Singer songwriter Fiona O’Kane recently stepped straight into the pop spotlight when her charming, acoustic re-invention of The Four Tops’ 1965 classic, I Can’t Help Myself, went viral as the soundtrack to the international hit #Turnofftoturnon campaign from Durex.
Viewed over nine million times, the short film had people the world over speculating as to who owned the angelic voice that had given this iconic Motown chartbuster a unique 21st century makeover with comparisons to the sultry vocals of Ellie Goulding and Jesse Ware. It was subsequently revealed that Northern Irish singer and frontwoman of pop indie band, Runaway GO, Fiona O’Kane, owned the voice behind the hit.
Due to popular demand, the song is now being made available for listeners on all top music download and streaming sites including iTunes and Spotify.
Says Fiona: “I was totally shocked – in a good way! – when I found out how many people have heard the track and seen the video. I get messages from people all over the world telling me they love my version of ‘I Can’t Help Myself’, so it gave me a good insight as to how far it actually went!”
Fiona, who grew up in a musical household, plays piano, guitar and ukulele, the instrument of choice for her acoustic version of ‘I Can’t Help Myself’. Fiona has been writing and recording her own music since she was 14 and is also the lead singer and songwriter with the unsigned band Runaway GO who have supported the likes of Bastille, Suede and Editors.
“I get a lot of inspiration from watching and listening to other artists,” says Fiona. “When I hear great music or go to a great concert, I always want to get home right away to sit at the piano. I usually write how I feel so I could have ten songs sounding completely different…but I always think my voice is what makes them all sound just like me.”
Inspired by the Beatles, jazz singer Sia and Coldplay, Fiona taught herself to harmonise and play the guitar. She met future band member Dave Jackson at college and they hooked up with Chris Jackson and James Lappin to form the four-piece, Runaway GO. The band have worked with the likes of Jonathan Shakhovskoy (Beady Eye, U2, Stereophonics) and Geoff Pesche (Gorillaz, Dizzee Rascal) , have self-released a number of singles and are looking forward to the release of their debut album this October.
Runway GO have already had a taste of playing large scale venues: “When we played Ulster Hall in Belfast last year, opening for Bastille, the crowd went absolutely nuts. It’s a venue in Belfast I have wanted to play my whole life, so it was a pretty proud moment for me,” says Fiona.
As well as covering ‘I Can’t Help Myself’, Fiona sings her version of Haddaway’s 1993 dance floor smash, ‘What Is Love?’ and enjoys the musical challenge of making other people’s songs her own.
‘I Can’t Help Myself’ is released on September 8th – Fiona’s birthday – after which Runway GO’s album, ‘Alive’, follows in October.