Neil Brannigan Tyrrell musician
My biggest challenge I think will be staying real…
to myself and not getting tempted to take an easier route to my dreams. ” – @tyrrell_b

Listen to the Interview:
Episode #270 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax

by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio

Around 7 years ago I went to see a well known Irish Psychic back in Dublin…
I was very skeptical about Psychics (I didn’t actually believe any of it could be true at all). There was about 300 people at the hotel where this ‘Psychic workshop’ was held. I was one of the seven or eight people she pulled from the crowd for a reading.

She told me lots of things regarding people and places I had forgotten along the way. The strangest thing for me though was that she was able to name certain people that were close to me and that had passed on. She was able to describe them and basically didn’t get one thing wrong about any of them. To be honest, it was a probably the strangest experience of my life. She also told me a bit about my health that I didn’t know myself, but when I got it checked out she was right and most probably saved my life to be honest.

After the show she came to me and told me to take her card and that I needed to come see her in six months. She told me that she had some more things to tell me but I wouldn’t be ready to hear it till then. I had no idea at all what it could be about, but given the amazing ‘reading’ I had received from her, I decided I would do as she asked.

Six months later I was sitting with her smiling across the table at me. She said ‘You have no idea who you are do you?’ I answered back ‘Does anybody?’

Then she said to me that I must start writing songs. I laughed and said that she had the wrong person. She replied by saying ‘You’re going to have an opportunity to move south soon, and you must take it’. I thought that she got it totally wrong with regards to me writing songs and moving south. I had never even considered emigrating, and I also never wrote anything in my life before, never mind a song! I knew one song on guitar at the time and it was a two chord song. I couldn’t even get that right most the time. Long story short that’s how and why I started writing songs and singing (which I had never done before either).

Just to add to that – About me moving south…

A year and a half later I got the opportunity to move to South Africa, which I took. I lived in Johannesburg for 5 years almost to the day. I wrote, composed and sang on my very own album there, entitled ‘Sun Of The Raven’. I found great peace in South Africa, and I found a way to break free from my pain. Or at very least the start of breaking free.

Challenging myself…
I make sure I always have a plan of action for the next few days, no matter what they are – be it song writing, updating my sites, Gym, travelling, etc… It gives me a sense of purpose.

I have to stay busy, and in order to do this, you need to make plans and always remember in the process why and how you do what you do. You can’t get motivated if your mind is not busy planning something. That on its own is a big challenge.

I am going to work on my dreams and see how far I can push my music and where. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of finding my own way in the music scene. It can’t be easy or else everyone would be doing it themselves, but I’m not going to sell out. I’m going to stick to my guns and see where this river leads me.

My biggest challenge I think will be staying real…
to myself and not getting tempted to take an easier route to my dreams. Also staying real to my supporters and always writing about the truth no matter how hard it is to revisit those places I have been. I will always have time for anyone who ever needs my time. I think that a huge challenge for artists today is that when they make it famous and get lots of money etc, they tend to forget where they came from and what the message they brought to begin with was – the one that made them famous. This is probably for two main reasons:

They don’t need to go back to the place they used to be because there’s so much happening where they are now that they can easily forget about the pain of yesterday.

The second reason is simply because it hurts to go back – so it’s much easier.

This is all great for the artist themselves but maybe not so great for the fans. They wait patiently on their next album because they feel a camaraderie with the artist, and when they get an album eventually, it’s just designed to sell, and not from the heart – Back to ‘The Emperor’s clothes’ story.
I believe that’s how a lot of artists fall. They release an incredible album to begin with, get world famous and then quickly disappear from the scene. That’s a lot got to do with the fact that they forgot what their pain feels like and so they can’t write about it authentically anymore, and finds it hard to get things write about.

As for me…

As I said earlier I’m just going to ‘Keep on keeping on’ and learning every day trusting my gut instinct and knowledge I have at hand to make any decisions that come my way. I’ve learned in this life time that there are two main things that I must practice, they are FAITH and PATIENCE, because without either of them progression isn’t possible in my opinion.


