A SECONDARY school student from County Meath put his talents to good use when the country shut down due to the coronavirus crisis.
17-year-old Calum Agnew was in the middle of his 5th year in St Mary's Diocesan College in Drogheda when students across the country were sent home to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
But rather than use the lockdown as an excuse to watch Netflix and stay in bed until all hours-- as many of us did-- Calum used the time to learn new skills and ended up writing a chart-topping song.
Speaking to RTÉ News, Calum explained that he had taught himself to play piano a few years ago, and after watching the blockbuster 1917, was inspired to write a song about a soldier looking back on better memories.
"For me, it's a metaphor for anyone looking back on happier times in their life," he said.
He told the outlet that he continued his schoolwork during the day, but used his spare time in the evenings to learn how to record his own music.
"I bought all the equipment needed to record a simple enough song," he explained to the outlet, "and I learned from YouTube and online forums. There was some long evenings staying up late trying to get levels right but I really enjoyed it."
His hard work paid off, and when the song was released last weekend, it soared to the top of the charts, beating Dermot Kennedy's 'Giants' to sit at number 1 in the Irish iTunes charts.
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I can’t believe it, we made it to Number 1❤️🙌 Thankyou so much to everyone that has supported me so far, I can’t describe in words how much it means to me and I hope you’ll continue to support me in the future❤️ Keep Streaming it and adding it to your Spotify playlists, and if you haven’t bought it on ITunes please do so if you can, This is CRAZY🤪🤡 Love Calum A x
Admitting that he was "over the moon" at the response, the humble teenager said "I wasn't expecting that at all. I'm really happy people like my song."
His father, Fintan Agnew, told RTÉ News that he was "very proud" of his son-- who has never had a piano lesson and taught himself to play a few years ago.
"I think the single is fantastic," Fintan said. "I’ve been listening to different versions it for a few months as he’s perfected and worked really hard to get it to where he wanted it."
While having a number one single in the Irish charts is a new milestone for Calum, he already has an impressive portfolio under his belt, having previously appeared with Picture This and Irish language music group Coláiste Lurgan to sing 'Nuair a Bhí Muid Óg' (When We Were Young)-- you can check that out below.
Calum is determined to embark on a career as a musician, being inspired by Billie Eilish and Irish artist Hozier, but confirmed he's going to focus on completing his Leaving Certificate this year first.
We're sure it's not the last time we'll hear from the talented musician.