Folk singer Cara Dillon reveals her songs are inspired by emigrants' stories
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Folk singer Cara Dillon reveals her songs are inspired by emigrants' stories

IRISH folk singer Cara Dillon has revealed that her songs are “soul-stirring” and inspired by those who emigrated but were never able to return home.

The Derry native was speaking ahead of her UK summer festival tour, which kicks off this Friday in Kent, and she said that audiences can expect "something amazing".

She is set to sing with the backing of the 50-piece Orchestra of Ireland at the Hop Farm music festival, and believes that this will create a "powerful" performance for festival-goers.

“I’ve done a couple of smaller gigs in Kent in the past with my usual band of six, but this is going to be something amazing,” said the 38-year-old.

“It’s so powerful with the orchestra. My songs are quite soul-stirring – about people who’ve emigrated and never had the chance to return home, real songs of the people – and the strings just seem to bring out some of the emotions.

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“I hope it will stand out within the programme. The orchestra breathe a whole new element of life into the songs.”

Dillon is also set to perform at several other festivals across the UK this summer, including: HEB Celt Festival on the Isle of Lewis, Soma Festival in Northern Ireland and Cambridge Festival.

She has previously won awards for Album Of The Year at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, The Meteor Music Award for Best Irish Female, and Tatler’s Woman Of The Year in Music, and has received commercial success for her album Hill of Thieves.

Whilst her music has been popular within Ireland and Great Britain, she admitted that she also has a huge following in China.

“We headed out to China with no idea what to expect, maybe a little reception for 100 expats,” she explained.

“It turned out we were playing in national concert halls, 2,000 seaters, and they were sold out. They were all standing with their iPads and filming the gig, singing along in my accent.

“We found out later that our first two albums were used as part of the curriculum for teaching English.

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“It’s such a blessing – I don’t see this as a job, I see it as a gift.”

Cara Dillon will perform at the following festivals this summer:

Hop Farm Festival, Kent - Friday 4 July

HEB Celt Festival, Isle of Lewis - Friday 18 July

Soma Festival, Castlewellan - Sunday 20 July

Cambridge Festival, Cambridge - Friday 1 August

Cropredy Festival, Banbury - Saturday 9 August

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Beautiful Days Festival, Devon - Friday 15 August

Ramsbottom Festival, Ramsbottom - Sunday 21 September