It may only be August, but 2017 is already shaping up to be a momentous year for Belfast singer songwriter Gareth Dunlop.
Not only has Gareth just returned from LA, where he was filming a part in an upcoming movie, he also has a busy summer of festival appearances and gigs lined up. And as if that wasn’t enough, his new album No 79 has just been released (Friday).
Gareth, who grew up in East Belfast, has always had a love of music and started forging his career as a teenager. “I can remember bring very young and always singing in the back of the car, but I didn’t start playing guitar until I was about 13 and I didn’t start writing until I was about 18,” he explained. “I played covers in pubs and had a great time. I remember doing my first covers gig and being handed a wage at the end of it and thinking I could actually do this.”
At the age of 20, Gareth was spotted by Dublin producer Alastair McMillan, who encouraged him to go into the studio and record some of his own songs. Gareth released a couple of EPs, but it was after he won a trip to Nashville at the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival that things really took off. Splitting his time between Belfast and Nashville, Gareth has penned songs for top TV shows including House, Bones, One Tree Hill, and Nashville, with lead characters Deacon and Scarlet singing his songs on the show.
”I have been so fortunate,” he continued. “Nashville is an incredible city.”
After returning from Nashville at the end of last year, Gareth decided to knuckle down and finally record the album he has been talking about for six years. And the result of the hard work, No 79, has just been released.
Hot on the heels of the album release, Gareth will be performing at Stendhal Festival in Limavady on tomorrow afternoon (Saturday) before he comes home to East Belfast with the EastSide Arts Festival that evening. He will be performing in Lisburn’s Island Arts Centre on September 30 before heading off to Glasgow for the Americana Festival on October 8. And there will be no rest after that as he will be back on the road again with Belfast troubadour Duke Special in November.
After a whirlwind 10 years of TV shows, movie soundtracks, acting debuts, album releases, and live shows, there is no slowing Gareth down and no doubt the next decade will be just as successful.