For some, the call to make art goes far beyond the love of the art form itself. It is an uncontrollable creativity that comes as easily to the individual as breathing. For Niamh (pronounced neev), a Scottish-born singer-songwriter who has been singing since before she could speak, this is precisely the case.
“Music is just a part of me, never really a choice, kinda who I am,” Niamh says. At 16 years old, she is a multi-instrumentalist whose powerful, passionate vocals have made her a quickly rising star in Portland. As a young artist, she has the space to take risks as she focuses on her artistic development. “I like experimenting with different genres and musical influences to widen my audience,” she says. “My songs range from a pretty heavy rock sound to love songs on a uke.”
All this experimentation is paying off. In the latest Rye Room Session, Niamh delivers an impassioned performance that exemplifies the unique perspective she brings to her work as a young artist. While her youth allows her to tap into raw emotion, her songwriting illustrates a distinct maturity in how she processes her feelings. Niamh notes that “Pretending” is inspired by “the realization that someone who was in my life at the time just wasn’t good for me, and I had to let them go. ‘Pretending’ came from the very bottom of my heart... I had to put myself first before that person.”
“She has a quiet confidence that is captivating to her audience,” says Rye Room owner and producer Matt Greco. Indeed, Niamh credits her blossoming confidence as a performer to unique opportunities stemming from her involvement with the Portland School of Rock. As part of three national AllStars Tours, she has graced stages at Lollapalooza, House of Blues Chicago, Knitting Factory in New York, and Detroit’s Mo Pop Festival to name a few. With an artist as fresh and exciting as Niamh, each performance is sure to tell a story of new growth and promise.