Music business…
I love the music business, or at least what I’ve seen of it so far. I know everyone says that there’s a lot of people waiting to do you in and take what’s yours, but at the same time, the best people I have ever met in my life have been the people involved with music in one way or another. I’m not into the politics side of music, I’m in it to make it. As I said earlier, I’ve wasted way to much of my time thinking about other people and therefore not focusing on myself, who I am and what I intend on doing with my own music.

A big pro is …
that I have found a way to tell my story while keeping the respect of everyone around me. If you talk about yourself or your experiences people will listen, but get bored most probably after a while. If you can find a way to put it down in song and make it interesting enough, then people will play it over and over again.

I suppose a con for me is…
that a lot of people expect you to work for free as a musician. They don’t think of it as work, I suppose. There is also a lot of clicks that you become part of as you go, but the second you either can’t make a gig or start doing well, they politely turn their back on you.

Over coming the hurdles and pitfalls…
I’m learning this craft every day. I’m making some mistakes but also some good decisions as I go. I’m watching other bands and solo artists and trying learn from their mistakes too. I’m also getting a lot of help from my friends. As an artist you need people to love you, believe in you and remind you that you are doing well.

What I like about Social media…
I like the fact that people can actually get to know about the person behind the music compared to years ago when you only knew what the record labels and press wanted you to know. People write to me a lot about my music and what it has done for them. I really appreciate that as it reminds me why I write songs to begin with.

If it wasn’t for social media I wouldn’t be able to communicate on the level that I can now, with my supporters.

The challenges I have to overcome are all within me. I mean, I never know how much or how little to write about some subject. Also trying to find the happy medium between just promoting my music and actually annoying people about it is a tough one too. I’m very lucky so far in the comments and mails I have received so far about my music.

Singles vs an album…
I understand that people might buy a song rather than an album because of various reasons. It might be the only song that they have ever heard from that artist or maybe they only like that one song from an album. So to release singles from the album is a good thing – it gets your music out there.

My album though is a story in which every song links to the next to give you an overall view of where I have been, what I have seen, and the reasons I am the way I am. It’s like different stories from the same book but they all relate and run under one heading because of this.

My marketing Strategy is quite simple…
‘Know that I am a good musician and keep putting evidence out into the world to show that’ and eventually I will get the breaks that I need to get to the next level because this is what I’m supposed to be doing and I put my heart and soul into it every day and in every way that I can. I believe in Karma – good and bad. I have a lot of faith in my angels and guides and I believe they will lead me to where I need to be.

is about my personal search to find my worth in this world and in everybody else. It’s funny actually because I know what my songs are about, but it’s hard to put into words. After two days thinking about the truth behind ‘Independence’, this is the best way I can explain it honestly. It’s basically a chat with myself, like I’m in a relationship with myself and I need the parts of myself to come together and talk.

In my life I have blocked a lot about my childhood out of my mind. This has affected my self-worth, and I needed to reach a more peaceful state of mind. To do that I have to face myself and remind myself of who I really am and not just the pieces of me that I choose to see. I find that I live in the future a lot. I want to live in the present, but to do that I need to go back to the past. Find myself and start to be proud that I survived what I did and that I’m doing well now. Start to believe in myself.

‘Independence’ is a meeting of my mind, body and soul, where each one has a voice and each one has their say. After they meet and contribute their part, the three of them end the conversation with ‘I need to know you need me too’. It’s like up until now I have kept them from meeting – like 3 drives on the same computer – the computer is aware of all of the drives but they are not known to each other. Why would I do this to myself? Well, because it’s painful to remember. I suppose it’s a lot like a soldier who has seen too much pain in battle. He tries to separate it all from his life so that he can get on with some sort of life, and that people might see him as normal.

The saddest thing that happened to me in the process of writing is that I finally, at the age of forty, realized how much of my life I have given away to my abusers. How much I have chosen to live out of my body because of what happened to me. I finally understood how tragic and sad that really is.

The funny thing is that, I now realize that I knew it all along, I could have took control at any time, but I wasn’t in the frame of mind to do anything about it until I put it down on paper and in the process learned the first steps towards finding any sort of happiness within myself.

