Tolü Makay is truly one of Ireland’s rising stars. Watch her viral cover of the Saw Doctor’s N17 to brighten your mood

Tolü photographed by Brid O’Donovan for the December 2020 issue of Irish Country Magazine

If you’re finding the news and the end of the festive season a little grim, take a moment to enjoy this cheering rendition of N17, performed by Offaly singer Tolü Makay and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. Created by Kite Entertainment as part of the NYE Countdown on RTÉ One, the video contains heartwarming messages from Irish abroad to their loved ones at home.

The video has been praised by stars such as Graham Norton and Dara O’Briain.

Tolü connected with the song, as like so many of the population she knows what it’s like to be away from family.

“Learning N17 by the Saw Doctors and singing the lyrics to the arrangement Gavin Murphy created really resonated with me. I felt every word I sang because it rang true! I went to university in Galway I was taught in prefabs! And not seeing my family for a whole year that was tough which I’m sure the whole world understood what that felt like over this holiday season,” Tolü says.

Photo: Adrienne Campion

“No less than about 30 minutes after the show went live the tags on social media started going crazy. It wasn’t till the following day that I was absolutely awestruck and so shocked with the responses! And seeing that the Saw Doctors loved the rendition gladdened my heart! I was not expecting the wonderful reviews! So many people shared stories with me and how long they’ve been away from family. I cried my eyes out on the first of January with gratitude,” she adds.

“I’m beyond grateful to have been able to bring people into the new year and for it to be significant enough that it resonated with those living far from Ireland.”