When he hits the big time, The Voice of Ireland contestant Conor Quinn will have one person to especially thank - his biggest fan, his mother.
One of the most talked-about contestants on the first instalment of RTE talent show The Voice of Ireland, Conor Quinn from Castletowngeoghegan, didn’t actually enter the competition himself; it was his mother Olive who put his name forward.
“My mother entered me, and I said I might as well, I had nothing to lose,” Conor told the Advertiser this week.
And in a twist of fate that Westmeath viewers are enjoying, Conor is to be mentored on the programme by none other than fellow Westmeath musician Niall Breslin, aka Bressie, formerly of Mullingar band The Blizzards.
However because of the format of The Voice, where the panel of ‘coaches’ don’t get to see the contestant during their first audition, there was no chance for the pair to recognise each other beforehand.
As it turned out, Bressie was the first coach to express interest in the young Westmeath musician.
“I don’t know Bressie, and the coaches don’t see who we are. It’s all about the voice,” explains Conor, who says he was delighted with the unexpectedly positive feedback from all four coaches, Bressie, Sharon Corr, Kian Egan, and Brian Kennedy.
Conor, who recently graduated with a degree in English and Human Development from St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, has been playing guitar and writing songs since getting his first guitar at the age of 14. He is a member of the band Infrared, who recently played at the Green Village Festival.
His influences range from Arcade Fire, Radiohead, and Bon Iver to singer-songwriters including Mick Flannery and Damien Rice.
“I would definitely like to go into music full-time. I got a guitar at 14 and locked myself into my room and started playing. I was very shy, and I wouldn’t have done this two years ago. If the option comes up to do some of my own music on The Voice, I would love to put my own stamp on the competition,” says Conor.
A native of Castletowngeoghegan, Conor attended primary school in Castletowngeoghegan and Mercy Secondary School in Kilbeggan.
His mother Olive is from Castletowngeoghegan, while his father John ‘Banjo’ Quinn is a detective garda from Mullingar.
Conor will be seen in the ‘Battle’ stage of The Voice of Ireland in the coming weeks.