For Erica Cody, music has always been something she has wanted to do.
The 25-year-old is the co-presenter of RTE’s new music show The Main Stage, which kicks off on Friday evening.
The Dubliner told Chic she knew she wanted to be a singer from a young age – and now it’s taking her into “a whole new era for me”.
Read more: Erica Cody Says Learning to Dance on DWTS Helped Her Manage Her Anxiety
She said, “I knew being a singer was what I had always wanted to do. I always wrote songs from a young age and it just progressed and evolved from there – and now I’m here.
The Gratitude singer told how she had “so many old musical memories” over the years to choose from – as she explained how songwriting had always been cathartic for her.
Erica recalls thinking that if music was something she could do as a career, it would be a “bonus” – but she would “always do [music] For a reason”.
She explained, “Music is something I’ve always done and so it’s hard to tell all the way.
“I remember when I was writing songs, it was really cathartic for me. I was like, ‘if this is something I can make a career out of, it’s just a bonus – but I always will for a reason.’ And it’s always been because it’s been cathartic for me.
“When I noticed it hit people in a different way as well, it was just a nice payoff. I felt like I had the best of both worlds.”
And while there have been many musicians and performers who have inspired her, Erica said there was one in particular who is “one of the main reasons I got into music”.
She said of her musical inspirations, “Stevie Wonder, absolutely. And Lauryn Hill, SWV, Beyoncé, Rihanna – the list can go on and on.
“But I would definitely say Stevie Wonder, he’s one of the main reasons I started music.”
It’s been a busy few months for the singer-songwriter, following the release of his latest EP Love & Light in October 2021.
Erica said: “I did Dancing With The Stars after that EP came out – and it was all kind of, come on, come on. Then this show, The Main Stage, came along and we haven’t really stopped since.
“My first headline show after the restrictions were lifted was in April – it was amazing. It was great to see people again. I think people have a lot of catching up to do, especially with the music – he there are a lot of tours and shows that we have to catch up on.
“It’s great to be back – and we can really do what we do best again.”
Erica added that “life is good now”,
She added: “I’m really grateful – I’m very happy and just very happy to be where I am now with my life and my career.”
Erica will next be seen on screen as one of the co-presenters of The Main Stage, which begins on RTE One this Friday evening.
And, for the Back to Basics hitmaker, it’s something “quite special” to do.
She said: “I say this all the time as a black Irish woman – representation is everything. Hopefully this breaks down more barriers and shows that there is room for everyone in the industry and that we are moving forward.
“That was pretty cool to find out and a fact I just learned. I’m still thinking about that – it’s pretty special.
Erica opened up about how she got involved with the program – and how she and Danny O’Reilly “jumped at the chance” after being approached by producers.
She explained: “Obviously I’m a musician and that’s my job – that’s what I do. The producers contacted me and said, “We have this idea with you and Danny, and we would like you to be a part of it”.
“We both just jumped at the chance and the rest is history, you know?”
The Baldoyle native added that it was ‘super exciting’ that the show is finally hitting screens this week – and explained the differences between taking the stage as a performer and her role as a host.
She said, “It’s the same but different. I just bring my experience as a performer into the show, because obviously we have a crowd there – we have an audience that needs to be entertained.
“It’s our job, to bring them to our house and make them feel comfortable but also to make them have a good time. This is the main objective of The Main Stage.
“I love having fun and that’s what it’s all about. There’s kind of a Top for the Pops vibe – and we’re constantly reminding people that, look, we know you’re at TV, but you’re also at a concert. So do what you would naturally do if you were at a show; nothing is too much. It was amazing.
Described as a “musical mash up with a modern twist”, The Main Stage promises plenty of amazing live performances and interviews, plus plenty of craic.
A celebration of Irish artists from the Rock, Folk, Trad and RnB universes, the Friday evening program will delight music lovers.
And with plenty of incredible performances in store throughout the six-part series, Erica explained how they could “fill five seasons of the show” with the talent they saw.
The Love & Light singer also shared how the wealth of talent across the country means it would be impossible to pick just one dream act to appear on the show.
She said, “I don’t know if I want to give that away just yet! There’s so much talent out there, obviously, that we had thought about – especially since we wanted to balance established acts and highlight up-and-coming or up-and-coming acts as well. It was really important for us.
“I think after the list of people we’ve seen, we could fill five seasons of the show. It’s hard to choose because there’s so much talent out there, and I feel like that I would leave someone out if I had to name just one.
Erica explained how particularly important it was to be able to showcase new talent alongside established artists on the program – and noted how vital it is that “local talent needs to be nurtured from the grassroots”.
She explained, “That was one of the things I think was really important to us during the show – to show what talent we have coming up and what we’ve enjoyed over the years.
“I think it’s really important to give that platform to emerging artists in Ireland because most of the time you have to have artists go and break artists like the US or the UK and then come back for that the public supports them.
“And that homegrown talent, it has to be nurtured from the grassroots – and that’s exactly what we’re trying to do with the show. So far so good, I hope.
And while the year may only be halfway through, it has been filled with memorable moments for the Dubliner, including two ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunities, which she is ‘truly grateful for’.
Erica opened up about the highlights of 2022 so far – and how, while the year has started on “such a high”, things can only keep getting better from here.
Especially with some of the things she has in the works for after the show.
She continued: “I should definitely say Dancing With The Stars and The Main Stage would be highlights – but the year isn’t over yet. We are only halfway there. This year has just started on such a high level that I feel like it can only get better from here.
“And it’s mostly with some of the things that I have planned for after the show. I’m dropping new music and it’s probably the most fun music I’ve done to date, which excites me really.
“But I think The Main Stage and Dancing With The Stars have been my two highlights so far. They’ve just been absolutely amazing to be a part of – and it’s not every day you get the opportunity to do a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity like this. I’m just really grateful.
Erica said her new single was coming this summer “and it’s gonna be coming pretty soon.” She added that fans can expect “a lot of fun” from her new music – talking about how the past few months have seen her take her music to a whole new level.
She said: “I feel like it’s a whole new era for me – I feel like I’ve lived my best life for the past two months, and I’m really trying to represent that. with my music while continuing to get across what I’m trying to say.
“I feel like I’ve managed to strike that balance, which is really cool. I’m just going to the beat of my own drum and enjoying the process of it all.
La Grande Scène starts at 9:30 p.m. on July 1 on RTE One.
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