By Charlie Keegan
FOR the past 15 years, John Gibbons from Carlow town has been building a reputation in the music business in London as a DJ and record producer. But the 37-year-old musician has clearly never forgotten his roots.
Recently, John boosted the funds of the County Carlow Hospice Committee by €3,000, the proceeds of his winning a 2FM Breakfast Show challenge.
As part of RTÉ’s Rugby World Cup coverage from Japan last year, the Breakfast Show hosted by Eoghan McDermott and Doireann Garrihy invited some of Ireland’s best-known music artists to the Donnybrook studios for their ‘Celebrity Sumo Challenge’. With competition fierce and a line-up including Gavin James, Kodaline, The Blizzards and more, John Gibbons literally fought off the competition, including memorable battles with Chasing Abbey and Dean from The Academic in the final, to take the crown and claim a top prize of €3,000 for his nominated charity, County Carlow Hospice.
Last month, the proceeds of his win arrived in John’s bank account and were promptly transferred to the County Carlow Hospice Committee. It was a most generous gesture from the Carlow musician.
Having grown up close to the town’s District Hospital, which houses the palliative care beds provided through the voluntary County Carlow Hospice movement, it is obviously something that’s close to John Gibbons’s heart. Patricia Wall, chairperson of County Carlow Hospice Committee, extended sincere thanks for John’s act of great generosity, noting his strong association with his home town and his care for the welfare of the people of the town and county who require palliative care. Patricia also expressed her thanks for the ongoing financial support of the people of county for the hospice cause.
Having produced and toured internationally since 2005, John first charted in 2008 with his track ***Beautiful filth***, a collaboration with fellow Irishman Scimon Tist, which crossed over from underground clubs to peak at no 22 on the Irish singles chart and reached no 1 on the Irish dance chart. He then spent several years working on studio productions, after which followed the 2013 release of collaborative singles ***All I need*** and ***Colder***, both of which were radio hits in Ireland, with the latter charting on the official Irish singles list.
In 2015, the Carlow native signed a record and publishing deal with London-based Good Soldier Songs, home to acts such as The 1975, Freya Ridings and Biffy Clyro, and that year released Your love, his first solo single. It received significant radio airplay in both the UK and Ireland. The 2016 follow-up Would I lie to you? reached no 34 in Ireland and no 53 in the UK, achieving certified silver status in the UK and gold in Ireland.
His single P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing), released in April 2017, charted at no 48 in the UK and at no 21 in Ireland, earning double platinum status, as well as no 12 on the UK dance singles chart, and no 1 on the UK indie singles.
Retaining a studio in Carlow and a still very frequent visitor to his home town, John’s musical output has continued at a prolific rate over recent years with numerous global hits and chart positions for singles. In 2019, the John Gibbons remix of Westlife’s single Hello my life was released and saw an immediate spike in sales, resulting in the single re-entering the UK Top 20.
The Carlow DJ and producer, whose material has also charted in Germany, released his remix of If you wanna be loved by Athy pop band Picture This in April 2019 and has also recently worked with acts such as Bastille, Anne Marie, Olly Murs and Gavin James.
Gibbons, a past-pupil of Presentation College, Carlow, has a slew of new material due out in late 2020 and headlines Dublin’s Olympia Theatre in April 2021.