herald

Monday 19 November 2018

All Grown Up Now

Singer Cathy Maguire's career as a child star was short-lived -- luckily.

You started in the music business at a very young age; how did that happen, and what did you learn from your early beginnings?

I made my own album and sold it myself when I was 12. I suppose I was a brazen child! I did some demo tapes in the Ilac Centre and reeled my parents into letting me make an album. Gerry Ryan picked up on it and I got lots of radio and TV appearances out of it, but it was a short career.

I wouldn't encourage children to enter the music business, because it is just that: a business. It can be cruel, and it's not a place for children to be.

You attended the same school as The Corrs; there must have been a great musical ethos.

We got great encouragement from our teachers; they were very open to different ventures. I live about a quarter of a mile away from the Corr family. I haven't performed with them but I've done impromptu performances with Jim but nothing in public.

In Nashville, you saw Johnny Cash recording in the studio; what was that experience like?

Nashville is such an unpretentious place; everyone is so talented that most people are afraid to have an ego, because anyone more talented could just walk in the door. When I was in the studio and Johnny Cash was recording, the wife of his son John Carter Cash had just had a baby and Johnny was minding the baby. So, when he went in to record a song, he asked me and my friend Joanne if we would mind the baby. We just prayed: "Please don't let this child fall!"

Having had success as a child, did that give you confidence performing as an adult?

Performing as a child star is not a career that can naturally progress. It doesn't give you more confidence, it does the reverse because you feel like you've failed. You are exposed to criticism at the level that only adults should be. Children are too emotionally tender for that and can't handle it; look at Britney Spears and Michael Jackson. You have to be careful what you wish for. I'm glad I took the time out to grow and to love music.

You were recently linked with Pete Doherty. Any truth in that?

When I was at Oxegen I hooked up with him, but not in a romantic way! The papers thought it was Natalie Portman that he had disappeared with! He's an electric performer and so talented. He's got that troubled-genius thing that nearly makes you want to rescue him; there's just a depth and musical presence that's tangible. We're not on texting terms or anything, but we spend time playing Hank Williams songs.

Cathy is performing at the Country Fest at the Kings Hall, Belfast on Saturday and Sunday, supporting Martina McBride in the INEC in Killarney on August 7th and the Theatre Royal, Castlebar on August 8th

Cathy's album Portrait is out now

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