Newcastle man Stephen Rafferty set to complete debut album

A Co Down singer-songwriter has opened up about how he went from covering singers of other stars to writing his own singles.

Stephen Rafferty, 25, started playing in local businesses in his home town of Newcastle when he was just 16.

Nearly ten years later, he has gone from strength to strength, making a name for himself in the local music scene and working on his debut album.

Speaking to Belfast Live, he said: “I started music at school. When you’re that age you don’t really know if you’re a good singer or if you’re just going for it. As you get older, I realized there was something more than a little fun with it, so I pushed myself for lead roles in schools and to do my own sets at school concerts. .

“From there, I decided to write my own songs. As soon as I left school, it was just me and my guitar for a long time. I was doing covers but I was writing my own music in background and I didn’t really want to release it, just writing it for myself, to satisfy my own musical needs.

“Now I’ve worked with a lot of musicians and a really good producer too, Steven Fearnley, and that’s opened me up to more ideas leading me down a more alternative path rather than just sticking to guitar.

“It’s been an amazing experience so far since I started releasing music. The first two songs were acoustic and recorded at home, and then we released a Christmas song as the first song. was a bit cliché at the time, but it was more to raise awareness of homelessness and loneliness.

“We then released a song about the pandemic called ‘Storm’ and it emphasized that life is a bit of a storm, and we have to get through it. We then released a five-track EP and that was good because that I was showing others what we could do.”

Stephen is now recording his first album, which he says is a real pinch moment for me.

“To me, listening to it and what we’ve achieved so far, there’s nothing complete about it yet,” he added.

“We’re about 70% now, but I can really see how far my music has come. Couldn’t be happier because I’m listening to my own music and seeing how much I’ve grown from it.”

You can follow Stephen’s music through his social media page HERE.

Video by Belfast Live videographer Harry Bateman.

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