Photo: Holly Whittaker

Cian Ducrot

The Irish singer/songwriter tells his story on debut album 'Victory'

Baby’s All Right 

At a show at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn, NY this past March, Cian Ducrot sat down at the piano and sang studio-quality vocals from start to finish. While still riding the wave of success for his hit “I’ll Be Waiting,” made famous by flash mob themed Tik Tok videos with over 100 million views, he had just wrapped up an opening act run on Ed Sheeran’s European leg of his “- Tour” as well as a special performance of “I’ll Be Waiting” with the Jonas Brothers, as their special guest, at Royal Albert Hall. By the time he took the stage in Brooklyn, Ducrot had completely hit his stride.

The Baby’s All Right show was a precursor of what was, and is, to come. It was a small, intimate offering for fans to get a taste of Victory, his debut album, out now. “I’ll Be Waiting,” along with other well-known singles “Heaven” and “All For You” are included in the project, but there is so much more that the Irish-born singer-songwriter has to offer.

Classical Beginnings 

Ducrot has been a vocalist from the start, but attended the Royal Academy of Music to pursue his passion as a flutist. “It was kind of what I used to study music on a deeper, more advanced level,” he said. “Singing was another sense of joy… that was a bit less pressure since I wasn’t doing it at as high a level as I was in classical music.” He released a bedroom pop-oriented mixtape, started in college, in the summer of 2020, delivering a solid collection of tunes that teased his vocal prowess yet stuck to the intimacy of the genre.

Soon after, “I’ll Be Waiting” began to take shape, and the rest is history. Unsuspecting patrons were treated to a sudden assembly of Ducrot and his choir performing the number, and the videos posted to social media began to gain traction. Those slightly unconventional yet endearing pieces of content have now led to Ducrot’s emotional yet cathartic debut record.

Photo: Holly Whittaker

Victory 

Victory is an encapsulation of many things: The loss of his best friend (“Part Of Me”), a love letter to his single mom (“Mama”), darker, and more sensual relationship-themed omissions (“Everyone Who Falls in Love {Has Someone Else They’re Thinking Of}”). The title track is an abridged yet succinct version of his journey, tied together with a bow. “All For You” is, potentially, his most impressive vocal. “Endless Nights” and “Him” are more electronic-leaning (he teased diving further into the genre with time) the latter with an infectious flow and vocal run in the chorus: “I’d never have let you leave/I’d have been on my knees/Oh, I-I-I-I-I’m falling down.” He dips into a more hip-hop-oriented sound on “Mama” with an Ed Sheeran-like rap-sung flow: “I know it all comes up when we’re talking / I know you’re tryna save me the pain that it’s causing / I never see you cry, now I hear that it’s pouring / So, let me be the roof while you pull up the flooring.”

“How Do You Know” 

“How Do You Know,” a gem of a tune that Ducrot has slipped into his live set for some time and perfectly captures his essence as a singer/songwriter, is a clear highlight. The studio version is lush and orchestral, but the live version, videos of which can be found online, contains its true power.

Starting small, Ducrot introduces the chorus of the song: a universal hook that feels like it has been around for generations, wordlessly encouraging the crowd to sing along: “So how do you know? / Do you know that the good days are now while you’re living them out? / And how do you know? / Do you know that the ones that you’ve living are the ones you’ll be missing /Well, we don’t know the words but we’re singing / Cause these are the times.” By the time he reaches its apex, however long it takes for him to get there, he is in a trance. Untouchable. Unreachable. The world, at that moment, is him and his song.

“When I get to perform it, it really feels like an emotional, important moment, and a song that really expresses the emotion it’s trying to feel and tell,” he said. “It’s definitely quite Irish. It has a really Irish songwriter’s sentiment and energy about it. It comes from my country and a lot of music I grew up with… it was trying to capture that nostalgic feeling and it somehow does that. It feels like a song that has always existed.”

Photo: Holly Whittaker

“Thank God You Stayed” 

“Thank God You Stayed,” a declaration of love for a partner who has seen him through his best and worst, is a critical and appropriate final track. “Thank God you stayed / Thank God… you hold me down / I’ve never known someone I can call home / Someone I can call home / Oh, you lift me up / I’ve never known someone I can call home / Someone I can call home.” “Sometimes I think the song comes out and it’s often afterwards that you start to be taken aback by what you wrote about,” he said. “In the moment, it’s kind of just happening. That song means more to me the more I listen to it, and the more I listen to it, the more it hits me. The more it holds a deeper and deeper place in my heart.”

Past, Present, Future 

At just 25 years old, Ducrot has seen and been through his fair share. He has a serious, soft-spoken demeanor about him, but is also vastly articulate and wise. He is friendly, effortlessly humorous, and gracious. He chose music as his muse and has translated his triumphs, loss, love, heartbreak, and more to it. “It’s just something that was 360 in my life, just everywhere. Wherever it was, I was listening, playing, and performing. It’s just what my life meant, and it just lifted me up and provided me with so many amazing experiences and opportunities. It helped me deal with feelings and feel like I had a purpose… that I had an identity, that I knew who I was.”

Victory is an acknowledgment of Ducrot’s past, a celebration of now, and a glimpse into his future. For those who don’t know him beyond the viral moments, he hopes they give the project a chance. “I hope that it’ll just allow people to get to know me for what I am more than the way I promote my music, but also to hear all these songs that I’ve written. Everything I’ve done, what I’ve been through. The flash mobs they may have discovered me from were just a little piece of the pie and they get to fall in love with a body of work.”

Stream Victory: 

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