Following the release of his single “Crocodiles” in 2021, we asked Cian Ducrot what fans could look forward to next. He replied, “So much music straight from my heart!”
Much to fans’ delight, he has delivered on that promise with a series of viral singles and his debut album, Victory. However, the journey to get to this moment wasn’t always kind, but the battles won make Victory more than just a title.
Cian’s story started in Cork, a city in Ireland. A product of a broken home, his childhood was turbulent, trapped in a cycle of abuse with a less-than-favorable family dynamic. Inspired by his single Mum’s classical collection, Cian found escape in the notes of Bach and Chopin. Soon the medium became more than just a soundtrack, but an outlet.
Cian began filling his moments with music by joining musicals and drama club, and mastering multiple instruments, including the flute, which earned him a full scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music — one of the most prestigious performing arts schools in the world.
However, a trip to Los Angeles, CA, made him realize his passion for pop music and a new potential career path. Abandoning the security of a full-ride scholarship, Cian couch-surfed through Ireland, London, and LA in pursuit of his dream.
Like many artists, Cian wasn’t an overnight success, “I had been trying to achieve this goal for so many years and be an artist and get myself somewhere relatively successful or where it looked like my career was maybe going to start. It just felt like I was getting nowhere and like nothing was happening, and nobody cared… I remember sitting in a cafe, and I was just at this big long table with a bunch of other strangers. I just remember sitting there crying, and I was just in a really bad place. I just felt so sad and sort of like, I was just wasting my time on something that just was never going to work out,” he confessed in a press conference with 1824.
Despite what Cian thought, there were people who cared. “I remember walking around London, and I actually bumped into some people that I knew really randomly, and they were just like, you’re gonna be okay, don’t worry about it, things will pull through.”
Armed with a newfound determination and a collection of stories, Cian was ready to continue the battle, “You just make it happen because there’s no other choice…It kind of rejigged that mindset in me of, like, I’m gonna figure this out. This is what I want to do, and I’m not going to give up.”
In 2020, Cian finally shared his debut release, which started in college, a compilation of the pivotal moments in his unconventional career journey.
“I find it easiest to write about stuff that’s real in my life,” Cian shared. “The other day, I was writing a song, just like walking around my bathroom, and I just wrote the whole song in one go. And I was like, why was that so easy? And it was just because it was a story that I knew exactly what I was telling. So I didn’t really have any problems figuring out what I wanted to say.”
The next stop on his unconventional career journey was TikTok. After posting a clip of his song, “not usually like this,” in February 2021, it went viral. “A year ago, I couldn’t even afford to feed myself,” he said through tears in a thank you TikTok video.
Cian kept the momentum going with the rousing “I’ll Be Waiting.” Inspired by the YouTube pranks he watched as a kid, Cian began bringing the song to different audiences through a series of choir flash mob videos.
“After it came out, I was on the phone to my best friend, who’s also my content director, and we were just talking through what we were doing for those videos. And then we had the choir, and we had a rehearsal. I just kind of had this light bulb moment where I was just like, oh my God, if we have a full choir for two days…why don’t we just go to random places like a cafe, and I’ll start singing, and everyone will think like, why is this guy singing, what a weirdo. And then a choir will join in out of nowhere, and they’d be dressed like normal people, and no one will know. And then everyone will just be really surprised.”
Audiences didn’t just like it, they loved it! The viral TikTok trend earned him 4.5 million followers, who were anxiously awaiting what Cian had up his sleeve next.
After a lifetime of hard work and heartbreak, Cian triumphantly released his debut album Victory, co-produced by Tristian Salvati.
“I think it is about achieving things – about achieving your dreams, your goals, your aspirations,” Cian shared of the title’s meaning, “It’s about the victory of sort of all of those around me in my life, my family, my friends, those who supported me and my family through all the difficult times we had. and then, of course, the victory for me of just being able to have a debut album in the first place, I felt, was such a milestone in my career. And sort of also just the story of all the things that you go through in life, whether it’s me or anyone else, and coming out the other side and making it out alive and making it out even stronger and happier than ever.”
This Fall, Cian will be taking a victory lap on his 50-show headlining tour. Grab tickets here: https://www.cianducrot.com/live
Despite music being Cian’s full-time gig, he still finds escape in it.
“I find it really hard to not be in the world of music and not be like performing or doing something, being on the road, being on tour, being like all over the place. I love being busy and having the most crazy, hectic life. [Music] definitely feels like an escape that way, but it’s obviously my normal life now…it just feels amazing, but it also doesn’t really feel real. No matter how much it’s been happening, like, it’s super weird when I keep reminding myself that this isn’t just a phase. I mean, hopefully, it’s not just a phase, and this is how it’s gonna be for the rest of my life. I’ve been on a couple of tours now, and the last year or two has been so insane, and it’s become like what most of my time is. Sometimes I kind of feel like, oh yeah, when this is done, that’s it. But it’s not. There’s another tour, and another tour, and another tour, and it’ll probably go, hopefully, for the next 60 years. but it’s kind of wild to let that sink in.”
Whatever the future holds, young Cian, the boy who found escape in music, would be so proud, “I think he would be like, told you so. I think young me is always the me that I try and tap into when I forget, when I have lost belief in myself throughout the years. I think he would just be really stoked.”
Featured Photo Credit: Holly Whittaker