LIFE IN SOUND: Rory Mcilroy
With four Major championships under his belt, a slew of celebrity mates and a list of mega brands looking to associate themselves with him – it’s fair to say that golfer Rory McIlroy has made it.
As the former world number one was in town to defend his title at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Esquire Middle East took the time to catch up with the Bose ambassador, and talk about his second passion, music.
What are your audio essentials?
QC20s for me are my go-to in the air noise-cancelling headphones. Actually, the first noise cancelling headphones I ever got were Bose, when I started to travel more, when I started to play professionally. I fly and travel along and they make such a huge difference for me because I’ll try to either watch a movie or get a bit of sleep, and with these ones you can rest your head on a pillow and it is not uncomfortable. I also travel with the Soundlink mini, the portable Bluetooth speaker, if we go to the pool or the beach, or whatever,
Do you listen to music while you play golf?
I can be quite solitary and if I’m practicing on my own time, it helps the time pass quicker. Sometimes the music is almost like white noise. Especially when I’m training on my own I’ll listen to my own music and go in my own little world.
Any specific music that helps your stroke?
More acoustic stuff. Whenever I am in the golf course, I always listen to something that is a bit more mellow, probably like Coldplay, more of their earlier, mellow stuff and some Bon Iver and Ed Sheeran. Stuff like that, that is more mellow and a bit more relaxed.
What do you listen to in gym to get really pumped up?
If I’m in the gym I listen to upbeat stuff. I have quite an eclectic music taste and listen to a wide variety of stuff for different time of the day or moods. I was in the gym earlier and I was listening to some hip-hop, some Kanye and Jay Z. At the minute I’ve been listening to Drake and Kendrick Lamar as well in the gym, stuff that is quite sort of bass-y and motivational and gets you going a little bit.
Kanye is always a good one for motivation…
One of the songs of Kanye that I really like is Send it Up. It always gets me going a little bit, and gives me a push in the gym.
Are you a podcast guy?
Not really. I am not a big podcast sort of person. I haven’t quite got there yet. If I am listening to something, I want it to be music, I want it to be a playlist. I’ll go on spotify and search for playlists I am in the mood for and stuff that I have time for, but podcasts I am quite not there yet. I might do that this evening now that you mentioned it.
What’s the last album you downloaded?
Coldplay’s new album, A Head Full of Dreams. The new one. It’s quite anthem-y. It’s good and they are touring Europe this summer so I’m going to try and see them. I ‘ve never seen them live in a concert. They’re on my bucket list of people I want to see play.
What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
I’m a big gig goer, I like going to concerts. I would say, the most impressive was probably Ed Sheeran. It was just him on the guitar in front of 20,000 people and that’s it. It was incredible. It was so impressive and I was seriously sort of blown away by it.
What did you listen to in the car growing up?
My dad probably knows all the lyrics to 50 Cent’s Get Rich, or Die Tryin’ album.
“My dad probably knows all the lyrics to 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Tryin’ album”
What?! Is he a cool dad?
Yeah he is pretty cool but more when I was young we’d travel around Ireland so that I could play junior tournaments. Like, I was a big fan, I loved 50 Cent, and I’d insist that we have that album playing in the car. Any time my dad plays a song from that album he knows exactly what it is, and all the words.
Did your dad play any other bands that you still love now?
Oh he’d play The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel, he loves that stuff. But whenever I was in the car with him, I was usually the DJ, and it was usually 50 Cent that was playing.
Do you prefer new music or golden oldies?
New music. Once in a while I listen to stuff I haven’t heard in a long time but I feel there are some records that are overplayed a little bit, like the older ones. It was funny because it wasn’t long ago that I had a MJ thing going one and I was listening to a lot of Michael Jackson for a week or two. But if I had a choice I would prefer newer music.
Any new music you just discovered that you are quite excited about?
I feel like I have been introduced to a lot of music over the last year or two, just with knowing people in the musical industry. There is an Irish guy coming through and his stuff is really good. His names is Gavin James. Let me see if I can play it for you [gets out his phone and starts looking for it]. It is called, Bitter Pill, you’ve probably heard this song.
What’s the last song you listened to?
Let me see, there you go, the last song is by Jay Z.
First CD you ever bought?
First one I ever bought was probably, it was either Will Smith or Linkin Park. Either one of that but I can’t remember which one. I’ve always had very eclectic taste!