Artist Profiles: Kila

Kila

The Dublin-based jam band septet Kíla exploded onto the Irish music scene. The band has captivated audiences with transcendent performances fusing Celtic and world idioms. Their CD Tóg é Go Bog é (“Take it Easy”) went gold in Ireland with a top 20 pop single.

From the beginning, Kíla’s focus has been on original music, and their repertoire consists entirely of their own material. All seven band members are talented multi-instrumentalists and composers who have worked with such cutting-edge artists as Dead Can Dance and Hector Zazou. In addition, they have written extensively for film and television soundtracks. The tunes are built around traditional signatures, but wind their way down unexpected roads. Their Irish pop hit “Ón Taobh Tuathail Amach” (pronounced “on tave tulla mahk”) is an infectious Afro-reggae-Celtic chant heavy with percussion and horns.

Kíla began as a family affair about 10 years ago with the three brothers Ó Snodaigh (“o-snod-ah”), who were encouraged to form a traditional band in school. Rónán (vocals/bodhran), Colm (flute) and Rossa (bouzouki) Ó Snodaigh have been writing tunes, songs and poems in both English and Irish Gaelic from the time they were children. The band soon included Eoin Dillon on pipes and fiddler Dee Armstrong, who brought along the band’s other brother team, Lance (guitar) and Brian (bass) Hogan.

The band began to build a fan base in Ireland as an underground cult favorite. Their electrifying performances led by charismatic front man Rónán Ó Snodaigh began drawing hundreds of dancing fans. The Irish press soon took notice. Kíla’s first self-produced CD, Mind The Gap, came out in 1995 to rave reviews, The Irish Times hailing it as “a subversive musical intelligence at work.”

Major Celtic festivals in Europe began calling, and the band began making select appearances overseas. The band has performed at such major international venues as WOMAD festivals in Australia, New Zealand and Spain, the London Fleadh, WOMEX, the Vancouver and Winnipeg Folk Festivals, San Francisco Celtic Festival and SXSW.

Original Band Members

Rónán Ó Snodaigh (vocals, bodhrán, guitar, percussion)

Colm Ó Snodaigh (flute, whistles, vocals, saxophone, percussion)

Rossa Ó Snodaigh (bouzouki, bodhrán, didgeridoo, mandolin, djembe)

Lance Hogan (guitars, hammer dulcimer, vocals, percussion)

Brian Hogan (bass, vocals, percussion, guitar)

Dee Armstrong (fiddle, viola, accordion, bodhrán, vocals)

Eoin Dillon (uilleann pipes, whistles, vocals, percussion)

Discography:

Mind The Gap (Kíla Records, 1995)
Tóg É Go Bog É (Kíla Records, 1997)
Lemonade & Buns (Kíla Records, 2000)
Live At Vicar St. Dublin ‎(Kíla Records, 2000)
Monkey! The Soundtrack ‎(Kíla Records, 2001)
Handel’s Fantasy (Kíla Records, 2001)
Luna Park (Kíla Records, 2003)
Live In Dublin ‎(Kíla Records, 2004)
Kíla & Oki ‎(Kíla Records, 2006)
Gamblers’ Ballet (Kíla Records, 2007)
Once Upon A Time (Kíla Records, 2008)
The Secret Of Kells (Kíla Records, 2009)
Rogha – The Best Of Kíla (Kíla Records, 2009)
Soisín ‎(Kíla Records, 2010)
Song Of The Sea ‎(Mercury 2014)
Suas Sios (Kíla Records, 2015)
Alive (Kíla Records, 2016)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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