Waterford City & County Council's Arts resource site
The Waterford band won the Choice Music Award for their third studio album ‘Jason’ in front of a packed crowd at Vicar Street in Dublin. The band received a cheque for €10,000, a prize which has been provided by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and the Irish Recorded Music Association (IMRA).
Last autumn the band made the major announcement that their forthcoming coming album ‘Jason’ would be their last. Citing difficulties in personal logistics (two members live in cork, two in Dublin, one in Waterford) O Emperor said that they were splitting as a band but were remaining as friends with occasional musical partings in the offing.
‘Jason’ received ecstatic reviews on its release: “… a terrific high for the five-piece to go out on; it’s experimental and adventurous, while always remaining accessible.” Jackie Hayden, Hotpress; “… masterfully captures the true essence of music with 16 spectacular compositions conceived with unfiltered imagination and extraordinary musicianship.” Zara Hederman, Irish Times.
The five piece eclectic rock band originally came together after meeting up in secondary school. Prior to being O Emperor they played under different guises the most popular being the moniker of Troubador where they explored cover songs and honed their nascent songwriting skills. In 2009 all five moved en-masse to Cork for third level education. It was during this period that they started recording their first album Hither Tither and decided on the band name – O Emperor.
The initial Hither Tither album was originally recorded and produced with support from Waterford Council’s Arts Office. However when the band signed to Universal records that album was scrapped and a second version was rerecorded and given an international release in 2010.
After giging in Ireland and Europe the band released their 2nd album ‘Vitreous’ on their own label to great critical acclaim in 2013 “Vitreous is the sort of album that should win the Mercury Music Prize” Brian Boyd Irish Times. “Vitreous is ‘a sharp, complex take on pop music that gets more satisfying with every listen” Neill Dougan Thumped.com. “A cracking display of musical virtuosity it represents a victory for independent music…” Cian Walsh, GoldenPlec.com
RTÉ Two will broadcast a one-hour TV highlights programme of the RTÉ Choice Music Prize featuring performances from the acts on Sunday 17 March at 11.15pm.