Rise Up! – A life in words & music featuring ROE

Rise Up!

A life in words & music featuring ROE

Watch Rise Up at


At a time when people are dreaming of escape, running wild and doing what they really want to do, Rise Up: a life in words & music is just what is needed. This inspirational mid-length documentary film shows how this fresh Northern Irish singing talent came to be playing in a 20,000-seater venue on her 20th birthday – a highlight of her dynamic journey blazing a trail for young female artists across the UK, Europe and beyond. The film goes live at 9am BST / Monday 18thMay 2020 at https://www.redbull.com/int-en/episodes/rise-up-a-life-in-words-and-music

Many people in the current highly unusual circumstances are contemplating taking a new direction, more true to themselves. Roisin Donald from Derry, Northern Ireland, is a perfect and timely role model, especially for young people. She was a ‘Straight-A’ student but at school she felt out of place and was bullied for her look and unorthodox interests. An agitating pressure was building inside her – she felt a burning desire for something more stimulating. One day she came across a book – ‘The Book Thief’. It opened her mind to new horizons and changed her perspective on what education and life could be. The book came back into her life through a huge, unlikely coincidence which is at the heart of this film.

Despite smashing it in her public exams, 16 year old Roisin informed her parents that she was going to drop out. She enrolled in a creative writing/music course at a local college and there met lecturer Liam Craig, a young music producer with similar opinions on creativity and education. Liam noticed something special in this student and the two clicked.

Recording from Liam’s home studio, Roisin went on to champion a fresh, independent female artistry in Ireland and the persona of ROE evolved (Roisin’s stage name/creative persona). ROE played at world-renowned Glastonbury and many other festivals internationally. Shortly after, Liam answered a phone call from Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody inviting ROE to support them on their UK arena tour.

Rise Up shows ROE’s progress from the struggles of the early days to a triumph and surprise on her 20th birthday at the O2 Arena, London in front of a crowd of 20,000.

Rise Up: a life in words & music was produced by Haus Eight, Northern Ireland for Red Bull Media House, London & Salzburg – part of an initiative focused on excellent storytelling applied to human interest documentaries.

Filmmaker and artist Sean Mullan, based in Northern Ireland, has had his award-winning work exhibited in over 25 major international festivals. He is a 1st class honours graduate of the University of the Arts London.

Director Sean Mullan said: “ This film shows that life’s biggest moments often stem from the most personal, intimate and seemingly insignificant times. In these instants we rarely need much but ourselves. ROE’s patience and strength of character guide her to notice these fleeting moments and follow her vision. ”

Singer & musician ROE said: “This documentary follows me over some of the biggest moments of my life to date. Sean Mullan managed to capture something magical from the highs and lows that I’ve gone through and I’ll be forever grateful to him for it. ‘Rise Up’ is a reminder that I’ve gone through all of this and become a stronger person for it.”

Chart-topping singer Gary Lightbody OBE said: “I wouldn’t have been able to handle this when I was 20 that’s for sure. She’s handled it with such grace, such humour. She’s just such an extraordinary woman – she’s fantastic craic and she’s brilliant on stage. It’s a flawless flowing set of songs that she has.”

Executive Producer Adam Gee said: “Now is a moment many people may be thinking of a radical change in their life. ROE’s courage and boldness making such a change is the right inspiration at exactly the right time.”

All songs in Rise Up: a life in words & music are composed and performed by ROE.

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