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President Higgins congratulates Brad Heidi, winner of the A New Local Hero Award 2023

Date: Wed 26th Apr, 2023 | 14:50

"May I extend my warmest congratulations to Brad Heidi, announced last night as the recipient of the innovative and prestigious A New Local Hero Award 2023, part of the Irish Music Month initiative organised by Hot Press and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland. It is funded from the Sound & Vision fund by Coimisiún na Meán.

The initiative showed how strong, how varied and just how extraordinarily rich musical talent is in Ireland right now. This was confirmed so emphatically with 25 independent radio stations all over Ireland choosing their own Local Hero as part of Irish Music Month.

The judges, given the talent of the entrants, had an exceptionally difficult job in selecting a shortlist of six from 25 uniquely talented artists – and so, in addition to Brad Heidi, Eva Campbell, Negro Impacto, Darian June, Paddy Keyes and Temi Nla all deserve our heartiest congratulations on making the shortlist.

We are indeed in a special time here in Ireland, with brilliant young, creative artists such as the six finalists coming through and delivering works of remarkable imagination, quality and maturity.

At just 22 years of age, Brad Heidi is an outstanding one of those very special talents. Brad, who is based in Galway, was selected by Galway Bay FM. Brad is a brilliant singer, songwriter and performer, who has shown a remarkable single-mindedness and dedication, in his drive to establish himself as an artist.

Starting out as a busker, Brad was working tirelessly before his exceptional talent was spotted, and he has gone on to play some of the biggest stages in Ireland, including the New Year’s Eve Festival in Dublin at the turn of the year. He has garnered a huge and growing following on social media. The potential is enormous and it is wonderful to see him being recognised in this prestigious way by a panel of judges from across the music industry, that included experienced and successful artists of the calibre of Ruth-Anne Cunningham and Róisín O.

The prize is a very valuable one – but most of all, the title of A New Local Hero 2023, which has been conferred on Brad Heidi, will I am sure open the way for him to move on with confidence to the next level, in what promises to be a wonderfully creative, fulfilling and productive, long-term career.

Well done, Brad Heidi. Long may you flourish as an artist, a songwriter, a performer and a singer.

Traoslaím leat agus gach rath ort don todhchaí.”