Artist Spotlight – Ciaran McAuley


Have you met someone where passion just flows out of them? 

Someone who eats, lives, and breathes passion because they want it. Because they love it. That person is Ciaran McAuley. I had the fortune to meet this amazing soul a few years ago, and I remember seeing him play and just feeling both his music and his own soul, it was inspiring. But what still amazes me is as the years gone by, he continues to bare his soul during each of his sets. That passion is what drew me to him to be a fan. His caring, loving, and genuine nature is what makes him an amazing person, and over the years someone I can truly call a friend. 

In the grand scheme of the trance scene, Ciaran is still young but his music is beautiful, his talent is phenomenal, and if he can maintain this pace, he will make it to the top of the mountain and stay there for years to come.

Thank you for sitting here with me today. You are about to make your Los Angeles club debut at Exchange LA, how excited are you? What do you prefer? Clubs or festivals and why?

No, thank you for having me and for all the support! This is a question I get asked a lot and it’s a tough one to answer because we all thrive for the biggest stages and the huge crowds, which of course I do love but I as equally love the club shows, sometimes the smaller the better, sweaty hugs and handshakes with smiles right in front of me.

It’s crazy we are here, I have a goal board in my studio which I wrote around 2014 and Dreamstate SoCal and Exchange L.A have been up among the top of my gig goals and I’ve done both now, and my Dreamstate debut was on the main stage! I’ll never forget that gig.

I feel California is one of my strongest pulls I receive, and have so much love for here, and I can’t wait to come back.

Your current track with Clare Stagg, “All I Want” is currently number one. When you made this track, did you know it was special and had potential to be number one? There is a lot debate over charts and polls, how much do you follow them, and what do they mean to you?

All I Want started out as a rework for my live shows. I’ve done many like Dido, Mumford & Sons, London Grammar, Ben Howard to name a few but All I Want really caught everyone’s attention and funny, it was after playing it at Dreamstate SoCal last year when I thought, I must make this official. Now the track is being thrown around the industry as ‘tune of the year’. And there isn’t a weekend go by without me being tagged in a video from somewhere around the world of another DJ playing this while everyone is singing their hearts out, truly overwhelming. 

Yeah, there is a lot of bad talk about some of the industry’s charts, funny, we all say they are pointless but when we are at the top we all scream about it. Regardless, any hype is good these days I believe. I’ve just learnt to try not let the charts and polls consume my thoughts or energy. Now days, the labels are focusing more on Spotify and YouTube for that’s where the money is made, saying that, All I Want had over 300,000 views on YouTube after just 3 weeks! 

You recently made an appearance with Ram on ASOT for the launch of Nocturnal Animals Music. What stands out about Nocturnal Animals Music to you? Is it risky working with a new label or brand vs an established brand? What are the benefits of each?

Nocturnal Animals is RAM‘s new venture. I’ve become very close with him over the years and I believe in him, I wouldn’t have jumped on board a brand-new label so easily though, ha-ha. It has taken me years to find the labels that works with me, it is a business after all so if a label is willing to push you as an artist then surely, they should have your music, no?

The bigger the label or brand the more they can offer of course.

You have a huge presence online with social media and interacting with the fans. From a simple ‘like’ to a personalized message to fans. How important is it that you show your appreciation yourself? Has this helped in creating your own base? Why or why not?

Thank you, I have a big heart and I always try to lift others around me, I love to see people smile. The industry is tough and if it had its way, I wouldn’t be here so I have my fans and followers to thank, which I will never forget! 

You personally do a lot of your own promotion for your tracks and shows. Do you feel you get better traction when you promote versus a promoter or agency? What do you feel is a good balance

You’ve heard the saying “If you want a job done right, do it yourself” ha-ha. The labels have so many releases to push and they aren’t going to make your release any different than the previous release or the next, unless they invest money or a lot of time in you or the track. Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly grateful for what the labels do for me but this is why I use the labels that I have found work with me, but I just like to give that extra 10% from my side, I never want to look back and think “I should have did this or could have done that”.

I ask myself each day, “how bad do you want it Ciaran?”

I have seen you play a few times, in multiple cities. And you pour your heart when you perform. You can see the emotion coming from you. What exactly do you connect with while you are djing?

People say that music is their escape, especially trance music and I believe, this is why most like to go clubbing. It is the same for me, I get lost in the music and forget about everything for those few hours. I was once the clubber on the floor, naming every track the DJ played so it can be very overwhelming at times, sometimes the connection with floor can be so strong and I get sucked in and lost in my own “state of trance” even get tearful from time to time. 

I still can’t believe who or what I’ve become. I was just a boy with big dreams and a crazy obsession with music.  

You made a recent post about routine and habits. Over the years what are some of habits and routines that you have developed while traveling? With all the good, everyone always has bad habit they are trying to kick. What is one of your bad habits?

Ha-ha, you’ve seen what I would call my bad habits. I am very disciplined, family and friends may say I’m too hard on myself but “Party Ciaran” is my bad habit, trying to keep a healthy balance mentally, physically and even financially is challenging while trying to please everyone, the fans and even the promoters want “Party Ciaran” as much as I would love to bring him to every gig, I can’t… “How bad do you want it Ciaran?”

….but he probably comes to more than he should! Ha-ha.

If you could only live by one motto, what would it be?

“Be the person you want others to remember you for”