A RAPPER from Straffan has made it to the final stages of a national talent contest where the winner will take home a grand prize of €10,000.
Craig Cooney (25), who works for a design company in Tallaght in his day job, came to notice two years ago when a five-minute freestyle rap video went viral on YouTube, clocking up nearly 200,000 views at this stage.
“He has been rapping since he was eight years old and is not your average rapper, he raps about feelings, emotions, goals and love as opposed to rapping about materialistic things such as money, girls etc,” said a spokesperson for Talent Nation, an agency out of Ardmore Studios in Wicklow, who is running the competition.
“My videographer Ciaran Casey came across the contest, and said I should give it a go,” said Craig.
“Since signing up two weeks ago, it’s all I can see on my social media!” he said.
For the competition he entered a song called ~Proud.
“It’s a motivational, inspirational feelgood story,” explained Craig.
“The video film is an MMA fighter [his best mate Nate Enright] training for a big fight,’ said Craig, who admitted he “enjoys watching but doesn’t participate in MMA”.
“There’s not too many rappers out of Straffan! I’ve only been playing music properly for two years since the first video went up,’ he said.
“When that went viral I got in touch with Ciaran and Cosmin Cantor – a sound engineer who owns a studio just outside Maynooth,” he continued.
The Kildare Nationalist asked if album-making was the route he wanted to go down.
“Absolutely, that is something I definitely want to do,” he said, adding that with four tracks already released he might start with an EP.
“I’m a very different type of rapper. I’ll rap about things that go on in my head, as opposed to guns, and girls and drugs,” he explained.
“I write from my perspective, about everyday simple things that people tend to overlook.
“I’ve been getting messages from people all over the world, telling me how I’m helping them.
“It’s humbling to know your music is out there helping someone, it’s an excellent feeling,” he continued.
Craig has also done his bit on public awareness initiatives, and has performed for Darkness into Light, and Sepsis Awareness – the illness that killed comedian Seán Hughes.
“I want to bring my followers to these very good causes,” he explained.
Craig can be found on all the usuals – YouTube, Spotify and iTunes – as well on hia Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Talent Nation is running a nationwide competition to find the very best talent that Ireland has to offer, from dancers, singers, magicians, entertainers to models, photographers and production crew, and will announce their semi-finalists next week.
The company is Ireland’s first, all-inclusive, talent sourcing, directory and booking service.
The directory will allow users to easily search through hundreds of different talent options to select and book whatever type of talent they are looking for, for every occasion from weddings, birthdays and corporate events hassle free.