Tickets are now available for the live final of the ‘Star Nation’ music competition taking place at Whelan’s in Dublin on Sunday September 29, with break-out Irish hip-hop star Jafaris announced as the special guest.
Star Nation, the brainchild of Irish-owned pizza chain Four Star Pizza, asked musicians and songwriters across the island of Ireland to submit an original song earlier this year for the chance of winning themselves a recording session at one of Ireland’s most famous studios, €3,000 of musical equipment and the chance to play in the final showcase gig at top venue, Whelan’s.
Hundreds of budding songwriters from up and down the country entered the contest, with the four provincial finalists being announced as:
Riley Holland, from Newtownards, Co. Down for her song ‘Butterflies’. Riley, the Ulster finalist, is a singer-songwriter writing acoustic pop songs with a focus on meaningful lyrics who recently started performing her own songs live for the first time at the Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival.
Punk band Turnstiles from Galway were chosen as the Connacht finalists for their track ‘Wasting Away’. The band, who are made up of Jake Tiernan on bass, Callum Mitchell on vocals, Colm Sweeney and Cillian Ryan on guitars, and Luke Mulliez on drums, draw their inspiration from classic groups like The Ramones and Buzzcocks.
DALY, a rap artist from Finglas was announced as the Leinster finalist for his song ‘Everything will be OK‘. DALY (real name Aaron Daly) started performing when he was sixteen around the Temple Bar area, and since January of this year has been gigging regularly and putting on live shows.
Singer songwriter Clara Belle from Timoleague, Co. Cork was chosen as the Munster finalist for her song, ‘City I love U’. After studying in Dublin and pursuing an acting career, Clara Belle (real name Clara Belle Harte) returned to songwriting and for the last two years has been writing, producing and performing her own music.
All four provincial finalists will now receive a one-day recording session at the renowned Windmill Lane Recording Studios, famous for recording world-famous acts such as David Bowie, Lady Gaga, U2, and The Rolling Stones, and will go on to play at the grand final showcase gig on September 29 at Whelan’s, where an overall winner will be revealed who will pick up a cheque for €3,000 of musical equipment from renowned Irish music store, Musicmaker.
Each of the four finalists will perform a set of their original music at the live final where they will also be joined by special guest, Jafaris. Dublin based, Jafaris, has rose from strength to strength as one of Ireland’s most exciting new hip-hop artists, with critical praise for his debut album STRIDE coming from the likes of Radio 1’s Annie Mac, KISS, Spotify and the NME who described him as one of the most exciting new prospects from Irish rap’s rising wave.
Music fans can now grab themselves tickets to see Riley Holland, DALY, Turnstiles, Clara Belle and Jafaris perform at the free event at Whelan’s on Sunday September 29 by going to https://star-nation-final.eventbrite.ie.
Doors open for the live final, which is being sponsored by drinks partner Miller Genuine Draft, from 7:00PM, with a free bottle of Miller going to the first 100 people through the door on the night.
Speaking ahead of the event, Four Star Pizza Communications Executive Christina Hamilton said,
“We’re excited to announce the details of the Star Nation live final at Whelan’s on Sunday September 29 and to reveal our amazing special guest, Jafaris. It’s been overwhelming to see the response to the Star Nation competition, which was created with aim of finding some of the best undiscovered songwriters and performers on this island and give them the equipment, recognition and platform they deserve.
“I’d like to thank all of the musicians and songwriters who entered Star Nation and say a massive congratulations to our regional finalists, Riley Holland, Turnstiles, DALY and Clara Belle. Tickets are now available for the live final and we would encourage everyone to come along and get voting for their favourite act to be crowned overall winner”, added Christina.
Fans can listen to each track and vote for their favourite performer by going to Four Star Pizza’s social media pages or by using the voucher code Star 1 for Ulster, Star 2 for Connacht, Star 3 for Leinster, or Star 4 for Munster when making their next order.
Voting closes on Thursday September 26 with the overall winner being announced at Whelan’s on September 29.