Strange Boy Announced as Recipient of Liam O'Flynn Award

Strange Boy (Photo: Leah Sullivan).

Strange Boy Announced as Recipient of Liam O'Flynn Award

Limerick hip hop artist awarded a bursary and residency at the National Concert Hall.

The Arts Council and the National Concert Hall have announced Limerick musician Strange Boy as the recipient of this year’s Liam O’Flynn Award. The award was established in memory of the uilleann piper Liam O’Flynn and celebrates the role of individual traditional artists, offering them space and funding to create new work. 

Strange Boy is a hip hop artist whose work blends poetry with rap and Irish traditional music. He released his debut album Holy/Unholy in June 2021. He will receive €10,000 for living fees for the duration of the residency as well as €5,000 for fees and other expenses relating to collaborations and the presentation of work. He will also receive a work space at the NCH and professional support and career advice.

Commenting on the announcement, Strange Boy said: 

With the release of my debut album Holy/Unholy in 2021, I had the honour of creating the genre of traditional Irish rap music… Working alongside my producer Enda Gallery we seamlessly combined hip hop, spoken word, and Irish traditional music to create a genre that feels as if it has always existed… I have always believed that rapping was a modern form of storytelling. 

Preserving Irish culture and the tradition of the old Irish storytellers, or Seanachaí, has always been a passion of mine. As a traditional artist, I feel it is essential to preserve our ancient bardic traditions while also introducing new and innovative ideas. That is why I am so grateful to be awarded the Liam O Flynn award and to have the support of the Arts Council. With access to ancient archival stories in the National Concert Hall, I am able to pay respect to Liam O’Flynn’s legacy by celebrating the role of the individual creative traditional artist in the creation of new works, unique artistic collaborations, and innovations.

Maureen Kennelly, Director of The Arts Council said: 

Storytelling and the oral arts are an integral part of our traditional arts and Strange Boy’s contemporary take on the seanchaí is a relevant and natural response to an ever-evolving artform, bringing the traditional arts to new, more diverse audiences. We are delighted to partner with the National Concert Hall to present this award, honouring the legacy of the great Liam O’Flynn, to such an exciting, innovative artist.

Strange Boy is the fifth recipient of the award, following Louise Mulcahy (2022), Jack Talty (2021), Barry Kerr (2020), and Úna Monaghan (2019).

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Published on 28 March 2023

comments powered by Disqus