Well, first of all you can expect the truth as I really see it. I don’t know how to write any other way. I see visuals from times gone by when I write, and do my best to describe them as accurately as I can so that you can felt what I feel and see what I have seen. Most of all though, so I can face it again in a bid to get over whatever it is I’m writing about at that time.

I wish to accomplish freedom for my mind, body and soul and for anybody else who can relate to my story, but that hasn’t found their own voice yet. I wish to remind the hurt ones that there is still the possibility of freedom and an amazing life, even after such pain and suffering. I hope to learn from myself every day and especially when I put pen to paper because that’s the only place that I have ever found that I can be totally free – from me.

I moved from Johannesburg to London only 5 weeks ago…
I’m really only getting settled as of yet. I’ve been looking at ways to get my music out in London. Open Mic nights etc., just to meet other musicians to learn the ropes here. There is amazing talent here though from what I’ve seen so far and I can’t wait to get stuck into the music scene here.

London is a stunning city with so much to do right on your doorstep. There are so many beautiful places to visit. Your mind can get a bit lost in all of the hustle and bustle of the big city, but also it has so much art and beauty. There’s everything from ‘West End Shows’ to ‘Jack The Ripper Tours’. The amazing castles and The Thames River bridges. London is so full of history you can’t help but love it, especially if there is even the smallest artist in you.

I love to get lost, any type of adventure is where you will find me. Walking lots, hiking and break always all work great with my mind. My most favorite thing to do by myself though is to play guitar. I can’t even put in to words what it does for me.


I would love to have 5 minutes alone with…
That’s a tough one. I don’t think that I actually have a particular person I could pick over the countless others. I would like to sit with someone who has at one point, for whatever reason, seen nothing but darkness, and now realize that that was only a matter of perspective.

When you come through the storm and realize that you’re only starting to live, I think that it gives you a very special angle on life. A want and need to use every day to better your life and all the people in it.
My honest answer would be – Anyone famous or not, that has overcome everything that was designed to break them, and uses all of that negativity in a positive manner to help themselves and anyone else they can. As opposed to maybe becoming a drug addict, alcoholic, sitting around blaming everything on what happened to them.


I believe there is way too much emphasis on being current…
Music should be about raw talent and depth as far as I’m concerned and not about what you’re wearing, who’s in your music video etc. I listen to the radio often and hear songs that literally repeat the same LINE over and over again and yet because it’s from a well-known ‘artist’ or an artist who is signed with a big label, their music gets on every single radio station out there no matter how meaningless, bad and repetitive it may be. It’s a classic case of ‘The Emperor’s Clothes’. The sad truth is tough that a lot of amazing music gets no airplay and never heard anywhere because it’s just the same people doing the same thing all the time and therefore the big cats get everything while the small ones live in hope that one day they might get played or signed.
I personally don’t care about being signed. All I need and really want is promotion.

I am most afraid of…
I’m most afraid of losing the people I love. I’m not afraid of failure because you can’t fail unless you yourself believe that you have. I’m going to keep going on and on till the world listens to me.

My personal definition of success is..
when I can look back and know that people took me seriously in the same things I took myself seriously in. That I have done well and I am closer every day to my dreams. And that I will still be bursting with excitement doing what I love no matter how big I get. At the same time knowing that if that wasn’t to happen I am very proud of myself for giving it everything I could possibly have.

I am particularly proud of the fact that I am a musician with a huge sense of purpose. I’m also proud that I have come this far in life and music and that my life gets better and more exciting every single day. I’m proud that I have people thanking me for saying the things that they knew already but couldn’t find the words to say themselves. My music gets played on many stations worldwide and that’s so amazing to me. I am proud that so many amazing people call me their friend.

My overall plan for my life is…
To be the best person I can be every day of my life. To find new ways to keep my head and life busy in a positive manner, and to never, no matter what happens – give up on myself or my dreams.

The plan for my career is simple…
I’m going to ‘Keep on keeping on’. I need to keep writing and playing music and to always believe in my heart that I’m on the way to freedom in my mind, body and soul and that I’m bringing as many lost souls with me as I can.


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