Steve Garrigan is the lead singer of the successful Irish rock band Kodaline. He talks about his newest track, ‘Never Surrender,’ with Matoma, a song against bullying. The lyrics encourage listeners to have faith in themselves and to never give up. One part of this interview will focus on the importance of addressing mental health. This is evident in the 2021 publishing of his book ‘High Hopes: Making Music, Losing My Way, Learning To Live’, which provides an intimate glimpse of the challenges that have impacted Steve Garrigan’s life. He talks about the growth of his band, Kodaline, their creative process, most memorable concerts to date, and much more…

Steve Garrigan: An Exclusive Q And A On His New Single And Journey With Kodaline by Tosan Ebisan.

Hello Steve! Thank you so much for taking this time to have a Q and A with me. How are you and what part of the world are you in now?

I’m doing good, I’m on a little acoustic tour around Ireland with my band Kodaline at the moment.

On October 15th, your new single ‘Never Surrender’ with Matoma was released. It’s bound to be a smash hit. What was your creative process when writing this song?

This song probably wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for COVID and the lockdowns. I’ve known Matoma for a few years, we were catching up on the phone and we decided to hang out on a Zoom call. We ended up sketching out the bones of a song which ultimately became ‘Never Surrender’.

‘Never Surrender’ is a piece on bullying that is both encouraging and uplifting. How has your personal life affected the words of the song, and does music serve as an outlet for your emotions?

At the time of writing this song, I was also writing a book and I was going back over my childhood. I suppose the opening lines of the song ‘When I was a kid I used to be shy, getting bullied in class yeah I was trying to hide’ touched on those childhood experiences. In a way, I’m talking to myself but if people could take one thing away from this song, it would be to never give up on yourself. I also hope it encourages people to believe in themselves and to not listen to the ‘haters’ or the bullies.

Oh, and yes, music is a great outlet for emotions. The same applies to all forms of creativity and self-expression.

Your 2021 book ‘High Hopes: Making Music, Losing My Way, Learning to Live’, exposes your personal life in a vulnerable way. What is it like for you to be so open about your personal life and struggles while being so well-known and visible?

To be honest, my book was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done but I’m glad I did it. I think there is strength in vulnerability and I feel better for doing it. The response has been great which is also great to see.

Steve Garrigan: Q And A On His New Single And Journey With Kodaline


DJ Matoma’s rhythms and sounds are fantastic! What was it like working with Matoma?

I think Matoma is a gifted producer and musician. I have huge respect for him and all he’s done. To top it off he’s just a really down to earth nice guy, which is kind of rare in the music industry. It was a lot of fun to work with him.

Has lockdown changed the way you create and produce music as the vocalist of your band Kodaline?

This song just kind of happened as I and Matoma are friends. That said I’m always writing songs and not much has changed for me, I spent most of the lockdown sitting at my piano at home and that’s where I’ve written most of Kodaline’s songs from.

One Day At A Time, Kodaline’s 2020 studio album, debuted at the top of the charts in both Ireland and the United Kingdom. It’s an album that exhibits the signature Kodaline style which you’ve honed over the years. How do you think Kodaline’s music has evolved?

I think as a band we kind of take it album by album. We’re not afraid to experiment and get out of our comfort zones and I think there’s still a lot more to come from us. I’m constantly looking ahead and as a band, we tend to do the same.

You’ve been selected as an ambassador for Walk In My Shoes, a program that highlights the importance of mental health and personal well-being. How essential is it to you to promote public awareness of these key issues?

It’s great to see a lot more people speaking openly about mental health and the importance of looking after yourself because only a few years ago that wasn’t the case. I know what it feels like to bottle it up and it doesn’t do you any favours. For me, it’s very important that we all keep that conversation going.

What has been your favourite live performance thus far and do you have any dates set to perform ‘Never Surrender’?

My favourite live performance would probably have been a recent show ‘well pre-Covid’ at the end of 2019 that me and my band Kodaline played in India, it was quite surreal. As of now, we haven’t got any dates set to perform ‘Never Surrender’ but I’m sure we will at some point and I’m looking forward to it.

Are there any artists, composers, or DJs you’d want to collaborate with in the future? And how do you go about mixing musical styles?

When it comes to mixing styles I don’t think there’s any wrong answer in music, it’s all about fun and being creative. In terms of people to collaborate with…there are too many names to mention. I haven’t really worked with a lot of people in the past so I’m kind of open to anything.

Can we expect any interesting new music or projects in 2022?

Possibly but at the same time, I don’t have any plans at the moment.

What is an inspiring quotation you live by that you can share with your fans?

I love quotes, these two spring to mind right now…

‘What you deny or ignore, you delay. What you accept and face, you conquer.’ Or…

‘Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you or makes you happy.’

Watch lead singer Steve Garrigan with his band Kodaline performing ‘High Hopes’ exclusively for SPGtv.

You can keep up with Steve Garrigan and Kodaline by visiting their website!

You can also check out Matoma here!

Matoma & Steve Garrigan ‘Never Surender’ Out Now.

Steve Garrigan: An Exclusive Q And A On His New Single And Journey With Kodaline by Tosan Ebisan.