Gemma Dunleavy‘s Up De Flats EP pays tribute to the community spirit of Dublin’s Sheriff Street, an area of Dublin’s northern inner city where she grew up. It’s her debut solo project, following appearance on Swing Ting‘s 100 Dances album and collaborations with Murlo.
Having worked on a documentary in response to plans to regenerate the area, she believes its been unfairly demonised for crime and violence in the nineties.
“Each song is written from a different perspective of the stereotypes I grew up around,” she explains. “They each represent something I’ve experienced, someone I’ve been, someone I am or someone I’ve lost. It explores cyclical patterns of behaviour, hardships and grief, but most importantly the sense of community.
I was feeling so much frustration, but the process of making the documentary really helped. It brought me closer to the things I can’t articulate. I can’t live without the people and the area I’m from.”
Below and in the spirit of the EP, Gemma shares some of her favourite Dublin creatives.
Gemma will be performing the EP this Thursday 16th July at 7pm for a Dr Marten’s Presents livestream, who supported its creation and release.
A documentary street photographer who photographed Sheriff street flats in the 80s/90s. His photographs are a time capsule of the Sheriff street community during the demolition of the flats, there’s so much grit and character in them. Make a cup of tea and get lost in them for five minutes.
A space for mind bending club music and performance where kindness is mandatory. This community changed Dublin’s nightlife for the better in the last few years.
Irish label and collective of DJs producers and MCs. Giving us everything from weekly parties to this gem of an EP. And part of that collective is Denise Chaila, I’ll say no more just look her up!
This is a book of poems by Michelle Byrne and paintings by artist Tara Kearns from the North Wall, depicting life there in all its pain and glory. The Irish word aduantas doesn’t really have an English equivalent, but describes that feeling of unease or anxiety, when entering a strange place or somewhere new.
Okay so Denise Chaila is representing the West of Ireland and Limerick in particular but she’s every Dubliner’s favourite so I don’t think she’ll mind me claiming her as a top 5 in Dublin for this!
Her performance at Other Voices: Courage, was something else. That whole show charges me up, such an earnest and powerful performer who makes me proud to be Irish!