This story is also available in: Deutsch Português

Former Muay Thai enthusiast and current Sensei of storytelling, Declan Guckian is the musician we want everyone to be aware of. His beautiful singing, accompanied with soulful and raw guitar makes any venue or street corner turn into mellow fields under starry sky – a place where you can let your body to eject itself from pains and worries. One of the main features of this Prague based Irish singer is that you don’t necessarily have to go Czech Republic to hear his music; he might be in your town already.

Declan Guckian concert
Declan Guckian playing guitar

What’s your name?
Declan Guckian

What’s the name you always wanted to have?
I never really wanted any other name but I did want to be Batman as a child. I had the full costume!

Where are you based?
At the moment, Prague, but I move around a lot.

What should we know about your art?
My art, my music, is about storytelling. I come from a country where this tradition’s roots run deep.

What are you impressed by?
It might sound cheesy, but people that never give up pursuing what they believe in.

Who is your hero?
My music heroes are people that not only provide constant inspiration and encouragement but are also the kind of people I’d like to have a beer with. There are plenty of artists I would have a lot of questions for about their songwriting techniques/ processes and their stories about navigating the music industry; but that list becomes significantly smaller if I try to imagine a ‘normal’ conversation with them. For the most part, that list would include Chris Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Jeff Buckley, Nicki Wells, Sailf Keita and Nitin Sawney.

Is that all of them?
Of course not, it’s barely the tip of the iceberg! If I’m ever asked what my influences are I usually just say everything from A-Z, along with the world’s history, everyday conversations and what I had for breakfast this morning. These are the artists that always make me stop in my tracks. They have a raw emotional performance style and an honest approach to writing. Genuine emotion can’t be faked because the audience can feel it just as much as the performer.

What would you change if you could?
The stigma surrounding mental health is a constant battle. We’re moving slowly, but we are getting there…

What is currently illegal but should legal?
Depending on where you are – Street music. It can bring so much life to a city and completely turn someone’s bad day around.

Sweet or sour?
80% sour, 20% sweet and a lot of chilli!

Is it hard for you to come up with an original idea? What do you do if you face the “writers block”?
I do something as far removed from music as possible. For me, writers block is usually just lacking the spark to get started. Go for a walk, grab a beer, have a deep conversation, go skydiving, try some new food… Whatever lights that spark.

Have you ever thought about doing something else instead or is that even an option?
A few years ago I took a break from music and became a fitness nut and took up Muay Thai. At the moment, I’d be pleased if I could run to the bus stop!

Interview conducted by Elmeri Ström