride festivals around the world?
I was in Salt Lake City last year when their festival was on but I had to work so couldn’t join in the fun! It was wild.
What’s been your proudest moment, and what makes you proud on a daily basis?
I did a concert a couple of years ago in my hometown, in the local theatre where I grew up doing musicals. The concert ended up being sold out and when I got to the end of the concert and was able to thank my parents in front of 450 people, that was a very proud moment for me. To be able to thank them for always supporting me. On a daily basis, I’ve recently joined a CrossFit gym (is that cliché?) so every new personal best is a proud moment!
Man: Chris Pratt - I loved him on Parks & Recreation but his transformation into the rugged Dinosaur man would make anyone look twice. Body goals.
Woman - Britney - do I need to give her last name? When I was younger I was the BIGGEST Britney fan. I’m talking letters to the fan club and everything. I lost interest around ‘Slave for You” though…probably the first warning sign that I probably wasn’t interested in her THAT way. I’ve got tickets to see her at Brighton Pride this year though. It doesn’t get gayer.
Movie - I am a sucker for a good cringe disaster movie. I saw ‘San Andreas” recently which has Dwayne Johnson in it and it was so deliciously extra. My number one disaster movie though is ‘The Day After Tomorrow”. I’ve easily watched it at least 300 times, without exaggerating.
Camp Song - The rightful winner of Eurovision 2018 - “Fuego” by Eleni Foureira.
Food - Ice Cream is one of my biggest vices. Show me a tub of Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough and I’ll show you…an empty tub of Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough.
Cocktail - Long Island Ice Tea. I love them, but they hate me.
With your amazing voice, perfect teeth, beautiful smile, and manly furry chest (yes we’ve stalked your social media), we think you could give it a go at drag – what would be your drag name?
Oh my God! This is something I have had plenty of fantasies about. I would absolutely love to properly give Drag a go sometime. I played the role of Edna in the musical Hairspray years ago and had the most fun ever. I don’t know if I would have the stamina required to be a full time drag queen though! They are amazonian. I think I would be a strictly musical theatre queen. Imagine a gorgeous gown and a really good lip sync of ‘Never Enough” from Greatest Showman. That’d be me. And, judging by the old game of mixing your first pets name and the street you grew up on I would be - Casper St. Anne. I think that’s pretty fabulous.
And back to your work, tell us about the shows you’ve got coming up..
Haha yes, back to reality! Myself and Ronan are really exciting to finally be performing our own headline gig! We are so proud of the album and how its been received by people so far, and can’t wait to get out there and share it in a live setting. We’re playing the Sugar Club in Dublin on July 19th and Theatre Royal in Waterford on July 20th ahead of looking at playing more gigs around Ireland later this year. So keep an eye out and come along to a gig if you can! We’d be only thrilled to see ye there.
The Sugar Club / July 19th https://www.ticketmaster.ie/search?q=glenn+and+ronan
Theatre Royal / July 20th