Róisín Murphy: Wikis


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Róisín Murphy

Róisín Murphy in November 2007
Background information
Birth name Róisín Marie Murphy
Born 5 July 1973 (1973-07-05) (age 36)
Arklow, County Wicklow, Republic of Ireland
Genres House
Nu Jazz
Occupations Singer, songwriter, producer
Instruments DJ
Years active 1995 - present
Labels Echo, EMI
Associated acts Moloko
Website RoisinMurphy.com

Róisín Marie Murphy (Irish pronunciation: [roːˈʃʲiːnʲ], English: /roʊˈʃiːn/; born 5 July 1973) is an Irish singer-songwriter and music producer, known for her electronica style.

Murphy first came to note as part of the electronic music duo Moloko. Her partner in the band was then-boyfriend Mark Brydon. After the two ended their romantic relationship, Murphy released her debut solo album Ruby Blue, written and produced with Matthew Herbert, in 2005. Her second solo album Overpowered was released in 2007. On 10 January 2008, Overpowered received a nomination for the Choice Music Prize in the Republic of Ireland; the award is given each year to an Irish artist who has proved to produce a critically acclaimed album. Her version of "Slave to Love" by Bryan Ferry is featured in the 2008 Gucci commercial starring actor James Franco.


Early life

Murphy was brought up in Arklow, County Wicklow, Ireland. When she was twelve, her family moved to Manchester in England.[1] Murphy embraced 1960s fashions from going with her mother, an antique dealer, to car boot sales and charity shops.[2] She concealed her singing voice, not wanting other people to know she "sounded like Elaine Paige" when she herself enjoyed listening to the likes of Sonic Youth and The Pixies instead.[1]

After three years of living in Manchester, her parents divorced and moved back to Ireland.[3] Murphy insisted on remaining alone in England because she did not think that her mother had the strength to continue taking care of her.[4] Murphy lived with her best friend for a year, until she could receive Housing Benefit and live in a nearby apartment.[3] She was bullied at school and befriended a group of "weird boys who wore black" and who listened to the Jesus and Mary Chain.[1] She enrolled in a sixth form college at seventeen and later considered going to art school.[3] She moved to Sheffield[1] where she began going to nightclubs and was inspired by the Vivienne Westwood designs she saw at Trash.[2]


Moloko (1994–2003)

Murphy met Mark Brydon in 1994 at a party, using the chat-up line "Do you like my tight sweater? See how it fits my body."[5] Brydon brought Murphy to his Fon Studios, where he auditioned her voice on tape, and liked Murphy's theatrical delivery. They began dating, and the newly-formed Moloko were signed to Echo Records, releasing their debut album Do You Like My Tight Sweater? the following year.[3] The album combined trip hop and funk with electronic dance music, using a more humorous approach than some of their contemporaries.[5] The follow-up I Am Not a Doctor covered similar musical ground,[5] and a remix by Boris Dlugosch of "Sing It Back" enjoyed international success, and would go on to be featured on more than 110 compilation albums.[1] In place of paying Dlugosch, Murphy helped write "Never Enough",[6] which reached number sixteen on the UK Singles Chart in June 2001.[7]

October 2000 saw the release of Moloko's third album Things to Make and Do, for which they employed more live instrumentation, and more multifaceted arrangements by keyboardist Eddie Stevens.[8] The album reached number three on the UK Albums Chart, and "The Time Is Now" became their most successful British single, reaching number two.[7] Murphy and Brydon broke up but were contractually obligated to deliver further albums. After the 2003 release of Statues, Brydon backed out of much of the album's promotion, so Murphy handled most of it herself.[4] Although no official statement was issued pertaining to Moloko's future, Murphy had this to say in a Q Magazine interview in May 2005 (which was reiterated in the review of Ruby Blue in July 2005):

We left it on good terms after a very successful tour. We shook hands, said, "See you later", and haven't spoken since. I don't know what Mark thinks of this record or what he's doing. I don't know if we will or we won't reunite. Myself, I don't not want to.

Solo career (2004–present)

Murphy began doing solo work while still in Moloko, which included her contributions to the works of other artists including Handsome Boy Modeling School and Boris Dlugosch, for whom she sang on the track "Never Enough," which became a huge club hit, hitting the top three of the U.S. Hot Dance Club Play chart.

