A GSCE student from Hertfordshire will be singing at Glasto – after winning an emerging talent award.
16-year-old Declan McKenna took the top prize at the annual Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition Finals, which took place in Pilton, Somerset, on Saturday night.
Aside from his spot on stage at the famous music festival, he also took home £5,000 with which he plans on buying new equipment for his music career.
“I’m really excited, every musician wants to play at Glastonbury,” McKenna enthused to The Irish Post. “It’ll be my biggest gig to date.”
A singer and guitar player, Declan describes his style as “probably indie rock fused with electronic”, an eclectic style that managed to bag him the award.
He beat off stiff opposition on the night from seven other shortlisted competitors in a “battle of the bands” style competition - despite being in the middle of studying for his GSCE exams.
Declan received particular attention for his song Brazil, which was a collaborative effort between the young musician and his friend.
“My mate Max got in touch after hearing some of my demos and we became friends from there,” he explains. “He wanted to collaborate with me and he offered to produce Brazil and we released it last year.”
Though British born, Declan’s grandparents came from counties Cork and Cavan, before moving to London and eventually branching out to Hertfordshire.
The student is very proud of his Irish roots and hopes to get to Ireland this summer when he sets off on tour.
“I started gigging in London but for the summer I will go around Britain, Ireland and hopefully Europe gigging,” he explained. “I’ve played in Belfast but never in the Republic and all my family are over there so I’d love to play there.”
“It has yet to be confirmed about which stage I'll perform on at Glasto but the prize is to perform on one of the main stages so I’m really, really excited,” he added.
While his focus is back on the books for now, this 16-year-old is dreaming of the summer ahead, as his musical career looks set to take off.