To mark ‘Ireland’s National Traveller’s Pride Week’ (Sept 20 -24th 2021), ICC Digital is so proud to present the gifted Irish Traveller musician and Singer Songwriter STEO WALL. In this evocative and beautiful video, which uses old black and white footage of his Traveller friends and family, Steo sings his powerful song ‘My People’.
Steo Wall is a fast rising star on the Irish music scene. Having first barged his way onto the airwaves in 2018 with his debut album, ‘Where I’m From’, which boasts collaborations from Irish music legends such as Damien Dempsey, Luka Bloom and Davy Spillane.
It was clear from the outset that he had something to say and very quickly his live sets were being called tribal. His work has been described in the past by Damien Dempsey as “Irish Soul Music” and Dempsey plays on the first track, released on that album – “What’s wrong with the world Ma”.
The album spent a week on the RTÉ Radio1 playlist and gained national and international airplay and recognition. Steo was asked to perform a song from the album at the inaugural RTÉ Radio1 Folk Awards in 2018. In the same year, Steo also took part in the show ‘Ireland’s Favourite Folk Song’, which was broadcast on Irish National Television and he performed at the RTÉ Radio1 Folk Tent at the ‘All Together Now Festival’ in 2019.
Growing up in Dublin gave Steo a grounding in rap, ‘though I was more Toothpick than Tupac’, he jokes. But it also saw him lose friends and family members to prison and drugs. In 2012 Steo packed a bag and hit the rocky road from his home in Dublin to County Clare, where he quickly immersed himself in the vibrant local music scene. It’s here that Steo first began to play his own original songs, around the local sessions and it was at one of those sessions that Steo met acclaimed Irish folk singer Luka Bloom, who was immediately impressed by Steo’s work and went on to co produce Steo’s debut album.
Mixing traditional Irish folk with some contemporary Irish rap, Steo brings the listener on a journey from the badlands of Dublin’s working class, housing estates to the beauty of Ireland’s west coast. Steo paints a picture of rebelliousness, loved friends and adored, family members, his debut album being an homage to those gone before him. It’s through Steo’s family heritage, which give us an understanding of the depth of Steo’s musical influences.
When Steo told Irish musician Davey Spillane about his personal family connection to the world renowned ‘gypsy uillean pipers’, Johnny and Felix Doran, Spillane offered to put his sound onto one of the tracks on Steo’s debut album. The track “Sarah Doran”, is an ode to Steo’s Traveller grandmother and Spillane’s whistle playing on the track adds to Steo’s beautiful and fitting tribute.
“Where I’m From” is a love letter to the people and places who raised Steo, from a boy, into a man. In his music Steo unapologetically wears his heart on his sleeve. With authentic lyrics, beautiful musicianship and melodies that you’ll find yourself singing for days.
‘Where I’m From’ is like a burst of colour on a monochrome landscape.
Since the release of his first album, Steo has gone on to perform and tour with Aslan, Declan O’Rourke, Mick Flannery, Damien Dempsey and he headlined and played the Doolin Folk Festival, Feile Nasc, All Together Now and at Vicar St.
He has also played in theatres and venues across Ireland and England. His second studio album, “Street Wisdom For Lost Souls” will be released in early 2022.
To buy Steo’s album go to www.steowall.ie/shop/
What The Press and Musicians say about Steo Wall
“Steo Wall is set to join the likes of Damien Dempsey and Shane McGowan as a pioneering voice in Irish folk music” Peter McGoran, Hot Press.
“He comes from the tradition with a contemporary feel to his singing, Steo Wall is worth a good listen”. Christy Moore
“Streetwise and sentimental, Steo’s gritty Dublin rap and folksy heart-on-sleeve love songs are definitely en vogue. The input of Luka Bloom and Damien Dempsey adds a professional polish to an uncut diamond”.
Eamon Carr, Horslips.”
“Where I’m From” is this Dublin-raised, Claire-based tunesmith’s first album, but you’d be forgiven for thinking he’s five records deep into his career and campaign.” Edwin McFee, Hot Press Magazine.