Star quality

A friend of mine once gave me some candid advice when I started to consider working in the music industry as a career. He told me (as only a friend can) that I didn’t have the requisite star quality to make it. ‘Look at Beyonce’, he said. ‘She has star quality. You – you’re too normal’.

Star quality. It’s a strange phrase. One person’s star may be another person’s regular Joe. What makes someone have star quality?

I believe I saw it up close yesterday. Joe Dart was in town at the Sligo Jazz Festival for a bass masterclass and for a gig with one of his bands – The Olllam. I had seen him gig before when he was ‘one of the band’, but here for the first time, he was out front and centre.

Now this guy doesn’t have a website, a recording in his own name, or even a dedicated Wikipedia page, but there’s no doubt in my mind – he is a star.


Let me try and define why…well it started with his stage presence, his grin, his deep voice, his certainty in everything he said, did and played, his sunglasses, his leadership on stage. He even came across as a nice guy, and I thoroughly enjoyed the hour in his company.

There are many ways in which to make music and to make a career in the industry. Some require star quality, thankfully many don’t.


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