Derry musician chosen as proud ambassador for Northern Ireland’s independent music scene


Derry musician and singer SOAK has been chosen to represent Northern Ireland at Independent Venue Week.

This will celebrate the importance of independent venues in building local talent across the UK.

SOAK has been a champion of Derry and its music scene since he wrote “Sea Creatures” at the age of 14, now they will further expand their role as Ambassador for Northern Ireland.

One of the youngest Mercury Prize nominees, their debut album “Before We Forgot How To Dream” won them accolades from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, New Yorker, NPR Music, Noisey, NYLON, Bust, The Guardian, NME, and more.

Bridie Monds-Watson, aka SOAK, after receiving the Northern Ireland Music Prize 2015 by Stuart Bailie at Mandela Hall, Belfast

SOAK also performed on Later With Jools Holland and won the prestigious Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year, the Northern Irish Music Prize and the European Border Breaker Award.

Soak released their second album “Grim Town” in 2019 on Rough Trade. Soak performed around the world in support of the album, including making her television debut on the US Network on the Seth Myers show.

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Upon hearing that SOAK would represent Northern Ireland for Independent Venue Week, they said: “For a relatively small place, the wealth of talent that comes from Northern Ireland is vast and unique.

“As a teenager, I spent most of my time in local independent venues, either playing games or watching shows and meeting other people who shared my passion for music and creativity.

“I felt so lucky and secure to have access to these environments, the sense of community and support was always so tangible. Not only did they provide a safe space to develop songwriting and performance, but they also provided a link for the creative community to exchange ideas and experiences.

Derry artist SOAK

“When I was fifteen and started ‘putting my arm’ at the open mic at Bennigan’s, I never expected that one day I would be called upon to act as an Ambassador for the Independent Venue. Week in Northern Ireland.

“It is a huge privilege to be a part of something that has been so important in my life and which highlights the incredible role independent places play in the cultural, creative and social capital of Northern Ireland.”

In addition to representing Northern Ireland, SOAK is touring the UK, bringing their talents back to where it all began, at Bennigan’s Bar in Derry.

Tickets for the SOAK tour can be purchased here.

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