- Words Notion Staff
Indie songwriter and guitarist Christy takes us through his musical firsts and shares brand-new single “Without You”.
From Buchanan Street’s local busker to a soulful pop trailblazer, Christy O’Donnell is quickly rising to the top of the industry ladder with his infectious falsetto notes and guitar licks. The singer-songwriter recently dropped his debut release of the year, “Without You”, following his blues-rock release “In Denial”.
Previously a musician turned actor, Christy is an artist who isn’t afraid to change up his stripes. During an extensive busking tour around Europe, he later found himself signed with a lead role in an independent feature titled Moon Dogs. A performer with an array of talent and zero creative boundaries, Christy continues to prove himself as an artist to watch for his charismatic attitude and genre-bending musicality. Having driven his career to such notable success independently, it’s fair to say all eyes are on him this year.
Christy reminisces on where it all began, as he takes us through a selection of his musical firsts: from the first single he ever made to the first obstacle he faced in his music career. Dive in.
First track you ever made?
I wrote my first song when I was 16 called “Our Love”. I wrote and recorded it on the iPhone 4 GarageBand app one night after my first ever ‘heartbreak’. You can actually still find it on YouTube…
First song you released officially?
The first song I released was during the start of lockdown in 2020, “On My Mind” – it’s an acoustic song that is actually one of my most streamed songs on Spotify now.
First CD or record you owned?
Actually, this is a funny one – Nickelback, Silver Side Up was the first CD I ever owned. I remember watching the advert for it on TV and asking for it for Christmas, I was obsessed. I must have been about six years old, it was closely followed by Nirvana’s Nevermind. I’m glad I graduated to Nirvana pretty soon after.
First time you realized you wanted to be an artist?
The first time I realised I wanted to be an artist I was about 18/19 years old. I used to sing just backing vocals with a friend, but people started telling me that I was a better singer than him. So I started busking on the street myself rather than with him. I was also making double the money, so that was good. I never believed I could sing until that point.
First gig you went to?
My first gig was a funny one… I went through a very brief metal phase and it was Slipknot in 2009 at the SECC in Glasgow. I went by myself and had the maddest time. I’m sure I saw Mr Tambourine Man when I was like three, but I suppose that doesn’t count. Total legend though.
First time you faced an obstacle in your career?
That’s a difficult one, because you constantly face obstacles of all kinds in this job. I think the most difficult situation I have been in was moving on from my old manager who had become one of my closest friends also.
First instrument you owned?
I actually started playing the alto saxophone when I was nine in school. I had a teacher that was very classical – I moved on to improv jazz stuff and she hated it and would shout at me for doing it. So I gave it up and moved on to guitar, where I had a lot more control over what to play. Me playing the guitar was almost a rebellion against her rules. So cheers Mrs Barrowman.
First time you felt like giving up?
I feel like giving up all the time… I mean, if I didn’t then I would probably be some kind of robot. I think if you don’t question yourself and think about giving up at least once then you would never improve at what you do.
First time you felt starstruck?
I met the Lord of The Rings Scottish actor Billy Boyd who played one of the hobbits – when I was nine I was totally blown away. I always wanted to be an actor when I was younger, so to meet someone that I watched in the cinema was mind-boggling – I freaked out big time. I met him years later and stupidly said to him, “you used to be my idol”. I wish I had chosen my words more carefully because that’s not what I meant at all. I’ve hoped to see him again so I can clear that up, not that he thought about it afterwards at all, but I definitely have. You are a legend, Billy Boyd.
First time you ticked off a bucket list goal?
Actually, it was in 2017 on Hollywood Boulevard. I went there with my first film, Moon Dogs, for a film festival. I always said to myself when I get to Hollywood Boulevard with a movie I was in, that would be one of my bucket lists ticked off. Granted, it was in a slightly different way than I had imagined in my head, but still, I was there with a film – all the technicalities were correct. It taught me a good lesson though: that when you achieve things you want to achieve, nothing really changes that much unless you get masses of money from it I suppose, maybe one day.