Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Aenean commodo ligula eget.

242 Wythe Ave #4, Brooklyn, NY 11249

The 99% Episode #18 with Jake McArdle

The Irish pop-singer Jake McArdle discovered his inner power and seeks to share it with the world. Winning the Music Youth Award from his homeland reflects he is unafraid of a challenge. His story begins coming from a household always keeping it musical with the likes of Michael Jackson and Diana Ross. Sooner than later he started writing his own songs soon before entering into the IYMAs. With the talents he beholds, he won the Louth heat and represented the country at the national awards.

Words from Jake McArdle:

I wanted to write a personal letter, from me to you. I truly believe that having a connection, whether through music or dialog is critical towards building an understanding.  An understanding of where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going.[…] I write music because when I experience something I feel the need to get it out. I was never any good at speaking up about my personal issues, so I found that writing it down made me feel as if a weight was lifted from my shoulders.

Listen To Jake McArdle’s 99 Percent Podcast Interview Below:

[00:00] Steereo:

Welcome back to the 99% Podcast! We’re here today with Irish singer-songwriter, Jake McArdle, thank you for joining us on today’s show, Jake.


Thank you so much for considering me, I’m so excited!


So tell of a little bit about yourself, Jake, in terms of where you’re from and how you got into music in the first place.


Basically, I was born in 1997, on the 26th of November in a little town called Dundalk; it’s just off Dublin, not far, about an hour from Dublin. I was born there and raised there in the town. My whole childhood has always been full of music. In my family, from my dad to my mom, it was always Queen, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, everybody was constantly playing in our house 24/7. Of course that inspired me a lot. Throughout my childhood, my mom always called me dramatic because I’ve been singing from a young age and I suppose the inspiration from it all definitely came from my parents. For a little bit of background on that, my grandfather and his brothers were all in choir when they were younger, as well, so there were always elements of music there brought through both houses with my grandparents and my house. When I was in primary school, I was always the first to audition for any plays that were going on. Or if there was a musical or if they were starting up a new group for the choir or anything like that. I was always first in line to show off what I had to offer, and I was always involved in the showcase aspect of things in school.


I can agree with you there. I think Irish households are super musical. It’s something you were brought up with. My mom and dad passed down their favorite artists. A lot of the social cues in Ireland are basedond people getting together and having a few drinks and there’s always music involved. I completely understand. Jake, for you, I read that you’ve been winning some awards. You won a youth award for music, right?


Yes, that’s correct. Before I describe that, I wanted to tell you that of course I sang and acted throughout my childhood. When I hit puberty, that lovely little thing, my voice broke and I couldn’t sing anymore, or I thought I couldn’t sing anymore so I stopped with music completely. However, in 2015 I picked up the guitar, due to my best friend Nathan, he’s an amazing guitarist and he was showing me the ropes. Then, I could play the guitar so I started singing as well and it was just a little hobby that I was doing and nobody really knew about it. Then I did sing the notification on Facebook for the Irish Music Awards. It was very intriguing, I wasn’t too sure exactly what it was, but I looked further into it and they were holding auditions in my town. It was at a place where any local artists could come and showcase a cover of a song and an original. That night, I remember I walked down the stairs and I asked my mum to drop me off at the pub and she would laugh and say, “you’re only sixteen, what do you want to go to the pub for?”

Photo of Jake McArdle via Facebook

I didn’t tell anybody and I auditioned anyway. Long story short, I performed a cover and my first original song. Shortly after, I found out I was given the opportunity to represent the county with a team of over 30 other artists, dancers, actors, writers, and everybody was involved. It was a long process that was about thirteen weeks, which ended in a final event, the national day, where each representative from each county would get up and perform the song that was in the running. I remember that I got to perform a song by a local artist, called Keith Rogers, and he wrote the song that was chosen to represent the county. It was held in a stadium and was the scariest experience of my life. I had only started music again a couple weeks back and I was so nervous because it was my first live performance in a long time. It was all very surreal. Throughout the thirteen weeks leading up to the national event, I was constantly practicing and we were allowed to it as a rehearsal venue so we were constantly practicing on the stage. I had radio interviews and newspaper interviews here at home, and that kind of prepared me for the national event but still was nothing when compared to what it actually was.


For people that don’t know, this stadium houses about 80,000 people. When you talk about nerves, for anyone listening to this, how do you deal with your nerves?


