Eiza Murphy: “I normally start with a concept or lyric idea”

by James Hendicott

Eiza Murphy is only two singles into her short career in music, one that circles around a uniquely personal brand of pop, and which began under lockdown.

London-based but Irish-raised, she’s found sparkling success almost immediately, shooting to number one in the Irish iTunes charts with debut singles ‘Black Hole’ and ‘Taxi’.

That’s unsurprising, perhaps, for a woman who’s long been focused on music. Her background includes trips to the Caribbean to perform, and musical education in New York before she headed to London to make her mark.

Murphy’s songs seem to be drawn from a vivid imagination, each with an enticing story to tell over the beats. “With ‘Black Hole’, I wanted to write a song about the world ending and then it grew from there,” she says. “I wrote it during the Australian wildfires and at the beginning of covid so it has an apocalyptic-like feel to it. ‘Taxi’ is about leaving a toxic relationship or scene so they’re very different songs. They were both produced by my sister, Lenii, and released at the end of 2020.”

Her new track is still more personal. “I think in every relationship (not just romantic), there’s a power play going on. One person always seems to be more in control, even if it’s barely noticeable. I played with the idea of dominance being shared in ‘Bat and Ball’.”

“I rarely write the melody first so I guess that’s how I bring out the storytelling elements in my songs. I normally start with a concept or lyric idea when I write and then build the melodies around the story.”

While Murphy has plenty of experience, she didn’t really delve into the industry expecting instant success. Experience, perhaps, gives a sense of realism in that area, and being independent has never been a common route to making noise in the music industry.

“I’m completely independent so when I released ‘Black Hole’ and ‘Taxi’ I didn’t have any expectations. I was really grateful for the support they got, especially because they were the first songs I had shared,” she says.

“Most of the time, the songs begin with something I’ve experienced and then they grow into their own. I have loads of random inspirations like Lana Del Rey, Johnny Cash, and Jessie Reyez. They’re so different but they’re all storytelling/conceptual artists.”

“Living in New York definitely impacted my music a lot. I moved there and lived with my Aunt during transition year to study music production at a school called ‘Dubspot School of Electronic Music’. I was the only girl in the class and the youngest by fifteen years. It was full of underground Brooklyn DJ’s who loved House and Techno music and I didn’t know a thing about production then.”

“I learned how to produce on Logic and being there also opened doors to new genres for me.” The experience, perhaps, also played into the confidence to move to London and start again, a journey that’s become something of a right of passage for certain types of Irish artists as they look to move up the ladder.

“I was able to work with a lot more people when I first moved to London because there’s a massive music scene here,” Murphy explains. “Since the pandemic and lockdown started though, everything has been done over zoom so living in London hasn’t had the same impact because there have been no in-person writing sessions.”

“It is a bit strange because performing is such a massive part of releasing music and getting it out there, but obviously no one can perform at the moment. Apart from that though, lockdown gave me a lot of time to put into my first two releases and I think a lot can be done online now, so I haven’t been too affected by it.”

“I’m definitely excited to get back to doing live shows, especially now that I’ve started releasing music.”

Eiza Murphy’s new single ‘Bat N’ Ball’ is out on April 1.

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