Catherine McGrath is arguably one of the most influential artists in the UK country music scene. She has already achieved quite a lot, despite being in the early stages of her career. Currently, the Irish singer has over 12 million streams on Spotify, opened for the likes of Dan and Shay and finished up a sold-out UK tour. With more and more people discovering her daily, Catherine shows no signs of slowing down.
Over the course of Country 2 Country (C2C) weekend, Catherine did various performances. I was lucky enough to catch her set, on the Spotlight stage, last Saturday (9th March). The singer performed some of her biggest hits to date, starting with “Just in Case” from her debut album. The upbeat track details the early stages of dating, and the anxiety which comes with it. She followed this up with powerful performances of “Wild” and “Lost in the middle.” Catherine delivered a captivating set, and her incredible stage presence had the audience hooked at every line.
However, this wasn’t the only highlight of the 21-year old’s weekend as she also became the first UK artist to debut on the main stage, after being brought out by Hunter Hayes to perform their duet “Don’t let me forget.” When asked by Affinity for her thoughts on this achievement, she called it ‘crazy’ and went on to note that it proved Country music goes further than America and is more about being sincere with your writing.’
Country music can come from anywhere and you don’t have to be American or fit any of the stereotypes. It shows that no matter where you’re from, if you have a story to tell, and you’re prepared to be open and honest with people, that can connect and go as far as you want it to go.’
Catherine is known for writing songs that young women can relate to, especially when it comes to relationships. For example, her song “Thought it was gonna be me,” details the harsh reality of liking someone who only sees you as a friend and ends up committed with someone else. It’s a horrible dilemma that every girl finds herself in at one point in her life and songs like these remind them that they are not alone.
‘Country music made me feel understood so to have girls coming up to me and say your music really helped me is the coolest thing ever,’ is what the singer had to say about helping other young women through her music. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me as Catherine is extremely relatable and upon meeting her for our interview outside Nando’s in the O2, I could see why it translates into her music so well. She was extremely inviting and talking to her felt less like an interview and more like chatting to a close girlfriend.
However, C2C isn’t the only festival the Irish star is playing this year. She is set to play a set at TRNSMT in Glasgow, Scotland in July and has just been announced as a headliner for the first British indoors Country festival, she will be joining the likes of Ward Thomas and honorary Brit Sarah Darling. The festival will take place in Blackpool this September, and when asked how she feels about playing festivals; Catherine expressed her excitement at being given ‘a real chance to connect with different audiences.’
It is this genuine desire to appeal to more than just fans of Country music which will continue to drive her success, and we are so excited to see it manifest.
Check out her duet with Hunter Hayes ‘Don’t let me forget’ now!
Featured Image via Catherine Mcgrath