NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Dis­ney star Christy has swapped Paris for Linn Park

Evening Times - - TIMES OUT - BY CARLA JENK­INS

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.”

Pic­tures: Jamie Simp­son

Christy O’Donnell has been work­ing on a new EP

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