Mexican-Irish Artist, Saibh Garcia Weber, Discusses Going From Learning Guitar to Topping the iTunes Chart A Little Over a Year Later with Her Musical Project, Saibhin

The Dublin-based, half-Irish, half-Mexican artist and musician, Saibh Garcia Weber, comes from a strong musical lineage, with a father who is a professional musician and a mother and siblings who have always enjoyed and encouraged singing.

With this interest passed down to her, Saibh enrolled at Dublin’s BIMM to study Vocals. “I went to BIMM for two years, and I would be in third year this year, but I’m not,” Saibh tells Post-Burnout. “BIMM was the best thing for me; I loved BIMM. I was desperate to meet new people and kind of [Laughs] spread my wings over to the other side of Dublin, do you know what I mean?!

“Because I’m from South Dublin, which, I love where I live and everything, but growing up in school in South Dublin was not ideal for me, I don’t think. I never felt really in my place. And I had great friends – I did have great friends – but, at the same time, I never really fully felt like I had my people. There’s obviously a handful there that are the best. So, going to BIMM was amazing. I met my best friend, day one.”

At this point, Saibh did not play an instrument, nor did she possess any original songs, but, on a trip away for Christmas 2022, she would begin honing in on guitar and things quickly began taking shape. “What’s crazy is, I saw, actually, a memory from my phone, and it was a photo [of what] I had written in my diary, of, ‘Oh, gosh! I’ve written so many songs already! This is crazy!’” laughs Saibh.  

“And I had maybe ten songs – which is pretty good going – but I didn’t have anything, really, this time, last year. No idea where anything was going, but I was just writing songs. And I wrote my first song in December before that, and then my second song, ‘Siren Song,’ in December/January, as well. I wrote that in Mexico because I was away for Christmas, and then I came back from Dublin, and then, from about February onwards, everything just changed.”

Photo by Felami Jegede
Courtesy of Acdmanagement

Immediately, Saibh noticed her propensity for songwriting. “When it comes to college stuff, I could barely do anything,” she says. “Oh, my gosh! Doing an essay was the toughest thing I ever had to do! But, writing a song, I’m like la-la-la-la, you know? I’ve never been so confident in a skill I’ve had, ever. Because school was just not my forte. I loved English, because that’s creative writing, I loved. But anything else, academia was not my best friend.”

From the get-go, Saibh never wrote with a musical genre or style in mind; instead, she chose to focus on whatever came naturally to her and nurture each song as its own creature. “It’s so cool to know that we can do anything,” she says. “I don’t feel like I’m in a box, I don’t think I’ll ever put myself in a box. Obviously, you upload your song and you have to put a label to it, but, look, ‘Alternative!’ Let’s say that!”

When she came back to Dublin from the Christmas trip that kickstarted her songwriting interest, Saibh began making connections and expanding the idea into (what this author would humbly describe as) a bohemian refuge to explore the full scope of emotions, the human experience, and mythology through earthy, experimental, and lively music and performances.

This project is Saibhin. “I write all my songs by myself, on guitar,” explains Saibh on how the band dynamics work. “We’re a seven-person band. [Laughs] I have six amazing other people that are on stage with me, every time we gig. I have Cleo Boland on backing vocals and cello; she’s incredible. I have Caylum on acoustic guitar; Caylum Clinch. He’s a friend from school, so that’s amazing. Like, from secondary school. And then Niall O’Connor from BIMM on electric guitar. […] And then Cillian Galloway, drums; he’s amazing, he’s incredible. Ah! I just love them all so much! And then there’s Theo Rush on sax; he’s a childhood friend. And then there’s Ben – ‘Ben Bass,’ we call him – Ben Devlin, bass player; he’s amazing. They’re incredible, they’re all just the best. They’re so talented.”

Not long after the expansion, Saibhin secured their first live show. “The first ever thing I did with music was a gig, showcasing my music,” Saibh says. “That was Ladies First that Alanah Dinan, my friend, asked me to do. And that was my first gig, in July of 2023. And I had a few different people I don’t have anymore, so it’s been a whole rollercoaster.”

