Arts Q&A: Singer Ryan McMullan on JK Rowling, Snow Patrol and Foy Vance

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Portaferry singer Ryan McMullan

Twenty-six-year-old Ryan McMullan will be performing two gigs in Belfast in December

1. When did you think about a career in music and what were your first steps into it?

I never thought about a career in music. It just always showed its face at the right time, to the point where I couldn't neglect it any more. So then I decided to write a few songs and play a show. It was in front of 100 people, a lot more than expected. Although 40 were family and friends, one person who came was Foy Vance. He heckled me. In Northern Ireland, that's a good thing.

2. Best gigs you've been to? Snow Patrol at Tennent's Vital in 2006. It's the first gig that changed my life. Another stand-out was Foo Fighters at Oxygen in 2011. I was in the pit and they came out playing Bridges Burning. I lost my s**t.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band? A five-piece band, consisting of five Paul McCartneys.

4. The record you'd take to a desert island? One is difficult to choose so I'll go with a compilation Album like Now 99 for nostalgic reasons and banging 90s pop songs, like the Backstreet Boys I Want It That Way and Shania Twain's That Don't Impress Me Much.

5. And the book? Harry Potter, again because of nostalgia. Most of what I cherish is moments with my friends. So if I'm on an island, I want to read something that brings those memories back as much as possible.

6. Top three films? Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Mean Girls.

7. Worst film you've seen? The Room, because it's fantastically tragic.

8. Favourite authors? JK Rowling for all Harry Potter, Terry Pratchett for his Discworld series and Albert Camus for helping me keep my sanity.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team(s)? Hurling – Tipperary, soccer – Arsenal and Ultimate Fighting Championship, especially Conor McGregor.

10. Ideal holiday destination? Belfast. It's the greatest city on Earth.

11. Pet hate? People who squeeze toothpaste from the middle of the tube.

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? Nandos' butterfly chicken, with peri-peri chips and perinaise.

Dessert? I'm more or a starter kinda guy, so I'll go with wing roulette.

Drink? Alcoholic.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other? The same friends I've known my whole life. I don't see them as much as I'd like to these days, but I know we pick up where we left off when I do.

14. Is there a God? God is dog spelt backwards. That's good enough for me.

:: Ahead of his sold-out Ulster Hall show on December 21, singer-songwriter Ryan McMullan has announced an intimate Belfast show at the Black Box on Tuesday December 18. Tickets from His new single Bowie On The Radio is out now.

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