Country singer Sina Theil told David Hennessy how she has always felt a connection to Ireland and Irish music.
She may have been born in Germany and grown up in Spain but country singer-songwriter Sina Theil’s most recent single was entitled Home is Where the Heart is and her heart is definitely Irish.
Living in the country for six years now and based in Naas, it was in Ireland that her career in music began.
Since then, she has scored fourteen #1 singles plus seven more top three tracks while her albums have charted at #1 and #2 in the Irish Country Download Charts.
Sina told The Irish World: “I definitely am at home in Ireland. I’m Irish at heart.
“To be honest, I just came with a suitcase and a backpack and my guitar and said, ‘Right I’m here. So what now?’
“When I moved, I didn’t know that much about Ireland other than that the craic was mighty and it was great for music. But I didn’t know any of the Irish songs or anything like that so I really discovered it all here as I started gigging in Ireland and travelling around Ireland and I kind of learned the songs hearing them at late night lock ins or sung by people. I fell in love with them so it’s definitely changed my music, my life drastically.
“I never came here with an expiration date. I just moved and said, ‘Let’s see what happens’. But it’s hard to get away from Ireland because it’s great.”
Sina had always had a passion for music. Aged seven, she started playing piano and composed her first songs, picking up the guitar later on.
“I have always been writing songs. I’ve always been in love with music and there just came a point when I had lived in Canada and I had travelled around and I said, ‘Do you know what? If I never ever do anything with music, it’s never going to happen. My life will be over’.
“So I said, ‘Right, this is the time now’. And it just happened that I came to Dublin for my best mate’s birthday. It was a sunny weekend. To be honest Ireland worked very hard to win me over. It was a sunny weekend. It was beautiful. I just said, ‘This would be a fantastic place to move, study music and just take it from there’. That’s actually what I did.”
Did Sina feel tricked into thinking that all weekends in Ireland were sunny and beautiful? “Definitely, 100%. I was tricked into this,” she laughs.
Sina supported herself during her time at the prestigious Music College BIMM by busking on the streets of Dublin gaining invaluable experience.
“Everything from busking to playing Saturday night, it really teaches you to choose your songs, to judge a crowd and to tell that story because songs are so emotional to people.
“They’re not just songs. I always feel that Irish Celtic songs are part of the history of a nation. That it’s just ingrained in people’s DNA pretty much. Grace and all these songs, they’re much more than just songs.
“I found Irish music fascinating. I always felt something, I always felt a connection. I think it conveys great emotion.
“I always felt that Irish music has so much soul. I can really see how it has defeated so much and how music is so important to Irish culture because of all the hardship that Ireland has had to endure. I can really see how music is such a fundamental part because I can see how at many times it was the only thing keeping people afloat.”
After her 2020 album Reflections of a Celtic Heart received so much critical acclaim, Sina is currently continuing her musical journey as an independent artist and writing her third studio album.
Sina won the Hottest Female Act in Irish Country Music at the Hot Country TV Awards. Another highlight of her career to date is being featured on the cover of Irish Music Magazine alongside some of her idols. This month she plays East Durham Irish Festival, her first American festival.
“Being on the cover of Irish Music Magazine next to Christy Moore and Paul Brady, that was definitely a pinch me moment. East Durham Irish Festival, presented by Irish Music Magazine, will be the first American festival that I’ll be playing. It’s a great honour to be chosen.”
The last year hasn’t been easy for Sina or anyone in the arts but the musician who calls her fans ‘the mad hatters’ refuses to feel sorry for herself and has stayed productive during the whole period.
“I haven’t seen my family since January last year. That’s one side, missing family and things like that.
“On the other side, I have really taken the opportunity. For every door that closes, a new one opens.
“Definitely the gig door closed for everybody across the world but a new world opened and that is just that everybody is so much more online so I saw a huge increase in online activity and I have a very loyal following.
“I didn’t spend the last year crying over what once was. I just said, ‘Right this is where we’re at and this is what we’re gonna do’.”
Sina and her band with special guest Billy Condon performed an exclusive online concert, live streamed from the Town Hall Theatre in Galway. The live album and DVD are currently in post-production.
“It’s been a very productive time. Now I’m working on a huge project. In December I played a concert at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway so right now we’re just finishing that.
“It’s a beautiful theatre. All the great artists have played there so it was a great honour to play a headline show there.
“I brought out an original single, my first independent EP so it’s been a busy year.”
Sina also stays busy co-presenting Fresh Country on Spotlight TV as well as presenting a radio show on Carlow FM.
It doesn’t end there. She also presents a show that gives an insight into the life of an artist.
“I’m very careful of not giving advice myself because people might turn around and say, ‘Who is she to be giving advice?’. And rightly so,” she laughs.
“I love TV. I would love to do more of it.”
Believe it or not, she also presents a cooking segment on her Facebook page.
“To be honest, it’s more of a comedy show. It started off as a joke. People said, ‘What’s next, Cooking with Sina?’ That’s how it started.
“When my mum asked me, ‘Are you bored yet?’ I said, ‘I wish!’ I just keep myself very, very busy.”
Home is where the Heart is is out now.
For more information, click here.