Belfast, County Down
".... Beautiful singing voice and a brilliant way with words'' Across The Line, BBC Radio Ulster
“.... Excellent songwriter.'' Ralph McLean, BBC Radio Ulster.
".... A new artist we really like.'' Ricky Ross, BBC Radio Scotland
*Introduced by Tom Robinson BBC 6 Music.
Later this year, award-winning Northern Irish singer-songwriter, Chris Keys, releases his debut album. It is the culmination of 10 years of hard work and investment in his talent. In many ways his work is a microcosm of the country of his birth; it is artistry and industry, a mixture of classic Irish storytelling and musicality blended with a typical Ulsterman’s rugged self-sufficiency and work ethic.
Keys isn’t one to sit back and rest on his laurels, his focus is always ahead. But, if he did take the time to glance at his past, there would be much to be admired. His musical output includes the E.P.’s, ‘New Day and ‘View From a Satellite’, and recent singles, ‘Tonight’, ‘You’, ‘I’ll Be Home’, ‘City Lights’ and, his latest, ‘Under the Streetlight’. Each song exhibits all that is good about Keys – his keen eye for a story, his ability to convert that story into lyrics, his keen ear for a tune and then, atop it all, is that sandpaper-smooth voice. The other feature of Key’s output is that there is always a professionally produced video to accompany his music. It is this investment in himself and belief in his material that sets him apart from many of his peers.
Naturally, praise for Key’s music is fulsome and not just in his homeland. His music has been played on stations all over the UK, including Tom Robinson’s ‘Introducing…’ show on BBC’s 6Radio. He has played with some of the biggest local names but also such international acts such as Grammy Award winners Nanci Griffith and Jim Lauderdale; two of the biggest stars in Nashville. Indeed, the Nashville connection is strong, with Keys having secured a spot on the BelNash showcase in Nashville, which included an appearance at the world famous Blue Bird Café. That added the U.S.A. to the long list of countries outside N.I. and the U.K. where Key’s has appeared. A string of dates in continental Europe last summer will be repeated this summer to coincide with the release of his debut album.