Rory McGovern

February 2020

Rory McGovern has been a tutor with Music Generation Cork City since its launch in 2012. He is a multi-instrumentalist, teaching keyboard, guitar, bass and drums at Youth Work Ireland Cork (The Hut) in Gurranabraher, and he also works on a range of other music programmes across the City. He is a composer-musician and producer, and you can find him gigging with Wiggle, Harry J and Mindsets.

Where do you call home?

Cork City


Best thing about your locality?

The people


Earliest memory of music?

Playing guitar with my Dad


How would you describe the music you make?

I enjoy playing and creating music in many different genres, styles and contexts. I enjoy playing bass, keyboard and guitar mainly in a band context. The music I make through my work is very different to the music I make for my personal interest, which can be more obscure and less accessible. I look forward to someday focusing on my own music more.


What is your creative process like?

I generally like to record sound and layer up different textures and instruments and then mess about editing what I’ve recorded. I’ve always had a home studio and lots of different instruments. The process is different depending on the genre but I try not to be regimented in my approach and like to experiment and break the rules a bit.


Is there anyone in particular you would like to collaborate with?

Harry J, we have made a lot of music together before but now he lives in Antigua, I’d love to work with him again in the future, maybe in the Caribbean.


What was your favourite experience of performing / recording?

Performance wise, it has to be late night, outdoor, with high energy and lots of dancing preferably in a remote location and through an enormous well tweaked sound system. I enjoy playing heavy and sometimes cheeky bass lines and watching the crowd react.

Have you ever felt performance anxiety?

Many times, not so much at my own gigs, more when I’m doing concerts with young people who are relying on me to support them.


Who is your inspiration?

Mother Nature


Thing or person that annoys you?

Ed Sheeran


If you weren’t doing your current job, what might you be doing?

Living in a different country.


Where was your most memorable holiday?



Favourite TV programme?

The weather forecast


Favourite radio show?

Late Junction


Favourite food?

Fish and salad


Favourite place to eat?

Hilan, Capel st. Dublin.


Best or worst purchase you ever made?

Best purchase: My bike


Last book you read?

Flora Hibernica


Best book you read?

Asterix in Britain


Last album/CD/download you bought / or what music do you most stream?

Last year I was obsessed by Atlanta duo ‘Earth Gang’ haven’t quite figured out this year’s obsession yet.


Current favourite song?

Have Mercy By YBN Cordae


Favourite film?



Favourite play / musical ?

I’m more into Oratorio ..


Favourite performance you were ever at?

Saul Williams


A concert / show you wish you had been at?

Aphex Twin at Forbidden Fruit Festival, I couldn’t go because I had a gig I couldn’t get out of. doh!


Performer you would like to see?

John Wayne (the rapper)


Do you have a pet?

I have a beautiful dog, she’s amazing.


Morning person or night owl?

Night owl


Your proudest moment?

Performing with a group from School of Divine Child at Cork Opera House. We all worked really hard composing, improvising and practicing for this gig and it went really well.


What makes you happy?

Learning new skills, the outdoors, sea, sun, food, all the normal stuff really.


What else are you up to at the moment?

Outside work I’m busy growing veg in the garden, doing DIY, dog walking, cooking and learning Mandarin.


Rory McGovern – Music Generation Cork City