Pandemic-inspired song released by Emmét McGonagle ahead of close-contact closures

In 2017 I released an EP titled ‘The Blame’ under my own name (Emmét McGonagle) which earned radio play across BBC, Highland Radio and other regional and international radio shows and is still available via streaming services; but after completing a Master’s Degree in Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University in 2018 I found myself too busy to write and record any new music, and my musical side-project fell by the wayside in favour of work as a journalist for titles including OK! and the Daily Star.

However, when JJ Johnston’s hair salon (which stands next to my family home on Limavady’s Irish Green Street) was forced to close at the beginning of lockdown in March, JJ got in touch with me in the hopes that I would write a song about his experience of closing his doors after more than a decade of business.

It was the first track I had written in about two years, and the final version had been penned and demoed within a day of JJ’s message. The track inspired me to keep writing and recording music, and my first EP under the name Emét, Cheers and All the Best is set to be released in January next year.

JJ’s is now back up and running (until Friday, when it will be closed under new government guidelines) and my song JJ Johnston is available on all buying and streaming platforms including iTunes, Spotify and Amazon Music, as well as via social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. The track will also be promoted by a music video, which was filmed in JJ Johnston’s House of Hair in Limavady by local independent media production company Sunset Media NI. The video will be released on Friday (16 October) via Emét’s social media links below.

It was recorded in Belfast’s Half Bap Recording Studios in August by George Sloan, with accompaniment from drummer Matt Sloan and bassist Rónán McQuillan.


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