We love the beautiful music of The O’Neill Sisters: an award-winning group comprised of three singing sisters from Co. Kerry. In our Autumn 2021 issue, two of the sisters sat down with us and spoke about their journey, from meeting Bruno Mars to producing albums comprised of healing sounds.
Sound and Spirit
The O’Neill Sisters’ musical journey
by Aisling Cronin
The O’Neill Sisters are an award-winning musical group comprised of three singing sisters from Co. Kerry: Fiona, Naomi and Eve.
The terrific trio have performed in a wide variety of concert halls across four continents, from Orchard Hall in Tokyo to the National Concert Hall in Dublin. They have performed for dignitaries and royalty around the world, and received international acclaim when their heart-stirring rendition of the classic Irish song ‘Red is the Rose’ went viral, gaining over 8 million views.
The O’Neill Sisters have appeared in stage productions by some of the world’s leading Irish music ambassadors, and have worked in studios with internationally recognised artists – one of whom was Bruno Mars. During a recent conversation we had with two of the sisters, Fiona and Eve, they revealed that they didn’t know who Bruno Mars was at the time!
‘We were living in LA,’ Eve said, ‘and I had a friend who worked for a talent recruiter with Universal Music. He called and invited us to a studio session with him. The moment we walked into the room, we saw a guy sitting in the corner, and his presence – his energy – was just huge. He wasn’t famous at the time, so we were calm and relaxed about the whole thing, chatting to him about Ireland. He even started playing a made-up song on his guitar at one point, singing about three Irish sisters. He called us Irish angels! We just hung out, creating music. About six months later, ‘I Wanna Be a Billionaire’ came out, and we were like … wow. We met that guy.’
The sisters’ career has always been blessed by sprinklings of magic, and they have had countless serendipitous encounters.
Their journey began when Fiona, the eldest sister, auditioned for pop mastermind Louis Walsh. ‘He was seeking new boyband members and I thought, why is he always looking for boybands?’ Fiona laughed. ‘Give the girls a chance! So I turned up to the audition – disguised as a boy – and only took off my cap and jumper when I was right in front of Louis.’
Louis was so impressed by her chutzpah that he put her in touch with a music producer, who advised her to form a group with her two sisters. The rest was history. These days, the sisters’ ardent interest in spirituality has led them to explore music’s innate healing potential.
They spent 2020 exploring healing sounds using chakra crystal bowls. Having trained in sound healing and other holistic modalities, they combined their love of the esoteric arts with their harmonies, and self-produced the album ‘The Chakra Journey’ – a live transmission of the male and female aspects of the seven chakras within each person’s bodies, channelled for deep healing and restoration on a cellular level.
‘One of the most amazing things about ‘The Chakra Journey’ is that many people said that while they listened to the album, they ended up going on the same journey we went on while recording it,’ Fiona shared. ‘A journey of deep healing. Deep integration. We’ve been thrilled with the response we’ve received.’
They are currently setting up sound healing retreats at sacred spots around the world for 2022/2023, and will be releasing new music at the end of this year, in both the Celtic music genre and the healing arts.
The sisters hope that their new musical endeavours will help people to return to a space of balance and unity. ‘This time might be nerve-racking, but it’s also exciting,’ Fiona commented. ‘I think it’s going to catapult our consciousness. It’s just a rebirth. A renaissance. That’s what we’re going through … and we’ve been doing rebirth records for the last number of years.’
Eve added, ‘I do feel that although people seem very separated right now, that sense of separation can only go so far before we move back to unity.’
Music is a wonderful healer and unifier, with the ability to connect hearts and minds in a way that few other means of expression can. The O’Neill Sisters’ oeuvre is a prime example of that. Their new focus on offering healing sound transmissions and retreats is sure to bring peace to the souls of many in the years ahead.