It’s an exciting time for Irish singer/songwriter Maria Kelly. Later this month she kicks off a tour of the Emerald Isle to show off the songs on her debut EP, The Things I Should. Not long after she’ll appear at The Great Escape festival in Brighton hoping to turn heads.

It’s all part of the charm of The Great Escape. Pack the city’s venues to the rafters with hot new names and light a match. Every year without fail a bunch of artists impress and blow up. Maria is no exception. She can sing. And she takes her craft seriously as she’s currently studying at music college in Dublin, where she also met her band.

It also helps she’s got a good producer in Matt Harris (HAWK) who produced her new EP, as well as her impressive recent singles ‘Before It Has Begun’, ‘Black & Blue’ and ‘Stitches’. But Maria gets credit for conjuring up her intensely personal songs and her soaring vocal skills.

According to Maria, the four songs on her new EP are based upon ‘self-expression’ and how ‘by always trying to please others, you can lose a part of yourself in the process’. She continues: “The four songs are written about four different personal experiences where a lack of honest expression at the outset had created a much bigger problem in the long run.”

Maria’s singing is remarkable as she can switch from fragile to powerful at the flick of a switch. It may help that she’s been writing her delicate indie-folk tunes since she was 10 in Mayo. And more recently she’s cut her teeth by playing numerous shows in both the UK and Ireland supporting artists such as James Vincent McMorrow and Orla Gartland.

So ahead of The Great Escape we caught up with Maria to ask her the burning questions to figure out what makes her tick…

If I had to describe my music in 3 words, I’d use…
atmospheric-indie-folk

My favourite film ever is…
Edward Scissorhands

The most famous person I’ve met is…
Regina Spektor

The song I hate the most is…
Currently, Galway Girl by Ed Sheeran.

The worst job I’ve ever had is…
A barista in a very high-end office. I am a very clumsy person, which isn’t the best quality to have when serving very ‘proper’ people!

If I was in a tribute band it would be…
S Club 7 – my 10-year-old self wouldn’t accept anything else!

My favourite word is…
Colloquial. But NO idea why!

If I had a super power I’d want it to be…
The ability to pause time and still be able to move around. If anyone knows ‘Bernard’s Watch’ from when they were younger – it’s basically that!

If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…
The Olympia Theatre in Dublin. I am so in love with that venue.

I think you should listen to…
Ailbhe Reddy, Saint Sister, RUTH, LAOISE, the list goes onnnnnn.

If I could see anyone play live it would be…
Daughter, Keaton Henson or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Maria Kelly plays The Great Escape festival in Brighton on May 18th
Her debut EP – The Things I Should – is out on May 19th on Veta Records