Nerves is something we all have. I think if you don’t have nerves, there’s a little bit of a problem. Anytime I perform or have an interview, like I was quite nervous before I got this phone call today. What I always do if I feel the nerves are getting a bit overwhelming before an event or performance, I always go and try to find a quiet spot. No matter where you are, there is always going to be a quiet spot. Just go and find that place, sometimes I carry lavender or lemongrass oil, put a bit on that on me so that I can smell it, and it helps keep you calm and keep your nerves down. Another thing I would suggest is to take a look at what you’ve accomplished so far. That’s a big thing for me because I never used to think about it a lot, and anytime I got sad I wouldn’t really take a look at all I’ve accomplished. Recently, any time I feel down, or nervous and start worrying that it’s crap or they won’t like me, I’ll always just take a look at all I’ve accomplished. If I got this far being me, I can get a whole lot further being me. It all comes down to trusting that you can do what you want to do and be who you want to be, and that there are no limits. You just have to do it.


Jake, in terms of that initial part of your journey, getting back into the music industry, what were some of the challenges that you actually faced within your career so far, and how did you ultimately overcome the challenges?


There were quite a couple of challenges. Just after we won the event for the Irish Music Awards, I was called by R.T.E. We were offered an invite to go onto a show in Ireland, a little show, about 20 minutes long where they bring in upcoming artists from around the country. That day was one of the most nerve racking days I’ve had in my whole entire life. I remember that week my vocal coach wasn’t available at all that week, there were a couple of things with outfits, nothing seemed to be going right for me. In terms of experiences and difficulties, believing in myself was the huge thing that I’ve always struggled with and still do sometimes. When I was younger in school, I did get bullied quite a lot about different things. I know that happens everywhere, I know it goes on, however, it did take an affect on me where it makes me crawl into a box. When I did get back into music, I remember my mom and dad just sitting, having a conversation with me, telling me what’s coming as you pursue music because you need to get out of your comfort zone. That was definitely a huge challenge, being thrown into the live performance in a stadium after not singing in front of anybody for years. Loads of different things will come, and they are all challenging on their own.

Watch Jake McArdle Irish Youth Music Awards Winner Perform

I remember a couple months back, just before I signed with a label, I was invited to London to audition for a boy band, I’m not going to name them, but I was away from home for a couple of weeks, completely out of my comfort zone, I was with a band, there were lots of different things we were doing with rehearsals, and that was not the worst experience, but was a very scary stage of my life. I was out of my home, in a different country, I didn’t know what I was going to do, it was a bit of a whirlwind. I definitely think these experiences prepare us for what’s coming because when you’re moving in the right direction, you’ve got everything you need and you believe in yourself, you keep yourself grounded and you can see where you want to go. The next challenge is going to be more difficult, but it’s going to make you better. Look at it this way; the harder the challenge, the more success to come because it only builds you stronger, it shows you what to look out for going forward, it shows you the little red flags to steer clear of. I do think our experiences define us in so many ways.


In terms of sound, for your new music and your new E.P. and all that good stuff, can you explain the sound of your new material? What direction are you going in, and where does your inspiration come from?


My music that is coming up, I would describe it as a fresh, soulful, pop rock album. That would be one of the easiest way to describe it; a bit of a mix. We tried to experiment a lot so I have a little bit of every genre that I could possibly apply in the album because I still don’t know what my sound is, I’m still finding my feet, still finding my niche in terms of sound. However, the album is definitely funky, you can groove to it, it’s happy, it’s emotional, there’s a lot of different mixed feelings in there. Of course, when you do hear the songs, a lot of them are making a statement. When I was bullied in school, that definitely inspired a lot of this album. The title is “They Don’t Know My Name,” and there’s a lot of meaning behind that. It goes right back to when I was bullied in school, it brings up through the track. Essentially I’m telling a story through the album. It’s an anthem for those weird kids, as the bullies would call them, they’re actually the cool kids. This album is just basically saying you’re cool no matter what, and why should you let somebody define you.

Listen to A Sample of Jake McArdle’s Vibrant Sound:


You’ve been a Steereo artist from the beginning, and you’ve been having some massive successes through the platform. I know 2 of your songs charted recently in our top 10. How are you finding your experience with Steereo, and music technology in general? Do you think it’s a really good thing for artists right now?


Steereo is an absolutely amazing platform for upcoming artists. It allows you to showcase your work to an audience who genuinely care. When music is released for upcoming artists through the likes of YouTube and SoundCloud, which are all amazing platforms, but it means there isn’t enough behind it. When you turn on the radio, you’re going to hear what’s hot right now from the biggest stars, and that’s all you’re going to hear. It’s very nice to see a platform that’s focused on unsigned and upcoming artists, and promote them in a creative way, which lets everybody hear. I think that’s fantastic, that there is an opportunity for everybody to get their songs listened to by the day to day public. It’s one of the best things I came across in the last year. It gets you to the right places, heard by the right people, and it has you grow your fanbase as well. You get a lot of people on social media enjoying the music. All around it’s an amazing experience and it’s an amazing organization.


Amazing, we appreciate that! 






Kai is a Los Angeles-based writer, lover of entertainment, art, and film.