Ruby Blue

See also: Ruby Blue
Murphy at the Orange Music Experience Festival, Ruby Blue tour, Haifa, 27 June 2005

Murphy recorded her first official solo material in 2004 with producer Matthew Herbert, who had previously done remixes for Moloko. She had wanted to work with him again, commenting that "it felt very natural…because Matthew makes things seem quicker and easier."[9] After the pair had recorded a few songs, Murphy found that she enjoyed working with Herbert, and her label Echo Records let her work freely without any deadline. When she presented them the album, they found it odd and did not hear any songs that would make successful singles. The A&R division suggested that Murphy make some changes to make it more radio-friendly. Murphy refused, stating that she "wanted it to be as pure as possible." The label later came to support her.[10]

Murphy released her debut album Ruby Blue in June 2005. Prior to this, tracks from the album were made available on three limited edition, vinyl-only releases: Sequins #1, Sequins #2 and Sequins #3. The release of the EP's was to precede a London exhbition by artist Simon Henwood, featuring paintings of Murphy in various sequined outfits (some of Henwood's paintings are used as cover images for the record jackets).[11] The titling is also a pun on "sequins" and the related word "sequence". Henwood also directed the two video clips for the album's singles ("If We're in Love" and "Sow into You").

Ruby Blue samples sounds made by everyday objects and actions, including cosmetics, brass mice, dancing and ornaments.[12] It mixes the electronic music for which Moloko was known with jazz and pop styles.[13] Although the album was a commercial failure,[14] it drew mainly positive reviews; Pitchfork Media called it "perfect, the ultimate combination of human warmth and technological know-how."[15]


See also: Overpowered
Murphy performing in Belgrade, Serbia (26 August 2007)

In May 2006, Murphy announced on her website forum that she had signed with EMI and was working on new material. The first single, "Overpowered", was released on 2 July 2007. "Overpowered" was written by Murphy and Seiji of Bugz in the Attic and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Amy Winehouse, Röyksopp, Grace Jones). The single is accompanied by a series of remixes from the likes of Seamus Haji, Kris Menace, Hervé and Loose Cannons.[16] The second single "Let Me Know" (a collaboration with Andy Cato), was released in September and the album, named Overpowered, was released soon after.

In September 2007, Murphy was nominated for the MTV Europe music awards for her Overpowered – best performance. She performed "Let Me Know" on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross on 5 October 2007.

Murphy sustained an eye injury on 27 October 2007, while on tour in Russia to promote Overpowered. She was forced to cancel several subsequent dates on the tour.[17]

Third album

Despite well known troubles at EMI, Murphy said in an interview in August 2008 that she was working on her third studio solo album. She said she was working with the producer from Overpowered, Seiji, to give the third album the "sleepy, synthesized vibe" that Overpowered has.[18]

On 17 July 2009 BBC 6 Music revealed Murphy would release a new single, "Demon Lover", by the end of the summer. The singer describes the song as "a big funky house track. It's a souped-up full on garage tune". About her third album she says: "It is quite gritty, it has a slightly London sound to it, it's a bit more urban and bass-ey than Overpowered". [19] On the same day, a Róisín Murphy news blog also revealed that Murphy is pregnant with her first child.[20]

Murphy recently previewed new material at the SEone club in London, performing "Momma's Place" and "Hold up Your Hands". She also said on her official forum that she has written some new songs including "Leviathan (Do It Yourself)", among others with producer Apollo Andel. On 2 November, she premiered her newest single "Orally Fixated" on her MySpace page. The song was released 16 November. The Guardian offered a free download of the song for 48 hours beginning on 12 November.

On December 15th 2009, Murphy gave birth to her first child, a baby girl who she named 'Clodagh Henwood.' Murphy and her artist boyfriend Simon Henwood are reportedly 'thrilled' with the new addition to their budding family, who tipped the scales at 8lb 4oz.[21]

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Róisín said "First of all, I haven’t recorded a new album as such. I’ve recorded a lot of songs, but I haven’t planned beyond just putting the songs out there and letting them have their own life, and see how the music lives on its own, without videos, without a big promotion. It’s more just about getting songs out there and letting them have their own life."[22], leading to belief that there won't be a 3rd album this "era", and the singles will continue as digital standalones.


