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Wild wild best Wild Youth: 'We've got closer to our fans over the last year thanks to social media, it definitely saved us'

Irish band Wild Youth on being on the cusp of superstardom just as the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

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David, Conor, Callum and Ed of WIld Youth

David, Conor, Callum and Ed of WIld Youth

David, Conor, Callum and Ed of WIld Youth

Irish pop band Wild Youth had just slipped into the fast lane of the music scene when the world came to a screeching halt in March last year.

Up to that moment, it seemed that the Dublin group were unstoppable in their quest to make it to the top of the super league.

They'd sold out their own shows at the city's Olympia Theatre, were taken under the wing of their idols The Script, and they got their first taste of playing major concerts across Europe when they joined Kodaline on tour.

Wild Youth had also shot up the charts with their biggest hit, Can't Move On, which was the most played song on Irish radio by any group or artist in 2018.

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Wild Youth

Wild Youth

Wild Youth

You'll also know them as the band in an Eir TV advert belting out the same infectious song at a house party which attracts the attention of an elderly neighbour who rings the doorbell to join in the fun.

Chatting with the Sunday World as they release a new six-track EP, Forever Girl, lead singer David Whelan and songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Conor O'Donoghue admit that the band members had some dark moments after the pandemic struck.

"We were on a trajectory doing the biggest shows of our lives. It felt like there was a lot of momentum in what we were doing and then all this happens," David recalls.

"As time went on we were thinking, 'We're losing a year out of our lives, are people going to remember who we are, and are they even going to care about us when we do put out new music?'"

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"As it turns out, we've actually got closer to our fans over the last year thanks to social media. It definitely saved us," Conor says. "We tried to purposely maintain a presence with our fans by going live online and talking to them openly."

Wild Youth have actually grown their fan base during lockdown.

"Our aim had been to hold on to the fan base we already had," Conor says. "However, despite not being able to travel and do shows, we can see from the likes of Spotify that our fan base has grown, not just in Ireland, but in the UK, America and Australia."

All four members of the band that also includes lead guitarist Ed Porter and drummer Callum McAdam, have been surviving on money they'd made from tours in the last couple of years.

"We are able to pay ourselves a really modest salary that gets us by," Conor reveals. "But, apart from going for a walk and getting your coffee, that's all you're spending. It's not like we're going on holidays, staying in hotels or going out for dinners. We're just living a very modest life and working all the time."

This week, Wild Youth were reminiscing about life pre Covid-19.

"It's two years this week since our first Olympia show and we were looking back on photos and memories," David says.

"We were talking about how, when we did the first Olympia show, we had to leave straight after because we were going out on tour with The Script. How fun those times were…it kind of seems surreal now. It's almost like it didn't happen, even though it did."

Kodaline have also given Wild Youth a leg up by taking them on tour around Europe. "That was a real career highlight for us as a band," Conor says.

"The things you dream of growing up, about being in a band, happened on that tour. I'll never forget arriving into Paris on a tour bus. I'd never been in Paris before. I woke up on the bus, looked out the window, and there was the Eiffel Tower.

"It was like a scene from a movie. We made our tour manager pull over so that we could get out and look at it.

"Then you're back on the bus and you wake up the next day and you're in Madrid, a place you've never been either!

"There were a lot of firsts for us on that tour. It was incredible, so much fun and probably my biggest highlight so far from being in the band."

  • WILD Youth's new EP, Forever Girl, is out now.


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