Ten minutes with… Irish folk singer Cara Dillon

Ten minutes with… Irish folk singer Cara Dillon

ONE of Derry’s brightest stars, 39-year-old Cara Dillon has carved out a career as one of the most interesting female voices in Irish folk music.

Last May, the Dungiven girl released her fifth studio album, A Thousand Hearts, and hits the road this month and next in support of the release. We spent ten minutes with the singer as she juggled her career with motherhood and home renovations…

What are you up to right now?

Sam (Lakeman — Cara’s husband, producer and bandmate) and I are at the end of major renovations to a house and we have to be moved in by October 1. We’re also preparing to perform some shows around the UK with Bluegrass legend Dan Tyminski, and then head to China for a tour… it’s a very crazy time!

Who are your heroes?

Kate Bush. I’m going to see her on September 17 and I can’t wait. I’m so excited!

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What’s been the best decade of your life so far and why?

My thirties have been the most eventful and thrilling. I had my children, my career went from strength to strength and I feel more confident than I have felt at any other time in my life.

What record sends a shiver down your spine?

Hounds of Love by Kate Bush. No question.

What is your favourite place in Ireland?

Inishowen in the very North-East of Donegal. I spent childhood holidays there and try to visit as often as I can.

What makes you angry?

Seeing the vulnerable and weak among us abused and taken advantage of.

What book influenced you most?

Healing Words From The Angels by Doreen Virtue.

What was the worst moment of your life?

Seeing my twin babies born at only 26 weeks and watching them fight for all they were worth.

Which local star in any field should the world outside Ireland know about?

Definitely a duo called Winter Mountain. They are amazing and their album is incredible.

If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?

I would love to not be Type 1 Diabetic.

Can you recommend an interesting website?

I don’t really surf the web, just shop online occasionally.

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What is the best lesson life has taught you?

You never know what’s round the corner.

What is your favourite film and why?

The Shawshank Redemption. The story is brilliant, the acting is brilliant, the tone and pace is perfect and there’s bags of drama… I would say it’s close to being the perfect movie.

What do you believe in?

God, Guardian Angels, the power of positivity and faith in other people.

What trait do others criticise you for?

I’m quite fussy… some might say high maintenance.

Where do you live and what are the best and worst things about that place?

Sam and I have settled in a market town in Somerset called Frome. It has a remarkably thriving music and art scene and has beautifully quaint streets filled with independent shops. The worst thing about Frome is the steep hills.

On what occasion is it OK to lie?

When you meet an ugly baby!

What do you consider the greatest work of art?

There are so many… the Sistine Chapel has to be up there.

What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?

My Land Rover Discovery.

Who is the love of your life?

Sam, my husband, is the love of my life and my soul mate.

Cara Dillon performs at Ramsbottom Festival on Sunday (September 21), Islington Assembly Hall, London (October 8) and The Sage, Gateshead (10). Dan Tyminski supports in London and Gateshead