We are running a feature on all of our retailers over the coming weeks and months. We are kicking of with Barry Jay Hughes. Take some time out and find out more about our small businesses!
Here is Barry’s most recent video from last year called “Replace” – featuring over 80 people from 11 different countries coming together to create a music video during the first lockdown in 2020. Enjoy!
How did you get started in what you do & How long have you been at it
Hi my name is Barry Jay Hughes, a proud Monaghan man and a native of Carrickmacross.
I’ve been a musician from a very young age, performing and singing for as long as I can remember. Whether it was singing for relatives and neighbours as a child, starring in school stage shows, touring Ireland, performing around Europe as well as singing and performing at hundreds of weddings in recent years – music has always been a major part of my life.
As a youngster I was encouraged by my family and teachers and I have fond memories of being presented with multiple opportunities to perform during my time in Inver College, Carrickmacross – in particular I have Pat Drury, Breda Moroney Ward and Rosaleen Clerkin to thank for such opportunities.
Mam and Dad are always very supportive and I have them to thank for all those music lessons and payment of same, not to mention the drum kits, guitars and keyboards that were gifted to me through the years. Being an artist is an interesting, exhilarating and sometimes challenging journey but knowing that you have a supportive family behind you makes it that bit easier when it really counts.
I was also given a strong basis in music theory and performance by another Carrickmacross lady – Ann Meegan, who helped me achieve numerous Honours and Distinctions with the Royal Irish Academy of Music right up to Grade VIII. Actually, I’ve enjoyed reviving some of my classical piano skills during lockdown – thankfully I haven’t forgotten any of it!
I took music for Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate and went on to study music at third level – that was inevitable really!
Fast forward to 2014 when I decided that I needed to make music my main focus in life and I decided to leave my job and go into studio to record a debut EP which was quickly followed by the launch of what would become my new career as a singer, musician, songwriter, recording & touring artist and wedding singer. It has been an amazing 7 years packed full of fun and adventure.
What's your favourite part of being in business?
There are so many answers to this question but I guess the main ones that stand out for me are the fact that I am constantly meeting new people and I get to travel and perform almost everyday of the week (prior to lockdown of course).
Now it’s not every day you get to perform at The Cliffs of Moher, get booked for a private event in the middle of a forest in Sweden or made feel like a superstar at a Music & Culture Festival in Poland but I have had the pleasure of doing all of it and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Every day is different as an artist and you really don’t know what’s around the next corner or where the next phone call or email will take you – it’s not every “job” you can say that about.
In recent years I’ve spent a lot of time working on the other part of my business: “Wedding Singer Éire”. Being a wedding singer and musician in Ireland is extremely rewarding. We have some beautiful venues and locations on this island and it is no surprise that we are such a popular wedding destination for so many couples abroad. My wedding work brings me all over the country and this is something that I will never tire of. I’m always thankful when I’m given the privilege of being part of a couples wedding day.
For more details you can browse my wedding music website at www.weddingsingereire.com
So what's next for Barry Jay Hughes?
I’m currently spending time working on new material and updating my live gig setlists for when public performances can happen again. Some local Carrick folk have already started planning ahead and I’m delighted to say I’ve received a few provisional bookings for garden parties and gathering for when restrictions ease a little so fingers crossed for that.
Social media is as big as ever these days so it’s a full time job keeping those channels updated with impromptu performances and other content to continue to build the fanbase and entertain the fans that are already there. I’m still trying to figure out the dreaded TikTok but I’m making a stab at it nonetheless @barryjayhughes 😉
And finally I can let you in on a little secret that I am back in the recording studio working on my next single with my producer and fellow Carrickmacross man Martin O’Neill of Country Folk Records. This one is going to be different than anything you’ve heard from me before. I’ve taken a fantastic song by Australian folk band “The Waifs” and put my own stamp on it.