This week's Rising Star is Finola Doran, head of rock & alternative radio at Propeller Communications...
Where did your music journey start?
“Where all good journeys begin, in Derry. When I was coming of age musically in the 2000s discovering and immersing myself in all things rock, punk and metal, Northern Ireland was awash with exceptional local talent. Jetplane Landing, And So I Watch You From Afar and Fighting With Wire were leading the charge, and brought about a renaissance for our tiny scene. It was mind-blowing seeing bands from my front doorstep suddenly in the pages of Kerrang! There was electricity in the air and I wanted to be a part of it. Since I have no musical prowess of my own, I started writing for local publications, enthusing about all the amazing live shows I attended. I later moved to London and worked at Artrocker Magazine, where I became features editor, and then on to Rocket PR, where I cut my teeth as a national radio plugger.”
What’s the best bit about your job?
“I love booking sessions and interviews, it makes me feel like I’ve played a role in the legacy of an artist and of each radio station. Also, securing plays that hold sentimental value or are a personal milestone for the artist; nothing feels better!”
New rock music is stronger than it’s been for years
How exciting is new music right now?
“New music, certainly in the rock and alternative genres is at it’s strongest in years. There’s a real sense of creativity, vitriol and tenacity oozing through the global scene. My current recommendations are Amyl And The Sniffers, Dream Nails, Table Scraps, Drinking Boys And Girls Choir, Bitch Falcon, Waco and Nova Twins.”
Why is the UK rock scene unique?
“Firstly, the UK has been a phenomenal influence on the global rock scene for decades, and for new artists to constantly stand on the shoulders of those giants is really special in itself. UK rock artists across all its sub-genres have also been inherently in tune with their surroundings, be it politically or socially, constantly creating work that communicates their message and brings fans together. In terms of musicality, the sheer fearlessness to innovate outside of the stereotypical rock realm is constantly breathing fresh life into the scene. That said, the fans are the powerhouse, with their dedication, open-mindedness and insatiable hunger for new music.”
What’s the biggest issue in music?
“There are many, but the closure of grassroots venues is heartbreaking. Institutions across the UK need more help, otherwise we will lose the fabric that holds the industry together. There is no better feeling than discovering your new favourite band live in a small venue.”
FINOLA'S RECOMMENDED TRACK: