The M5 boy goes from the mountains to a roar by the sea


Singer and multi-instrumentalist RISING Letterkenny releases a new single tomorrow which should see him enjoy resounding success.

Kyle O’Neill, also known as Boy M5, has been causing a storm since opening Brú Lab cafe at Glenview Retail Park in the Mountain Top during the Covid-19 pandemic. Kyle comes from the Watson family, which is home to a number of long-standing and successful local businesses.

In itself, it was no small feat to open a business in these precarious times and the niche cafe continues to attract a regular clientele. Now the 28-year-old is preparing to expand his creative talents by releasing a brand new single today.

100k streams

‘Roar by the Shore’ follows Mountains, which saw Boy M5 surpass 100,000 streams worldwide, being playlisted on RTÉ and BBC, as well as being sought after by the music team at ITV. Written by Boy M5 and produced by platinum producer Ian Kelosky of Sub Studios, the track once again showcases Boy M5’s versatility and genre style as an artist.

While it’s back to the future for Boy M5 now venturing into the growing 90s nostalgia popularized in recent years, the local man’s musical debut began many years ago when he discovered an acoustic guitar in a friend’s attic.

Speaking to the Donegal News, he said: ‘My best friend and I were adventuring in his attic when he found an acoustic guitar. I started playing with it and quickly discovered that I had a talent. My friend told me that I could take the guitar home and continue practicing.

From those early days a natural flair for music evolved, and Kyle soon got his own guitar and began studying music at North West Regional College in Derry. From there he went on to study music at Ballyfermot College of Further Education, following in the footsteps of Lifford’s Mickey Joe Harte and Irish sensation Mundy.

Although Kyle doesn’t like to compartmentalize his musical genre, his own musical hero is Glen Hansard and his favorite song is ‘Falling Slowly’, and it is from this connection that his stage name of Boy M5 derives. He cites his other major musical influences as David Bowie and Queen. He also enjoys the music of Irish singer-songwriter Orla Gartland and Roe (Roisin Donald), a 19-year-old multi-instrumentalist from Derry who has her own brand of “Grumpy Electro-Pop.”

Boy M5 has shared the stage with a number of Irish artists including Dermot Kennedy and Kodaline. Then the lockdown happened.

“Lockdown and Covid have been a nightmare for everyone, especially those in the music industry who have just come to a complete shutdown. Like everyone else, confinement allowed me to acquire new skills and I got more involved in the production part. To listen to “Roar by the Shore”, visit the Soundcloud link:

by the shore

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