ROCSTRONG performs at IMRO with BIMM backing band

Student Success

Rocstrong exploded on the scene in 2014 with his debut single ‘Go ‘Head’ and since then has been gathering great press and live reviews.

The young Irish artist is enjoying another burst of publicity as ‘Go ‘Head’ features on the trailer soundtrack for hotly-anticipated Coen Brothers movie Hail, Caesar!

Earlier this month, Rocstrong was one of the several Irish artists to play the eighth annual IMRO Awards, with a band made entirely of BIMM Dublin students! The musicians were Jason Merrigan (4th Year Guitar), Donal Pywell (4th Year Bass), Keith O’Reilly (3rd Year Songwriter), Rob Kennedy (4th Year Drums), Melina Malone (3rd Year Vocals) and Laura Kate O’Sullivan (4th Year Vocals).

We caught up with two band members to ask about being part of an exciting up and coming sound…

Donal Pywell:

“In September 2014 I heard Rocstrong was looking for a bassist. I got in contact and they took me for an audition. I was asked to join a few days later. Since then I’ve become more involved with Rocstrong and now it’s my primary project. I really believe in the music and we’ve been writing and recording in the studio.”

Jason Merrigan:

“I heard about an indie/funk band looking for a guitarist through the BIMM Facebook page and decided to audition. It was a funny experience because I’d done research on the artist and it turned out I and Rocstrong used to live down the road from each other! As time progressed I’ve become more involved with writing, recording and arranging, which is great. It’s a satisfying feeling being part of something with purpose. I’ve been in tons of bands, but the work ethic with Rocstrong is just right, it’s very professional, everyone pushes each other to be better.”

How was the big IMRO gig?


“It was a great opportunity, playing alongside Saint Sister and Academic was amazing. It went very well and hopefully we blew people away with our sound! Fingers crossed we have a very eventful summer of gigging and exciting opportunities. Our sound is just beginning to grow, thanks to myself, Jason and Keith collaborating, writing and arranging. The sky’s the limit!”


“It was a great milestone for Rocstrong, and for me as a musician, and a great night for Irish music, so diverse. I feel we put on a great show and hopefully we’ll get more gigs this summer – the more, the better! It’s great to be a part of it, I’m looking forward to the future. I’m busy in my final year of college, but I still put the work in. It’s amazing to see how far it’s gone in under two years!”

Getting the right balance of hard study and work that you’re passionate about is such a key part of your time at BIMM and we’re really proud of the Rocstrong crew for getting it just right. Hold onto your hats for lots more from them in 2016…!

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POSTED ON: February 26, 2016
  • Dublin, Vocals