Paul’sheartfelt tributeto Mam goesviral
40,000 views and counting!
Tullyallen singer/songwriter Paul Gantley is flying high after a video of him singing his tribute song to his mother has gone viral on Facebook!
The simple video shot on a smartphone by Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Ireland (SBHI) CEO Tom Scott of Paul, has captured the imagination of the nation, catapulting Paul into the spotlight for his beautiful song ‘Without You’.
“I can’t believe how much it has been shared, and it just goes to show you the power of social media now,” says the 39-year old musician.
“When it was filmed, I was playing an old, out-of-tune piano, with keys missing, and I thought if it got 1,000 views I’d be delighted, but this is incredible!”
This is the second time his song in memory of his mum Carmel, who passed away in 1996, has attracted attention.
He appeared on Open House on RTE 1 with Mary Kennedy and Marty Whelan a few years after his mam died and performed the song on piano.
“Marty Whelan was so nice and I had a lot of compliments after that, and even the video of that has been watched again by hundreds since this,” he says.
“The were great and let me tell the whole story of how the song came about.”
Paul was just 16 when she died from cancer on January 20th 1996, and he says it ‘ hit him so hard”.
“She was an absolute legend and there will never be another like her, so about two years after she died, I just sat down at the piano, and started to mess with some chords. Suddenly the song just flowed, and the words came to me. I think Mam was with me there.”
Paul lives with both spina bifida and hydrocephalus and shares a home with his dad Mick, sister Mary – also a very talented musician - and his nephew Chris in Tullyallen.
He enjoys socialising very much and won’t let the fact that he doesn’t drive hold him back; he just gets taxis to whatever party he has been invited to. He is very outgoing – a cousin gave him the nickname of ‘Rambo’ 20 years ago and it stuck, so much so that sometimes he forgets his name is Paul and only answers to ‘Rambo’.
“I think that there is a need for people with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus to be given more recognition for their talents – we have so many talented people from artists to authors in our community, it is unbelievable,” he says.
“Once you get a little bit of recognition and validation it helps your confidence to build up, then you can take on more and do more and there is the knock-on effect of the more you do, the more confident you become.
Paul is known to many for his career in the Sound Shop for 17 years, but is now concentrating on his music, writing an album with Mary he hopes to release next year.
“I am recording 10 original songs which I wrote. We have six recorded already, so I am hoping that the album will be completed early in 2019. My music is mainstream pop and rock with maybe a bit of country – Garth Brooks and Shania Twain influences – crossing into pop with influences of Billy Joel, Robbie Williams, and Elton John,” explains Paul, who is thriving after a kidney transplant four years ago gave him a ‘new lease of life’.
“I had somebody contact me from Nashville, Tennessee when they say the video, offering to record it for me, so you never know where I will play next!”
Local singer/songwriter Paul Gantley (front), pictured with his nephew Chris and sister Mary.