NAME: Daniel John Mark Luke O'Donoghue
BORN: 3rd October 1980
BIRTH PLACE: Dublin, Ireland
HEIGHT: 6’ 3” (1.91M)
FAMILY: Ailish (Mum), Shay (Dad, Deceased), Ian, Mandy, Dara, Vicky& Andrea (Brothers and Sisters.
SINGER, SONGWRITER, PRODUCER, / (PLAYS) GUITAR, KEYBOARD.
He owns a music production company called Mad Notes Productions with Mark Sheehan.
Both Danny’s parents are Irish, although his Grandfather is of Greek descent, from Chios, Greece, and his family have been in Ireland for three generations.
He is the youngest of six children, born and raised in the suburb of Ballinteer on the south side of Dublin. "Yeah, you do become Paddy Last," he says. "You're last at the table, you get everybody's hand-me-downs." His father, Shay O'Donoghue, was keyboard player with the successful Irish show band the Dreams, and music ran in the family. "They were all singers and dancers with big personalities. You had to find yourself among that – it was quite hard." He did however spend some time fighting the musical background after seeing his father and brothers away touring a lot, but eventually he couldn’t deny the call of the music.
"The truth is, I spent a lot of my childhood singing when the other kids were outside playing football and getting into trouble."
"Irish people have soul," according to Danny. "It comes from generations of pain, and generations of understanding emotion to be able to physically get that in a solid sound."
Danny eventually dropped out of school before completing his leaving certificate.
Danny O'Donoghue and Mark Sheehan met in a club in The Liberties area of Dublin, Ireland near the Guinness brewery, gravitating to each other through a shared liking of music, and in particular a love of R & B music (Rhythm and Blues). "At that time, MTV only came on in Dublin after midnight, it was the fuzzy channel, and for my generation urban culture was just a wave through us all," explains Sheehan. "It wasn't about gangs and guns; it was fashion and fun, singing and dancing."
Mark and Danny were formerly part of a band that had formed in 1996 called My Town. Striking up song writing and production partnership, O'Donoghue and Sheehan's talent was recognized early, and, to their astonishment, they found themselves invited to Canada to collaborate with some of their production heroes, including such legends of modern R&B as Dallas Austin, Montell Jordan and Teddy Riley. They were based in the US for many years, but moved back to Dublin where they recruited Glen Power for their new band. He had been playing sessions from the age of fifteen, using the money to work on a solo project in his home. But that went on hold when his collaboration with Mark and Danny produced three songs in one week. The band signed to Phonogenic in 2005, and released an EP on Last.FM. The band's influences include a diverse group of artists that include U2, Coldplay, The Police, The Neptunes, Timbaland, and Van Morrison. O'Donoghue also made a reference to Amy Winehouse and Stevie Wonder while discussing his personal voice while singing. They have worked on a few collaborations with Amy Winehouse and Denzel Washington, varying styles and genres. He stated that the instrument he attempts to imitate is a violin, based on the string arrangements of Stevie Wonder, while Amy Winehouse is similar to a saxophone.
Danny and Mark started making demos for other artists, but when they met drummer Glen Power, the objective changed. The pair had never heard Power play, but they made a connection that motivated Sheehan to invite Glen on a working holiday to Los Angeles. In one week, the trio produced three songs. "It was like I found my home playing with these guys," says Glen. "I had never had a chance with any other band to express myself with such freedom." "Individually, we all had our own talents, but together it just went to another level," according to Danny.
When Mark's mother became terminally ill, the trio returned to Dublin so that he could spend time with her, recording in his old home studio in James Street. "That was pulling on my heart strings in a big way," admits Danny. "Lyrically it was pouring out of me." After ten months, Mark's mother passed away. Four months later, Danny's father, also a professional musician, died unexpectedly of a heart attack aged 63. "I came home so that Mark could spend time with his mum, little did I know that I was actually getting to spend that precious time with my dad," "He was talking to me in the morning and he was dead by night-time. You don't even have time to say, 'That's bullshit.' I didn't realise that I was getting precious time with my dad. I'd been away for 10 years. I got to know my father as a man. It was: 'I know that he loves me but does he like me?'" Reveals Danny. "But then amidst all this travesty and disaster, these songs have risen out of it. That was the time when it finally came home to me how important music was to me, cos in my darkest moments that's what got me through."