Interview – Pio Hartnett

Pio Hartnett is an Irish musician that we’ve covered a couple of times recently, having reviewed his song, Roses. I liked his sound so wanted to find out more about him – read our interview below and don’t forget to check the track out afterwards!

By Jane Howkins

You recently released a song titled Roses, which we reviewed. What can you tell us about the track and where can it be purchased? What does the title refer to?

Roses is a song I wrote about being authentic, really. It can be purchased at iTunes and even better, on Bandcamp, thanks for asking!

The title refers to the line in the chorus, “I can’t smell the roses round here”. It’s about when you’re just faking it, but you know well that vital components are missing. It’s important to me not to waste people’s time, and I think we waste each other’s time in relationships sometimes purely because we don’t want to be alone. Rather than out of genuine thought for the good of the other person. And our own long term good.

Has the pandemic hindered your work much?

The pandemic made me pivot hard into the online world. I learned to write and produce with artists and producers from different countries. It actually challenged me in some really good ways, to be honest, in my case.

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

The writing process involves coffee, real pen and paper (or blunt pencil oftentimes!), and usually walks. Melodies come on foot, or on my bike too.

Recording has to happen close to the writing for me – while its fresh. For that, its helpful for me that I record a lot at home.

Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?

I’m planning to drop another single in March! So very soon. Tell NO-ONE!

Do you have plans to release an EP or album anytime soon?

An EP is on the cards soon too. I don’t want to say too much about that yet, but think months. And more than one EP. Think that too.

What/who influences you most as an artist? What have you been listening to recently?

The bands I listened to growing up influence me as an artist for sure. Radiohead are a big one, musically, that never go away. Lately, Frank Ocean, Holly Humberstone, Biig Piig – these are all important for me as of the past year or two. I’m not one of those artists who ‘doesn’t care for trends’. I love new music. My latest favourite song, if you really push me on this, is Nail Tech by Jack Harlow. The way he brings his warm personality into his music is really interesting to me.

Where are you based? What is the music scene like in your part of the world? Are you influenced by your surroundings?

I’m based in Dublin! The music scene is traditionally amazing here – and thankfully, since things are opening up again after many brutal lockdowns, there’s actually a lot of music starting to pop up again. I’m delighted. Musicians here are into collaborations right now, in a big way. I think the fruit in the next 5, 10 years, in hip-hop and R&B from Ireland in particular, is going to be something to watch out for.

And yeah, the energy inspires me, for sure!

Do you have any tour dates lined up?

To be announced!

What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

If you come to my live show, expect harmonies. I know what I’m good at. I get voices. I’ve been lucky to be taught a bit about how to put them together, and there’s nothing like it when you hear a great vocal arrangement. Expect a bit of that, a bit of slow bops, a bit of silly humour. Come see me play live if you enjoy that sort of thing. Also, I promise you an optional high five – just present me with the official coupon code “ARRRGGHHHH MATTEEYY” and I will provide the goods.

I think that’s enough reasons. Erm, gosh did I really type that. Next question!

Any last words for the fans?

Hmm. That word is always funny to me, if I’m honest, because the only people I know who listen to my music are my friends. That’s not because I haven’t been fortunate enough to have a lot of people listen to my songs – I’ve been really fortunate that way, even already. But what I mean is I don’t know what to say to people I don’t know. And then when I do meet someone who has listened to my songs, and hang out with them, then they’re a friend. Oof, that sounds cheesy. But honestly, it’s the only way I can quantify the weirdness that is people listening to things I’ve made through the internet.

So I would tell my friends… thanks for believing that I could do this. You always did, when I really really didn’t. It’s cool getting to do this stuff.

That’s all! Thank you so much Jane for having me.