Niall Mooney and his contributions to Eurovision and Junior Eurovision and more

Niall Mooney is a talented songwriter from Ireland and has contributed to several Eurovision and national selections and also Junior Eurovision songs.

Niall’s first involvement to Eurovision was in 2004 where he co-wrote Summer Rain for Jean Elliot with his former bandmate, Brendan McCarthy for the Irish national selection. Niall was in a band called Candy’s Room in the 90s. They never released an album only a single on a Best of Irish compilation in 1993. However, during the COVID lockdown the band finally got to making music for an album of songs they had from the 90’s and as well as a couple of new ones. One of them, Disappear, ended up as the 2020 JESC entry for Ireland by Maiú Levi Lawlor called Saor (Disappear).

Niall got to meet Jonas Gladnikoff (songwriter from Sweden) via ESCnation site, and they started collaborating and entering national final selections around Europe. Their first attempt together though for Ireland. They wrote a couple of songs  called Journey Home and Ave Maris Stella for Brian Kennedy when he was looking for songs for the 2006 Eurovision. Unfortunately,  neither were picked although one was short listed. Ave Maris Stella later became the Aimee Banks Junior Eurovision song for Ireland called Realta Na Mara in 2015.  Aimee Banks was a friend of Niall’s daughters, and they were looking for a song. As she was a budding Opera singer Realta was perfect for her.  Incidently, Aimee  is now with the Royal Academy of Irish Music and becoming one of the countries best opera singers. It was great to be there when her career was just starting and watching them become a star of the future.

Niall and Jonas made it to their first Eurovision national final together in Albania but they were not allowed to list their names. Then they got into the Bulgarian selection. However, the big breakthough was for Ireland 2009 with Sinéad Mulvey & Black Daisy with Et Cetera and and more success in 2010  with It’s For You by Niamh Kavanagh also for Ireland.

Niall’s focus has been on Junior Eurovision in recent years. He thought it was an opportunity to try new things and one day, hopefully, bring what he has learnt to the adult contest.  He co-wrote five Irish entries mostly with Jonas. A guy called Ovie made most of our videos like Banshee and IOU and that has really helped raise their game. Adare Productions have become great at identifying new talent and recently with Solas a big improvement on the staging for Ireland.

Anna Kearney re-opened a long shut window with the song Banshee by introducing Celtic music. It was underrated but got great feedback and Anna did a fantastic job. Her mother Eileen was one of the original River Dancers from Eurovision 2004 and both Anna and Eileen brought a level of professionalism on the road that TG4 tv have tried to maintain. Taylor Hynes, who sang IOU in 2018, was also a great ambassador. For Solas, Niall and the team tried to improve things like music production and staging and with a star like Sophie Lennon, Ireland got its first great result in either Eurovision or Junior Eurovision contests in decades. Niall really hopes he can take what he has learned in Junior back to the adult contest in the next couple of years and see if it translates. Maybe even have a JESC entrant return in the adult contest.

Outside of Eurovision, Niall and his band and old school friend, Brendan, got involved with a Meat Loaf based Rock musical and wrote a few songs for Steve Steinman’s debut album. It charted well and an original musical is in the works. Journey Home the song all those years back got to Number 1 on Amazon and Apple in the UK last Christmas and will feature on the new album and musical coming in October. His shows are epic in scale and nature, ‘Vampires Rock’ and ‘Anything For Love’. Niall’s band, Candy’s Room, can now be heard on Spotify.

Niall’s future plan is to continue to work with JESC one or two more times and eventually tackle Eurovision itself with something distinctly Irish.

Source: ESC Covers

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