The Future of Irish Music 2024

Words: Dylan Murphy
Photography: George Voronov

With thanks to The Playground, Dublin.

We’ve teamed up with Hennessy to celebrate the acts pushing the needle in Ireland on their own terms. Ahead of a series of intimate events, we spoke to the six acts we’re tipping to make big moves in the next twelve months. Essiray, Chubby Cat, F3Miii, HXNEY, Jesse June, and Sloucho speak about their missions as artists and what the future holds for acts on the island.




Jesse June

Hearing the melodies and songwriting on tracks like ‘Next Time’, would make it easy to assume that Jesse June has been a performing rapper and singer for a long time. In reality, he took the path less travelled to becoming an artist. Despite enjoying drum and guitar lessons as a teen and the fact his father was a DJ who regularly spun Stevie Wonder and Motown classics, he first focused on business. That’s not to say he wasn’t into music, in fact, it’s his fandom of acts like Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar that fuelled his side hustles. From a young age Jesse sold unofficial artist apparel, ran events and even managed an artist before seriously making any music of his own.

“The reason why I gravitated to the events was because there was no events that played music I liked. So I was like ‘let me do it. I’m playing my type of music’. I was 18 at the time. So I rented this venue and got 800 people in there”, Jesse explains.

These ventures were actually so successful that he took time out to travel and live in America and Germany. While he enjoyed it, the time spent abroad on his own came with its own set of challenges. Isolated in a rural area at just 20 years old, Jesse turned to writing lyrics on napkins and loose bits of paper during a particularly emotional period. It’s what formed the backbone of his earnest songwriting that shares qualities with accessible rap artists like Kevin Abstract.

Jesse admits to battling self-doubt during the transition from business to artist. “I’ve kind of been having some impostor syndrome about being an artist because, obviously, when I grew up, I was like, an entrepreneurial guy,” he confesses. However, this had his upsides too. He actually met a mixing engineer that worked with the artist he managed and he later became his biggest supporter and a trusted ear for his own music.

“His name is Zack and he’s amazing, amazing guy. He’s like my sensei. Because when I was not good, he could hear the potential. He was giving me super constructive and precise advice on how to improve so it was incredible at that time as an artist and as a creator.”

After seeing the number of acts making moves back home, Jesse knew he had to get back in the mix. While he could have started slow and steady, he’s been ambitious in everything he does. Inspired by the visuals of great artists like Missy Elliott and Kendrick Lamar, he’s been active in his own world building. Short films like ‘The Dig are just the first invitation into a universe that’s building with each release.

“In five years, I’m still probably going to be doing music, but I want to do a lot more visual stuff. I want to be doing shows outside of the country and making longer form, visuals and storytelling pieces. Doing more collaborations with brands and and outlets. But I definitely want to be like, recognised amongst not just Ireland, but in the world.”



In an era where attention spans are dwindling and TikTok is encouraging acts to engineer songs for virality, Sloucho is a deliberate departure from the status quo. An enigmatic artist that’s half human, half character, he’s blurring the boundaries between a real and imagined world that’s steeped in lore. One that can’t possibly be distilled into digestible short form video content. This is an artist dedicated to world building as much as he is music.

The masked character was raised in the Wicklow Mountains and has spent his life traversing different worlds in search of meaning. When on planet earth, Sloucho remains steadfastly in character even during interviews. What might seem like a mere gimmick on the surface is, in fact, commentary on the increasingly formulaic approach to creating music as he also subverts dance music tropes in his music and visuals.

Having already released on esteemed labels like Cloudcore and most recently performed at AVA London, Sloucho has revealed his debut album ‘NPC’ is arriving on 3 May 2024 via Supreems’ ‘Sweet Sun Records. Read our conversation with the artist below:

So when did you start making music?

I’ve been making music my entire life, as long as I can remember the only thing I know.

And what’s your vision as an artist?

I need to tell my story. My ancestors put me on this path for a reason. I need to return to Athrú and leave all of this behind me.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it?

Imagine ripping an mp3, chopping it up and making a dance track, shoving that through a hyper pop filter, multiplying it by brainfeeder then adding the sincerity and 808s.

What is pushing you to create?

I spend a lot of time in the countryside ‘memory walking’ with my dog Maramu. Outside of that I just spend my time speaking to trees, listening to the wind and submerging myself in icy water.

Why do you make music?

Because I have to. I don’t know how to do anything else. If I stopped I don’t actually know what would happen.

What was a watershed moment in your music career?

Meeting Hermes and getting access to the core. They took me into the clouds, cold, wet and weary and showed me the future.

Are there any recent Irish musicians who career whose careers inspiring you?

Rhoshi, Rory Sweeney, Spooklet and Vaticanjail. They’re all the future. 

And what does the future of Irish music look like?

The future of Irish music is already written. It’s the past that’s unpredictable. Who can say what did and didn’t happen? I’m much more interested in rewriting the past.

Please drink Hennessy responsibly.

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