Since then, Saibhin has had at least one gig a month. Their second gig, at Dublin’s Grand Social in August 2023, featured a special guest. “For the first time in twelve years, my dad actually came to Ireland,” says Saibh, who had already been covering one of his songs at their shows. “So, he was there, and he was able to be on stage with me, and he played drums – well, he actually played about ten different instruments – but that was incredible. That was a whole other thing, to have him be on stage with me, and to also have him on stage in Dublin. This is kind of my place and my thing, and he was here, and that was amazing.”

After such a quick turnover, from starting the project to regular gigging within a little over half–a–year, Saibhin released their first song on March 29th. The track selected was “Siren Song,” which, as mentioned earlier, was the second song Saibh wrote. “It was just time to write my second song, ‘Let’s see what comes out, Saibh,’ you know?” says Saibh of the track.

“I remember I was in Mexico, and then I started writing stuff about how ‘You’ve caught me on a hook,’ ‘I can’t swim,’ ‘I’m waiting for you to set me free, set me free,‘ all this shite, like. [Laughs] And I just didn’t like the energy that I was coming on, so I just switched it around; I said, ‘I’ll catch you on a hook,’ ‘You’ll want me to set you free, and you can’t and you won’t.’

“And then, I’ve always just had a thing for mermaids and sirens, and, honestly, mythological creatures, to me, they’re all real. Like, I believe in everything. [Laughs] So, that just flowed, that was easy. The lyrics just flowed, you know? I liked the idea that…My whole thing was, basically, because I switched it around, it was just me telling a story in which women do not suffer at the hands of any men, you know? Like, this is that story.”

When we conducted this interview, “Siren Song” had been the number one song on the Irish iTunes Charts for its sixth consecutive day, something which Saibh was not expecting but didn’t fully rule out. “We were pushing the Spotify presave loads, because it’s just what you do and, obviously, it’s very helpful,” she says. “And that was going really well, and then I just knew that I wanted to push the preorder. A friend of mine, an artist, he got number one, twice actually. So, I knew this was possible! I know these things are possible!

“And, I can’t lie, I did not know we’d be on day six. I did not think so. Thank God, because I don’t know how. I do know how, but it’s just, ‘Wow. That’s mad.’ And then even to have that to share with the guys and with Cleo is really cool, and to wake up and it’s still number one, it’s like, ‘Yeah! It’s so cool!’ And, obviously, it’s not what matters. When I woke up and I saw that it was there, I was like, ‘Oh, maybe a few hours, or even a day, I don’t know. A few hours.’

“The next day, it was still there. I was just like, ‘Wha’?! OK, OK! Amazing!’ And this rollout that’s about to happen, it’s a quick one. So, the ball’s just going to keep rolling, which is really, really exciting. And, yeah, just being able to really feel like I’ve established myself as an artist is very, very cool. And my song’s there; I can actually tell people, ‘It’s there. You can go listen to it. Follow it, and you’ll see more.’”

As Saibh continues her family’s musical lineage with this project, her certainty of this pursuit has not waned. “This is just what I’m supposed to do,” she says. “And that has only grown stronger within myself as the time’s gone on, but I did know it back then; I knew that this was it.”

She concludes, “I think it’s more than just music; it’s so much more than just music. I want to change the world [Laughs], you know what I mean? I want to help the people of the world in the way that I can, which I think is music.”

Saibhin’s debut song, “Siren Song,” is available on all streaming platforms now. Their follow-up song, “Fools,” will be released on Friday. Saibhin will support Zé for their EP launch, tomorrow night at the Crowbar Terrace. For details on the event, click here. Keep up to date with Saibhin on Instagram.

Tune into POSTBURNOUT.COM Interviews… at 14:00 (IST) tomorrow to hear this interview in full, where we go into further details about everything discussed, as well as Saibh’s thoughts on incorporating Spanish and Irish into her music, writing emotionally-vulnerable lyrics, balancing the project with her health, and much more. Available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Amazon Music Podcasts.

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