Enya quotes

KSCA interview (1996)

The Memory of Trees promotional interview with Merilee Kelly of KSCA 101.9 FM (18 January 1996)

"I think they find it — they find me quite confusing, because — they know the music, but they don't know anything about me ... because I keep a very private lifestyle so they end up ... making up stories as such. But I don't really concern myself too much about them." -- On the music press

"On the project The Celts I was asked to ... to write a song. And, at the time I was ... arranging with Nicky, and writing the music and performing ... so, no desire whatsoever to write lyrics!... But Roma was actually writing poetry at the time, and she was involved, with listening in the studio ... being the audience in the studio ... so she was involved with the project. So, it was very obvious that she would write the lyrics."

"There is no set sort of rules, or no set sort of formula to the way we work in the studio ... so it's difficult to know ... what we'll move on to next. We don't like to say, "Never, no we'd never do this" ... But, we ... like the setup as far as there's only three people in the studio ... because the work is very personal, very intimate, very emotional ... and that is very important to the album."

"I get very inspired by traveling, by being home in Donegal ... all those wonderful moments I'll take with me to the studio. And they, ah, then become at some stage, a melody. That emotion that I loved at some stage will evolve as a melody."

"For me, I've derived from religion ... what... I enjoy ... and it's to go to church, but usually ... when there's nobody else there. I just love that moment, ah, to just sit there. It's very peaceful, very calm, and very therapeutic, and it's ... wonderful."

"A lot of people tend to think that because I need all this time on my own in the studio, that I need time on my own, period. And that's not really true."

The Telegraph interview (2005)

"Everyone thinks I'm so shockable" interview with Neil McCormick in The Telegraph (24 November 2005)

"I like to stay up-to-date with what's happening musically ... I wish people wouldn't think that such things were going to shock me. 'Wow! Does Enya really watch TV?'"

"Regardless of how I live my life, there are people who develop fixations that are not healthy. It could be a visual thing, or it could be the music that they are drawn to. These people need help."

"I do promotion when it is necessary ... But I always want to get back to the music. The personal appearances and red carpet events are very glitzy, but it's a bit false."

"I'm not one for walking the beaches humming a melody ... I love the discipline of sitting in the studio, writing and listening. That is my domain."

"They are as much "Enya" as I am." -- On her producer Nicky Ryan and her lyricist, his wife Roma Ryan.

"There is no formula to it because writing every song, for me, is a little journey. The first note has to lift you and make you go, 'What's this?' You play C, but why is it that one day it leads to G and it didn't yesterday? I don't know. It's everything. It's the walk you take in the morning, it's the night before, the meeting with people, landscapes, the chats, all of that evolves in some way into melody, but I'm not sure how it's going to happen. I'm dealing with the unknown all the time and that is exciting."

"I suppose there's a certain way I like the music to be performed, and I feel I can capture it better than anyone else. I know every note in every song, the whole history of it, even parts that were there and are gone."

"The word workaholic is so severe, but I do focus a lot on my work ... I think a lot about what I'm doing in all aspects of my life, what am I trying to achieve here, am I happy with this? Music is like a mirror in front of you. You're exposing everything, but surely that's better than suppressing. ... You have to dig deep and that can be hard for anybody, no matter what profession. I feel that I need to actually push myself to the limit to feel happy with the end result."

The Times Magazine interview (2005)

"The Invisible Star" interview with Nigel Williamson in The Times Magazine (10 December 2005)

"I could have been more famous if I did all the glitzy things, but celebrity always seemed so unnecessary ... Fame and success are very different things, anyway. The music sold itself before anybody knew who I was, so I felt I had a choice. I told the record company I didn't feel the need to be out there at red-carpet events. I wanted a career. But I wanted to keep myself intact as a person."

"I started writing instrumentals but Roma pointed out they were very visual, so she started writing lyrics .. and Nicky had this idea of creating a wall of sound and started multi-tracking my voice."

"I didn't expect such a huge reaction, but I knew I was doing something different to everything else that was happening at the time ... People feel a very personal connection with the music."

"There might be one little thing that makes all the difference, one note or one word. The fine-tuning is all important, and you've got to stay there until you get it right ... That's why it can take years."

Women's Weekly interview (2006)

"Enya - The invisible superstar" interview with William Langley in Women's Weekly (January 2006)

"I am really a very shy person ... If I appear, it is because of the music, not because I want to be seen. I'm not a recluse. I like to go out, but I don't like the glitziness that goes with it."

"I'm very happy as I am. I realise that I made sacrifices early in my career and that it was hard on my relationships because, when I am working, I am very focused and it isn't easy, when you have been in the studio all day, to say to someone, 'I'll meet up with you later on.' I learned that it was necessary to be dedicated and put work first. But, at the same time, it was a wonderful feeling to be successful at doing something I loved."

"When I left school, I had a list of priorities headed by 'marriage' and 'children'. That is how, I suppose, as a woman, you are brought up to think. At the same time, as I grew older, I told myself that if it happens, it happens, and that will be fine, but if it doesn't, that will be fine, too."

