Damien Dempsey is from Donaghmede on Dublin’s Northside.
His earliest musical influences were the post-pub singsongs that his parents used to have at their home when he was a toddler. Good, bad or indifferent, everyone had to sing. Today his unique sound reflects the influence of traditional Sean-Nós as well as his musical heroes: Bob Marley and Elvis Presley.
After completing his secondary education Damien went on to the Ballyfermot “Rock School” for 2 years where he studied musical performance as well as the practical side of the music industry. The school had its own small record label and star students were awarded a release on the label. Damien was chosen for that honour and the EP, “The Contender”, was released in 1995.
In 1997 “Dublin Town”, Damien’s first commercial single, reached No. 18 in the Irish charts. Ireland’s HOT PRESS remarked that it was “…an underground anthem for disaffected youth and closet balladeer alike”. A re-recorded version of the song appeared on Damien’s first album; “They Don’t Teach This Shit In School” released in 2000.