Musician Rónán Ó Snodaigh: ‘It’s all right to make an arse of it as long as you’re learning’

The founding member of trad band Kíla found his passion outside the constraints of formal education, and believes valuable lessons are learnt through mistakes and failures

Rónán Ó Snodaigh, founding member of Kíla. ‘Life is too short to waste, so I believe in embracing each day with enthusiasm’. Picture: Paul D'Eath

Best known as the founding member and vocalist of trad band Kíla, Rónán Ó Snodaigh has been making music for more than 30 years and has revolutionised the playing of the bodhrán.

And while Kíla are still very much an active band, releasing a single earlier this year and the soundtracks for almost all of Cartoon Saloon’s animated films, Ó Snodaigh has mostly been focused on his side-project with Myles O’Reilly since 2020.

Following the success of their debut album Tá Go Maith during the pandemic, the pair released their second album The Beautiful Road in July on Claddagh Records. The duo decamped to a log cabin in Roscommon and a farmhouse in west Cork and recorded one song every day, surrounded by countryside. They say the sound of the album was inspired by the calming effects of bird song, wind, rain and sea.