Personal life inspires Byrom’s music
STORY WRITTEN BY ROB NAGY
For 21st Century Media
It was cinniúint (Gaelic for “destiny”) that Dublin’s Paul Byrom would one day be heralded as one of Ireland’s premier tenor vocalists. Dazzling audiences around the globe with his compelling voice, Byrom is returning to American concert stages in celebration of his latest album release, “Thinking of Home.”
“After many years of recording all types of music from different genres, I wanted to record an album of songs that I grew up listening to and indeed singing,” said Paul Byrom in an email interview. He is currently on tour in Ireland. “Living abroad gave me a new appreciation for the old, familiar Irish music.” “I always try to sing my songs, whether on an album or in concert, with feeling and emotion,” added Byrom.
“I believe quality of voice comes from emotion. However, when I listen to my own recordings, I always find fault. I think it is important to listen with a critical ear, therefore I can continue to improve.” Exhibiting a gift for singing as a young child, Byrom was only seven years old when he began his tenor studies under legendary Irish opera star and renowned vocal instructor Dr. Veronica Dunne. By age 12, Byrom was making his operatic debut with the National Concert Orchestra of Ireland. Two years later, he entered the recording studio and soon released his debut album, “The Golden Voice.”
His follow-up album, “Velvet,” released in 2005, made it to #2 on the Irish record charts and catapulted Byrom into the spotlight. Radio and television exposure ensued, including an appearance as a contestant on the popular “Celebrity Jigs and Reels” dance program. Byrom joined the highly successful group “Celtic Thunder” in 2007 as one of the band’s original tenor soloists. Praised by Billboard Magazine as a Top World Album Artist, the group’s first three album releases ranked in the Top 10 for World Albums. During his tenure with the group, Byrom made the Classical Billboard Charts with his “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” album in 2008. Byrom departed the group in 2010 to return to his solo career.
“Without question, my personal life inspires my music and my performances,” said Byrom. “There have been many happy memories and times in my life, but unfortunately one or two sad memories and periods. These feelings are important to harbor as a performer.” “I would define myself as a singer who takes his music and performances very seriously,” added Byrom. “However, I also realize that I am not curing cancer, so I never look for too much recognition. Although it’s serious to me, in the grand scheme of things I’m not changing the world, so I just enjoy every time I perform. I’m very lucky to do what I do, and even luckier that some want to hear me do it!!!!”
The pivotal album release of Byrom’s burgeoning career, “This is the Moment,” late fall 2011, debuted at No.1 on the World Billboard Charts. His first solo tour of North America followed. The Irish Music Association named him “Irish Tenor of the Year” for 2012. “The greatest challenges as an artist nowadays are getting people to your concerts and selling albums,” said Byrom. “The industry has changed a lot, and artists have to change with it. Also — keeping people interested, keeping yourself fresh, and, most importantly, continuing to enjoy what you do.”
“I want audiences to take away the memories of a nice evening — something that they will talk about and hopefully tell their friends about,” added Byrom. “But most importantly, I want them to part with the inclination to come back the next time I might be in town, so they can experience it all over again.”
Last year, Byrom was featured on PBS TV with his first special, “THIS IS THE MOMENT,” recorded live at the State Theatre Center for the Arts in Easton, Pa. The concert featured a variety of pop ballads, Irish classics and Broadway hits, as well as a duo performance with “Glee” star Damien McGintey. “When people listen to me at home, I want them to enjoy my music first and foremost,” said Byrom. “I want them to feel what I felt when I sang the song. I also hope it brings back some memories for them. I want them to connect.” “When people come to my concerts, I want them to relax and enjoy themselves,” Byrom said.
“I try to keep it lighthearted. There will be moments of laughter, one or two tears shed through moments of nostalgia, but all in all it’s a fun, lighthearted evening.”
At the request of Tourism Ireland, Byrom, along with other Irish dignitaries, served as the Country’s Culture and Music Ambassador for the 2013 Ireland celebration of “The Gathering.” “I’m certainly pleased with what I have achieved to date,” said Byrom. “However, I believe there is much more to achieve. I push myself a lot, so therefore I’m not content with where I am right now. I always will and always hope to achieve bigger things.” “This is my dream,” said Byrom, “performing to people regularly and recording albums. The music industry is tough, and at times it doesn’t feel like a dream. But, when I step onto the stage and sing, I’m reminded why I do it. I love singing. I love performing, and I love meeting people after my shows.”
IF YOU GO
What: Paul Byrom
Where: The Sellersville Theatre, 24 W. Temple Ave., Sellersville.
When: Concert is at 8 p.m. on Wednesday Dec. 3.
Admission: Tickets can be purchased by calling (215)257-5808 or online at www.st94.com.
Info.: To stay up to date with Paul Byrom, visit www.paulbyrom.ie.