"I loved to talk about music to Nicky ... His influence came from people like The Beatles and The Beach Boys, and he had these ideas about layering vocals, painting landscapes with music. Roma knew about Irish mythology, told stories, wrote poetry and had this special feeling for lyrics. My grounding came from the classics."

"Sitting and writing music on your own makes you think a lot about your life. Who are you? Would you change anything about yourself? This is where it comes from. It is like having a mirror held up in front of you, looking into yourself and asking these questions."

"What I was looking for was a romantic athmosphere that I could feel at home with. I think I've achieved that. I love my home. I have friends round. I take care to live in it, not to work in it." -- On her castle

"I'm sometimes asked what are the pluses and minuses of celebrity ... and, for me, the biggest plus is being successful at something that I love to do. The minuses, unfortunately, include having to live with security and the knowledge that you may be stalked. ... I do like people ... I have lots of friends, but I can only be who I am."

You interview (2006)

"From the Heart" interview with Maureen Paton in You (8 January 2006)

"I live in Victorian Gothic castle in Killiney that I was so bold as to rename Manderley, because Daphne du Maurier 's Rebecca is one of my favourite books. ... People have this image of me as an ethereal Lady of Shalott, floating across the battlements, but it's a very small castle as castles go — with no big ballrooms... I don't write my music in my home, only in the studio; I want as normal life as possible at home, with dinner parties and entertaining."

"The success of Watermark surprised me. I never thought of music as something commercial; it was something very personal to me... The writing of a melody is an emotional moment; success doesn't make it easy."

"I felt as if we were two families: the older ones, who were away touring when I was at school and the younger ones. I was closer to my two younger sisters because of the nearness of our ages, but I feel I would have to have permission to say their names — they're very private that way."

"I joined my family's band, Clannad , as a teenager in 1980 to sing harmonies and play keyboards, but it wasn't musically chalenging for me; I felt like an outsider. ... My split from Clannad two years later caused a conflict of loyalty for a time, because I went off with their manager Nicky Ryan, who had asked me to join Clannad in the first place."

"Enya is more than just me. It's also Nicky, who arranges my melodies, and his wife Roma, who writes the lyrics. They believed in my music from day one"

"I have never come close to being married or engaged. I was with someone eight years ago when I questioned whether I wanted the pressure of being married or having children. I always felt that if pregnancy was to happen, it would happen; if it didn't, it didn't. ... I have security, I don't need a man in my life. I don't have pets, I have two guard dogs; and I don't do my own shopping; it's a security thing....The downside of success is stalkers. I have had death threats from people with fixations who need help."

Quotations about Enya

"Enya left school in 1979, and we had already been a nucleus, so it was probably difficult for her. She wanted to go off and do her own thing. Tensions were created because we never answered any of the questions. If you're going to answer questions, people aren't going to believe you anyway. The proof of the pudding is that Enya is my sister, and I love her dearly, and we get on really, really well." -- Máire Brennan, On rumors of ill will between Enya and her family members who were also former Clannad bandmates

"She does have a life. She'd kill me if I talked about it, so I'm not going to talk about it. There's a difference between being a private person and a recluse. All this blushed and flushed stuff about her being a recluse put it to bed, for God's sake." -- Nicky Ryan

"Enya never writes a bad melody. That's first and foremost her secret. As she goes along, she'll start changing the dynamics, pushing here and there so that not everything is perfectly in unison. It adds a texture you can acquire only from having different voices. The variations lead to interesting quirks. It's an integral part of the Enya sound." -- Nicky Ryan

"Enya knew nothing about recording, about production or arrangements. Originally, we were stock-piling music and just letting her get on with it. There was no name on the music she was writing. All I knew was that hard work succeeded." -- Nicky Ryan

"I heard the soundtrack to The Celts TV programme, which Enya had done, and I thought "what's this magical music?", and it was such an antidote to the, sort of, the day's work, that every night I went home and played the soundtrack from The Celts. And then I met her in Ireland and she was telling me how she was signing to another record company, I went "no, no, no, no, you can't do this, you must sign with us." And I did it really just as a self-indulgence, that I thought this was beautiful music and wanted to be associated with it, there wasn't really a kind of commercial edge to it at all." -- Rob Dickins, former chairman of Warner Music UK

"Sometimes the company is there to make money, sometimes it's there to make music. Enya was the latter. I would have been a genius if I knew this was going to sell millions of records. I just wanted to be involved with this music." -- Rob Dickins

"Enya and her team record and we stay in touch until there is something for me to listen to. I then provide an outside view. She is a genius in the studio, comparable to somebody like Brian Wilson, but she and Nicky can be their own worst enemies at striving for personal best all the time. I guess that's the price of perfectionism." -- Rob Dickins

"There's something about Celtic mythology which is deep in the soul, and I just think that somehow she has tapped right into it." -- Rob Dickins

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