Singer-songwriter and producer Róisín Murphy has been making unique, avant-garde music for over 20 years. Although she was born in Arklow, Wicklow, Ireland, Murphy moved to Manchester in the U.K. when she was 12. Early on, bands like Sonic Youth, The Pixies and Talking Heads influenced Murphy. She was also a part of a post-punk band in her teens. With an idiosyncratic personality, eccentric fashion sense and avant-garde sensibilities, Murphy has had an interesting life and career. Here are five things you didn’t know about Róisín Murphy.
After moving from Ireland to England, Murphy lived with her parents in Manchester for three years. But when her parents divorced they both decided to move back to Ireland. Róisín insisted on staying in Manchester where she lived with a friend until she could receive housing benefits and get her own place.
Before launching her solo career, Murphy was in a dance-pop group called Mokolo in the 1990s and early 2000s. The band signed to Echo Records and experienced a good measure of success. Their 2001 single “Never Enough” peaked at #16 on the U.K. Singles Chart.
As the story goes, when Murphy met future bandmate and boyfriend Mark Brydon at a party she broke the ice with the line "Do you like my tight sweater? See how it fits my body." Soon after Murphy and Brydon formed Mokolo and named their first album Do You Like My Tight Sweater?
Initially, Murphy’s label, Echo Records, thought that her debut record was strange and they didn’t hear any singles. A&R asked if she would change some of the songs on Ruby Blue to make them more radio-friendly. Murphy declined to make any changes, saying that she “wanted it to be as pure as possible.” Echo Records understood and stood behind Murphy on the album. While the album didn't do well commercially, it did receive critical praise.
In 2010 David Byrne of Talking Heads along with DJ and producer Fatboy Slim released an album together called Here Lies Love. Murphy was featured on the track “Don’t You Agree,” giving her a chance to work with one of her early influences in David Byrne.