Paul Hourican is an acclaimed singer and songwriter from Dublin, Ireland who lives between Ireland and the US. ‘Blackbird Sounds’ is a band fronted by Hourican to showcase Hourican’s diverse songwriting talent. It will feature a fluid line-up of guest musicians and vocalists both on record and live.
In the past Hourican has been universally praised in particular for his songwriting talents. Following on from the setting up of Hourican’s own Hurricane Records, the Dublin songwriter was signed to a deal with Warner Music Ireland. A string of radio hits followed in the form of ‘One Step Forward’ and most notably ‘All I Ever Wanted’.
A chance meeting with the late impresario behind the global success of Clannad and The Chieftains Dave Kavanagh changed Hourican’s focus from performing to writing and a publishing deal with Round Hill Music in New York City followed where Hourican moved in July 2012.
Since then the Irish songwriter has penned a considerable amount of new material with a specific interest in a move toward Broadway with new material intended for popular artists along with solo songs that will be released under ‘Blackbird Sounds’.
The Irish Times state ‘catchy pop fare and grungy guitar blues…tunes to suit anyone’s ever-changing mood’. **** The Irish Times. Whilst Hotpress described Hourican’s first offering as ‘Indestructible…as SUPERB a debut as we’ve had in a while’ **** Hotpress
A prolific songwriter with a vast array of songs ranging from poetic ballads to stomper rock ‘n’roll tracks. Hourican’s new venture includes an award winning video by the Institute Designers Ireland and further videos to come directed by Kevin Godley and guest vocalists.
Something to satisfy everyone’s musical palette; Hourican is set to reveal his new venture ‘Blackbird Sounds’ in Fall 2021.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I’m more of a songwriter than a singer and though I like to sing some of my own songs; many of them lend themselves to other singers, female vocalists, other styles etc. I also don’t think my name ‘Paul Hourican’ has any ‘star quality’ for want of a better term and I thought a good compromise would be a band name that allows flexibility in line up and material.
There was a song recorded early on in these sessions called ‘Wishing Well’ and one line said ‘the blackbird sings alone, it echoes through the vale’. And the bass player at the time suggested using the title ‘Blackbird’. Then with the whole internet thing I could only get www.blackbirdsounds.com so it just became ‘Blackbird Sounds’ which I think is cool and sidesteps the traditional route of a troubadour with guitar in hand, not that there’s anything wrong with that but I want to do something more diverse.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
In normal circumstances, which we have not been since March 2020, my day is extremely planned, as is my week, month and indeed years ahead. Everything is given a time in accordance with priority. I generally rise early at 5.45am and workout before breakfast. I then do some songwriting followed by an hour of reading. After that my working day starts with calls and meetings but not too many. I like my own space and generally work in isolation. I always have multiple projects on the go so I’ll check in on progress with each one daily.
How do you bring ideas to life?
When a song, a melody or words ‘arrive’ they generally do so by happenstance and catch you unaware. You have to be wired in to ‘receive’ the words or the melody and that can be simply choosing not to chase it but rather let it come to you. For example I write aphorisms all the time and one relates to this in that; ‘in the search for something new, you mustn’t fight to find the time but rather allow the time find you’.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Words and melody or rather the melody almost writing the words and then the communal nature of bringing a song to life that speaks to other people’s lives and brings people together, creates memories, alleviates sorrow and brings joy.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I would say I’m extremely driven and very tenacious. If I want something, I just go and do it or I go and get it. Education is a huge driver also; I’m very big on mapping out time for self-education, new courses and reading.
What advice would you give your younger self?
‘Cross the line’ – in the Charles Bukowski sense; if you’re going to go, go all the way. Youth and naivety are a formidable combination; alas it is a cliché but only because it’s true that youth is wasted on the young but I would say ‘just start’, don’t ask for second opinions; if your gut is telling you something then your job is to listen and act upon it!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Infinity can be found in an instant. It can only last for that instant yet always remain infinite.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Be sincere, be honest, admit when you are wrong and be reasonable so long as you are not being treated unreasonably.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I was thrown out of a band when I was a teenager. It affected me in the most profound way imaginable. I never spoke to anyone about it but critically I sincerely wished them success and it was that intention that freed me and ultimately led to have an insatiable drive to succeed.
I’ve failed at so many things so many times and each time was a test and ultimately a blessing.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I believe having the right intention internally is the most important idea to grasp and apply on any new venture.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I brought my daughter to the Disney Store in Dublin and bought her some gifts and then went for a swim together – money and time well spent.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use iCal to organize my life and it syncs across all of my devices. I also plug in ToDoist for smaller tasks that helps me stay focused and productive.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
‘Strength To Love’ – Sermons of Martin Luther King
What is your favorite quote?
‘Always do for others and let others do for you’ – from Bob Dylan’s song Forever Young. The latter is of equal importance to the former and it took me a while to understand that.
- At any one time we dwell in both the conscious and the unconscious world
- If you’ve had many ‘failures’ and your heart is true; you may be being tested
- As they say, ‘many are called but few are chosen’ so stay true to the heart’s desire
- Focus and structure is great but life is for living so beyond a wholesome discipline make sure you tear up the rule book every once in a while and enjoy your life.
- The purpose of art is be to reveal deepen our appreciation of life but the business of earning a living can sometimes obstruct the dream of creatin a life. Don’t let that happen!
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.