NO PLACE LIKE HOME
Disney star Christy has swapped Paris for Linn Park
HOME sweet home... and no-one knows this better than Castlemilk’s Christy O’Donnell.
The 25-year-old former busker has spent the last three years between London and Paris whilst acting in Disney drama, Find Me In Paris – but the call to come home was always there.
And Christy is now back, with a new five-track EP ‘Homegrown’, to be released next month.
“This EP is everything that I’ve been working towards,” Christy tells the Glasgow Times.
“It sounds ridiculous, but since my music journey began it’s all been in the run up to this – everything I’ve done busking and learning to sing, has been to make this music. If it is the only thing in the world that I do in music, then it’s what I want to do – it’s the story that I want to tell.”
‘Homegrown’ is five tracks that follow the lives of a family in one house in Glasgow, from the 1920s to 2020.
“I’ve been working on the tracks for about two years,” said Christy.
“It’s a concept EP based on an old house, trying to find out what a man’s role is in society from World War One until now.
“It follows the different lives who live in the house, and the last track, Homegrown, is roughly based on my life.
“It follows a kid growing up and watching a star on TV – someone like David Bowie – idolising this man and wanting to copy him. The boy is bullied for it, his family turn their back on him, and he finds himself through music. At the end of the song, he walks to the park – and in this song it is Linn Park – and he finds an old piano which he plays at the end of the song.
“For me, it’s about a retribution through music – it’s about being homegrown. I think to be that is to be unique, being who you want to be”.
Whilst Christy may not have been through many of the plights of that singer, the idea for Homegrown came while he missed Glasgow whilst in Paris.
“I wrote the song from the top of a beautiful ballet studio which looked out onto the Eiffel Tower. The song is about being brought back to where you’re from. I’ve been everywhere, and now I feel like I want to come home.
“My Granda used to take me to Linn Park when I was a wee boy and for me, that feels like home. I was sitting in Paris, thinking about Linn Park, and that was when I knew that I wanted to come home.”
It’s been a whirlwind few years for Christy, who had his first acting debut with coming-of-age film Moondogs, which he worked on from 2014 and which was released in 2016. Christy was down to his last 20p when he landed his Disney role. It is an experience he says that has served to make him stronger.
“Living and working in Paris has changed my life and given me perspective on everything. I thought I had made it after Moondogs, that I was a big shot and that was me done. Then I didn’t get another job for two years and the harsh reality set in, that it wasn’t as easy as I had thought. I was about to give up when I got a job in the Disney show.
“Even still it is hard not to have imposter syndrome. I felt sometimes like I didn’t belong – I’m just a wee guy from Glasgow, what was I doing in Paris putting on an English accent?
“I got through it and I had the best time. I’m so grateful because
My Granda used to take me to Linn Park when I was a wee boy
these shows were my drama school, and I learned on the job, and I feel that it made me more equipped to do the serious things.”
It will be a busy few months for Christy, who is planning to make an accompanying film to coincide with the release of Homegrown.
“I would love to make a short film to illustrate the songs, and take them to festivals, as if the film is a score by music.
“I might not be able to achieve it,” Christy laughs, “and I know that some people will say I’m jumping out my box, but I think I can do it.
“It’s worked out for me before.”
Christy O’Donnell has been working on a new EP