Ailbhe Reddy: I wanted to write a song from a stance of empowerment

DIVA meets the awesome singer-songwriter whose new single Fingertips is all about female sexuality



You know that thing when you stumble across a new artist or band and instantly become hooked? Well, that's how we feel here in the DIVA office about Irish singer-songwriter Ailbhe Reddy. She's been compared to the likes of Lianne La Havas and Fiona Apple and we've got her latest single, Fingertips, playing on repeat. It’s sublime, addictive and, perhaps most excitingly of all, about female sexuality.



We spoke to the woman behind the tunes to find out more.


DIVA: I love your song, Fingertips. How do you think female sexuality is mostly represented in mainstream music right now?

Ailbhe Reddy: The question that people have asked for years is "are women empowered or objectified in music?" I wanted to write a song that was unequivocally from a stance of empowerment. There are some great artists out there in mainstream music pushing this idea forward too. Madonna has been doing it for decades and Ariana Grande is great too. Into You and Dangerous Woman' are absolute tunes.


How do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?

More than anything I want them to feel involved. I've always written songs with the hope that people can relate to what I'm feeling when I write. It’s that connection that I crave and that leads me to make music.


When did you know you wanted to perform?

I think songwriting came first for me. My first gig was a few years ago. I had always been really shy about putting my songs out there. I played my first gig when I was 22 and I was immediately addicted.


How did you feel during that first gig?

It was a small gig with a friend in a pub. I felt sick with nerves all day and then when I got up to sing, it was so fun and people were so responsive. I was lucky it was such a nice gig! 


What do your friends and family think of your job?

I know my niece (who is two) loves listening to my music in the car. So she definitely thinks I'm cool. My family and friends have always been really supportive. My mum and my friends Amy and Ross have been to the most gigs of anyone I know so that's lovely.


Have you faced any challenges in your music career because of your gender or sexuality?

Nothing too severe. Sometimes people assume that I know nothing about my instrument or what I want from sound because I'm female. They usually quickly learn otherwise. Sometimes people focus on my appearance over my music, which would be frustrating for anyone. I feel lucky to work with the people I do, my band and management are all wonderful so I haven't faced many challenges in that regard!  


Fantastic. To finish off, what are your three favourite songs you can’t stop listening to right now?

Never Be Like You - Flume

Cavity - Hundred Waters

No Woman - Whitney


Ailbhe's EP Attach To Memory is out now.


Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves. //


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