Irish Folk Singer Enya Is One Of Irelands Best Sellers

Enya And The Orinoco Flow

Musical genius, Enya – born Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin – started out a small-time singer in her family band called Clanned. The group was managed by Nicky Ryan and he wanted to expand the sound of the group. Instead of going to study music at university he made her an offer to join the family band, go beyond Ireland and start touring the world. It is during this time that Nicky and his wife Roma saw great talent in Enya and made her an offer to start a musical career as a solo artist. 

The brand Enya is effectively made up of three people. Nicky who manages the brand, Roma who writes music and Enya is the face, the voice – well all the voices to be fair – and the musical instrumentalist. Every singe voice that you hear in each of her songs is her singing. Every single instrument that you hear in any of her songs, is her playing that instrument. Her talent is absolutely remarkable. 

Kissing A Frog That Turned Into A Prince

The three recorded two demo songs in the early 1980’s. Roma had decided that the music of Enya, needed visuals to accompany it. It created a better feel and appreciation for the music. These two ‘music videos’ were sent to various film producers. One of them was none other than David Puttnam. He liked her music so much that he commissioned her to write the soundtrack for a romantic comedy movie that he was working on in 1984. The Frog and the Prince. 

The family was still somewhat divided due to Enya’s decision to go with the Ryan’s as solo artist, but she didn’t let any of that distract her from her goal. Producer Tony McAuley came to hear of her beautiful folk sound and in 1985 commissioned her to write the soundtrack to a two-part BBC series, simply called The Celts. Two years later, 40 minutes of the 72 minutes musical pieces were released as her first solo album simply titled Enya. 

Enya, The Celts, The World

That first album was rereleased many years later and called The Celts. But just two weeks after the release of the original album Warner music decided that they had to sign her as an artist. It helped that the label chairman, Rob Dickens, was already a fan of the feel of the music of Clanned. In 1987 the go ahead was given for Enya to start working on her second studio album which would be recorded at Orinoco Studios in Bermondsey. 

The hit track on her second album – labelled ‘Watermark’ – was of course the song called ‘Orinoco Flow’ The song itself is a great allegorical story of her journey up till that point and how she wanted to grow from there. Knowing that her music was not really the kind that you would hear on the billboards, she was incredibly surprised when it overnight reached number 1 in the UK charts and 4 in the USA. Instantly Enya became an international sensation. 

Then Till Now

Enya has released 8 studio albums thus far, selling over 80 million records that you can play right now. She has won 4 Grammy awards. She has performed for royalty and the pope. Her music has been used on stage and screen. She has shown the world that the sound of folk can indeed get you to the top of the list.


I listen to and write about music!

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