Cian O’Donoghue: The Indie Pop Sensation on the Rise

You’ve gotta check out Cian O’Donoghue – this dude is something else, hiskiller tunes are giving me all the feels lately. He’s an indie pop singer-songwriter with a super chill, acoustic vibe, but also some funky flair that’ll get you grooving. Think Ed Sheeran meets The Neighbourhood with a Charlie Puth twist.

His new single “Read Your Mind” is an absolute jam, all about the butterflies and over-analyzing that come with catching feelings for someone new. The smooth guitar riffs, soulful backup vocals, and relatable lyrics make it impossible not to smile and sing along.

I’m low-key obsessed and can’t wait to hear what Cian has in store for 2024 as he drops more tracks and hopefully hits the road for some live shows. He just has this raw, personal touch to his music that really resonates, you know? Let me give you the full scoop on his inspirations, creative process, and how he got to where he is today making these infectious indie pop gems.

Listen to ‘Read Your Mind’ below

Follow Cian O’Donoghue on







What is your stage name
I just go by my name Cian O’Donoghue, I feel it’s more personal that way – I have no ‘persona’ or act, I’m just me.

Where do you find inspiration?
My biggest inspiration right now is Quinn XCII, I feel like his energy can be felt through my newest song, ‘Read Your Mind’ – I love the grooves and hooks in his music, combined with the often-sad subject matter it’s such a great juxtaposition. For Irish artists, The Script and Gavin James influenced my early years massively, and I feel like their influence is still there.

What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
Being a musician was the dream I had from an early age, along with being a footballer, rugby player, and every other sport! As I slowly gained the self-awareness to realise my complete lack of sporting ability, music seemed to be the one dream that never left.

Are you from a musical or artistic family?
There’s music in both my parent’s families. My father’s family are very musical, every family gathering the guitar comes out, and everyone does a song or 2, with everyone else joining in. The same can be said on my mother’s side although to a lesser extent – still some fabulous musicians and the late night sessions are always great.

Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
I suppose seeing the script play live would have had a huge effect on me – I was 12 and it was my first ever concert. They were the band that captured my heart at a young age. While I was always playing music, it was from that moment where I started writing music.

How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
I was taught classical piano from the age of 6, but I always wanted to transition to playing chords and singing along – I spent a lot of time figuring out songs by ear and playing them myself, which has become a massive part of my producing skill. Lets just say I’m very thankful that my younger self was too stubborn to look up the chords for songs online!

 Cian O’Donoghue out with Read Your Mind,Cian O’Donoghue releases Read Your Mind,Cian O’Donoghue with Read Your Mind,Cian O’Donoghue drops Read Your Mind,Read Your Mind by Cian O’Donoghue ,Read Your Mind from Cian O’Donoghue ,Cian O’Donoghue ,Read Your Mind,Cian O’Donoghue Read Your Mind,Read Your Mind Cian O’Donoghue
I was taught classical piano from the age of 6, but I always wanted to transition to playing chords and singing along

How could you describe your music?
I always find these questions so hard – I would say pop, mixed with funk and RnB. I tend to not try follow ‘tropes’ (other than whatever I write being in the pop world), I just go with the flow. I love to write happy songs, with nice grooves, Because that’s the music I like to listen to the most – When I put on my headphones, most of the time I want to be fighting the urge to dance in public.

Describe your creative process.
Songs always start as chord progressions for me, as that’s where I honed my skills as a child desperately trying to figure out the chords of my favourite songs. Once I’m satisfied with the chords, I’ll find some melodies on top and then the lyrics come last. As a producer, I rarely produce first which is interesting – I might find a cool synth sound and a drum loop to write to on my keyboard/synthesiser, but that’s as far as I go – Generally, once the song is done, then I start producing.

What musician do you admire most and why?
I probably admire Quinn XCII the most for his ability to combine hiphop and pop so seamlessly and write the most amazingly catchy hooks.

Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
When I started writing, it was of course ed Sheeran, singer-songqwriter sad vibes! I feel like every pop musician starts somewhere around there, although I did have a healthy dose of The Script and Gavin James in there too.

When I started producing it became Charlie Puth , as he also produces his own stuff, and I loved his synth work. Now more recently, It has ranged somewhere between Post Malone, The Weeknd and Quinn XCII, largely synth based but with more guitars entering the fold more recently.

Who do you see as your main competitor?
The Tiktok and Spotify algorithm! Its so hard to get out there when there’s so many people just like you trying to do the same, but I focus on my problems with the platforms rather than other musicians!

What are your interests outside of music?
Outside of music, I love football (soccer depending on where you’re from). I’m a big Liverpool fan. I love a bit of UFC, Golf, Rugby and Formula One too, so my weekend generally consists of watching various sports. After that, finding time for my friends, whether were playing golf (terribly), football (terribly) or just going for some drinks.

If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
I love teaching so if music teaching counts then that’s where I’ll be!

What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
It’s the promotional side – I have too much Irish catholic guilt to truly ‘sell’ myself well enough!

If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
The salaries! But in all honesty I try avoid these questions – ‘It is what it is’ is the most overused phrase in the world, but I rather just deal with the facts, and deal with the situation as it is rather than wishing for a change I know I will never have the ability to make.

Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
As I was writing the song with my good friend Molly Cartwright, Read Your Mind just naturally appeared to become the hook of the song, and I find it encapsulates what the song is about – ‘What the hell is going on in the other persons mind, cos I haven’t a clue’

What are your plans for the coming months?
I have a lot of projects for other artists like DAWNA, Jamie McIntyre and Michael Runswick to name a few. I’ll be going away in July which I’m looking forward to!

Do you have any artistic collaboration plans
I am currently working on a song with a Belgian artist Nina Dewachtere, the song is still in its early days but I am very excited for it, so hopefully we will release it this year!

What message would you like to give to your fans?
Thanks for the support, and there’s a lot more to come!

Mister Styx
Mister Styx
My name is Mister Styx and I'm a music blogger and an HVAC Engineer. I'm passionate about all kinds of music, from rock to hip-hop, Jazz, and Reggae as a matter of fact I am always eager to hear new sounds as music has no barrier, and I'm always looking for new sounds to explore. Hop on lets go fetch for some new sounds!

Latest articles

Related articles