Studio albums

Live albums


Year Title Chart positions Album
UK[7] BEL[23] NLD[23] FIN[23] U.S. Dance Sales [24] U.S.
Hot 100 Sales
2005 "If We're in Love"
Ruby Blue
"Sow into You"
2007 "Overpowered"
"Let Me Know"
2008 "You Know Me Better"
"Movie Star" / "Slave to Love"
2009 "Orally Fixated"
2010 "Momma's Place"
2010 "Demon Lover"

'NR' Not released;   '—' Did not chart


  1. ^ a b c d e Ramaswamy, Chitra; "Murphy's Law" Scotland on Sunday, 7 October 2007 (Retrieved: 22 July 2007)
  2. ^ a b West, Naomi; "Retail therapy: Fashion Rocks" Telegraph.co.uk, 17 October 2005 (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)
  3. ^ a b c d Sturges, Fiona; "Roisin Murphy: Dressed to kill" Independent.co.uk, 17 June 2005 (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)
  4. ^ a b Sullivan, Caroline; "Her time is now" Guardian.co.uk, 27 May 2005 (Retrieved 22 July 2009)
  5. ^ a b c Phares, Heather; "Moloko > Biography", AllMusic.com (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)
  6. ^ Smyth, David; "A dose of his own medicine" Telegraph.co.uk, 26 May 2001 (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)
  7. ^ a b c "UK Top 40 Hit Database" EveryHit.com (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)
  8. ^ "Moloko — Catalogue" PopMatters.com, 27 July 2006 (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)
  9. ^ Bankole, Ade. "Beautifully Flawed". Straight No Chaser. February 2005. Retrieved 8 October 2007.
  10. ^ Sturges, Fiona. "Roisin Murphy: Dressed to kill". The Independent. 17 June 2005.
  11. ^ "Roisin Murphy Video". SimonHenwood.com. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  12. ^ "Why the Moloko singer decided to go solo". Woman's Hour. Retrieved 8 October 2007].
  13. ^ Tartan, Suzannah. "Diva sings hot and cold on solo debut". The Japan Times. 29 May 2005. Retrieved 7 October 2007.
  14. ^ "Chart Log UK: 1994–2006: M – My Vitriol". Zobbel.de. Retrieved 20 November 2008.
  15. ^ Richardson, Mark. "Róisín Murphy: Ruby Blue". Pitchfork Media. 8 July 2005. Retrieved 7 October 2007.
  16. ^ "Moloko singer returns with electronic album" Side-Line.com, 23 July 2007 (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)
  17. ^ MacInnes, Paul; "Roisin Murphy recovering after eye-socket injury" Guardian.co.uk, 29 October 2007 (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)
  18. ^ Rogers, Georgie; "Girls' EMI muddle" BBC.co.uk (BBC6 Music), 18 August 2008 (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)
  19. ^ Jones, Damian; "Roisin's charity cover" BBC.co.uk (BBC6 Music), 16 July 2009 (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)
  20. ^ Hopeless Optimist, A; "Baby Murphy?" RoisinMurphy.blogspot.com, 16 July 2009 (ReLady Gaga Vs. Roisin Murphy - Spot The Difference Posted Thu Aug 20, 2009 10:42am PDT by Luke Lewis in The NME Blog It's the pop scandal of the century. Or, more accurately, it's the Twitter-trending topic of the past 20 minutes: Did Lady Gaga steal her look from Irish electro ice-maiden Roisin Murphy? Yes she did, according to Murphy herself, who told Irish Cent$ral: "Lady Gaga is just a poor imitation of me. She has copied my style." (from http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/newmusicalexpress/2110/lady-gaga-vs-roisin-murphyspot-the-difference) And the pictures, courtesy of Idolator, would seem to bear her claims out: trieved: 22 July 2009)
  21. ^ http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/435486/roisin-murphy-gives-birth-to-a-baby-girl.html
  22. ^ http://music-mix.ew.com/2010/01/08/roisin-murphy-baby-new-album/
  23. ^ a b c "RÓISÍN MURPHY - OVERPOWERED (NUMMER)" UltraTop.be (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)
  24. ^ a b "Billboard Music Charts" Billboard.com (Retrieved: 22 July 2009)

External links

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