Songwriter overcomes personal problems to perform on London stage


A new songwriter from Northern Ireland has overcome problems with drugs and alcohol to perform before a UK-wide audience.

Danielle McCollum, aged 24 and from Carnlough in Co Antrim, took to the stage this month at the Capital XTRA Unleashed showcase in Camden, London.

Ms McCollum struggled with abusive relationships, mental health issues, suicide attempts and involvement with the police.

Having successfully come off drugs she took a course in counselling and took part in a project at the Oh Yeah Music Centre in Belfast designed to encourage potential new music artists.

She said: "On the first day I realised my talent for poetry works well in a song-writing context.

"Within an hour on the first day we had already written a song and I was blown away by what I could achieve.

"The class became so important to me very quickly, with their help I started to realise that all the little thoughts and dreams in your head can actually take you somewhere in life and for people like me, opportunities like that just don't happen."

The two-week intensive course allowed her to engage with artists and music industry representatives.

Mentor and fellow artist Leah McFall supported her after reading a poem by Ms McCollum called Heroin.

She said: "Her ability to song write is inspiring.

"I love her complete willingness to be vulnerable, that is what draws any heart closer to hear what she has penned, and she achieved that in each and every session."