“For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.” Oscar Wilde
The debut album "Odyssey" by Richie Ros stems from a life less ordinary. Neglect, physical, mental and emotional abuse suffered at the hands of his mother forced social workers to remove Richie from his family home. His father, an alcoholic, found it hard to handle the harsh reality of losing his son to State care and yet could not sober up long enough to care for his own son. His mother suffered from chronic depression and was unable to accept Richie as her own.
From the age of 5 months to 4 years Richie found himself in countless different foster homes. Richie was eventually moved into the care of the Sister's Of Mercy of the Good Shepherd Convent, a State run orphanage in Limerick city. During this time Richie recalls feeling confused as to why his life was unfolding in the way it was. He remembers crying himself to sleep for many years such was the pain of confusion and rejection.
To cope with such emotional turmoil Richie developed his own inner world where his imagination was expressed through music. From a young age he was writing and performing his own songs. Although he repeatedly asked for a guitar in the Children’s home that request was denied. It was not until Richie's 11th birthday that his long sought after guitar eventually materialised from a teacher who would take Richie away for weekend breaks from the orphanage.
At the age of 14 Richie’s wish to belong to a loving family was finally granted when one day he told his best friend’s mother Elsie that he lived in a children’s home. Elsie could not believe that such a lovely lad was in State care and along with her husband Billy went about fostering Richie. This was the first time in his life that Richie experienced unconditional love, real emotional warmth and stability.
However the emotional trajectory that had been set at a very young age for Richie meant that any other pressures at a young age were bound to affect him. Richie at that time felt unable to complete his leaving cert and so left school with no qualifications. At the age of 17 Richie who needed to find his own feet left Billy and Elsie and got his own apartment in the city. He decided to become a cabinet maker and undertook an apprenticeship. However, after a year Richie decided that this career was not for him. With the support and help of his two foster mothers Elsie and Nora, Richie went on to do a PLC course that enabled him to go to Carlow IT to study Sports Science.
A Scholarship from JP McManus enabled Richie to continue his studies and to eventually qualify as a Physiotherapist from Keele University in the UK. During the summer holidays Richie travelled to the States and to Australia where he played in Irish bars and busked on the streets. Emotions that had been held within for so long began to be translated into the lyrics for his music. Life had not provided the fairytale for Richie and so he was determined to make the most of his adult years by following his own dream of becoming a professional musician.
Fate found him David Odlum, Grammy Award winning producer formerly of The Frames, who having liked the demo agreed to produce Richie’s Debut album in his Black box studio in France. The album was fittingly called Odyssey – the journey of a young boy who in spite of all the odds stacked against him had worked to create his own fairytale. The music in his soul had, in his own words, finally “set him free”.
Richie’s life story is a testament to the human spirit and to the cathartic healing nature of music. Despite the trauma of his early years Richie has refused to let the past define him. Richie had no control over the events in his life but the one thing he did have control over was his attitude.
Now Richie’s debut EP has been released with tracks including "Fairytales", "Strange Mentality", "To Infinity and Beyond" and "Sweet Serenade". Richie’s voice was not heard as a young child but now as an adult he wants to share his music and voice with the world.
To date, Richie's song "Strange Mentality" has received radio play on RTE Radio 1, Spin SouthWest, Kfm, Radio Kerry and Kiss FM Portugal. Richie has played support to Kila and Tiz Mc Namara in Whelan's, Dublin and has headlined a charity concert in aid of The Jack & Jill Children's Foundation alongside professional harpist Teresa O’ Donnell and pan pipe player Iulian Pusca. Richie continues to perform regularly throughout Ireland and the UK.