ROE is the moniker of 18-year-old grump multi-instrumentalist from Derry, Roisin Donald. A songwriter at heart, with pop hooks surrounded by lush synths and big drum machines, ROE describes her music as ‘Grumpy Electro Pop’, and only a year into her song-writing career has already earned herself a slot at the legendary Glastonbury Festival, performing on the BBC Introducing stage.
Despite her youth, 2017 has been an exciting year for the 18-year-old artist. Kicking off with the release of ‘Fake Ur Death’; featured on Tom Robinson’s weekly mixtape on BBC Radio 6, selected as ‘Track of the Day’ by BBC Across the Line (calling it “Emotive, engaging and just a little dangerous”, as well as being lauded by Jim Carroll of the Irish Times as a “talent on the rise”.
ROE’s latest single ‘Cheek, Boy’ (released on March 10th) garnered considerable attention upon release. It subsequently resulted in a televised performance on BBC Two’s ‘The Arts Show’. The track was selected for the ‘Listening Post’ playlist for that week’s ‘Fresh on the Net’ where it was described as “A lovely little pop-nugget… ROE’s voice is one with more wisdom than her years suggest.”
Since the release of Cheek, Boy, ROE was announced as one of the picks for Help Musicians UKs new Northern Ireland scheme: “3:3, three bands in three years”. The scheme will see a funded programme of development and support for ROE and her team over the next few years to help build and maintain a sustainable career in the industry.
Since then, ROE has gone on to become the voice of the ‘Visit Derry’ tourism campaign, with her music being featured in an international TV advert to promote the city. ‘Fake Ur Death’ was recently used as the music bed for part of Harp’s ‘Pure Here’ campaign and ‘Cheek, Boy’ was on an episode of ITV’s ‘The Only Way is Essex’.
With performances at Output (Belfast) and The Great Escape music showcase (Brighton) already under her belt, ROE has been moving from strength to strength with increasing momentum. Selected as one of 21 acts from around the UK (the only Northern Irish artist) to perform on the BBC Introducing stage at Glastonbury, and with upcoming performances at Reeperbahn in Hamburg and Hard Working Class Heroes in Dublin, the future looks incredibly bright for ROE.