JOHNNY MCDAID

Biography

Irish-born songwriter Johnny McDaid learned his craft the classic way: Playing in front of people and seeing what sticks. In bands since the age of 11, McDaid moved to London when he was 17, committing to a life of playing music rather than attending college.

“The craft of songwriting started when I was in the streets in London and I would play covers. I’d throw in my own songs and get a very quick reaction. I could feel whether or not people connected with what I was writing. It was an honest schooling.”

A few years into his London stay, Johnny started the band Vega4. After signing a deal and reaching the cusp of success in the U.S., label regime changes left the band in flux. As Vega4 took an unexpected hiatus, Johnny scored a hit record with acclaimed DJ Paul Van Dyk (“Time Of Our Lives”). Unable to work on fresh Vega4 material and newly opened to the possibilities of writing for others, Johnny decided to hone his craft as a songwriter.

“I went on a writing tour of America. I wrote for months with anyone who would work with me. Hip-hop writers, country artists, guys, girls, bands, producers—everyone who would go into a room with me and write. The idea was to absorb the essence of songwriting with an openness to the possibility of what might be. I found a real energy in collaborating and learned so much from that experience.”

On the heels of his American adventure, Johnny was tapped by Johnny Quinn of Snow Patrol to become the first signing of Polar Patrol Publishing (Kobalt Music Publishing). He later joined the band and became an integral part of their lineup. Johnny often writes with Snow Patrol’s lead singer, Gary Lightbody.

Since joining Snow Patrol, Johnny has continued to hone his craft as a songwriter, lending his unique perspective to Example, Foy Vance, Rudimental, Kodaline and Ed Sheeran’s global hit album X as a writer and producer, for which he earned a Grammy nomination in 2015.

“What I try to bring to the table is the process of discovering what it is that the artist I’m working with wants to say. It often starts with a conversation. It’s about getting to the real heart of things, asking for and showing vulnerability, and exploring ideas that are really authentic to the artist. A session to me is like an ecosystem. Energy is passed around and things change and grow in it. Songwriting is alchemy. You tap into and build from experience, from the life that’s led, from the love, the hurt, the wounds, the joy, the celebration, the knowledge, the characters you’ve met and ultimately the core of who you are. This is where songs are born.”

Selected Discography Save or Print Discography

Ed Sheeran

"Shape of You" - Single

Asylum Records

Co-Writer

Robbie Williams

"Love My Life" from The Heavy Entertainment Show (Deluxe)

Columbia

Co-Writer, Producer

Birdy

"Wild Horses" from Beautiful Lies

Atlantic Records UK

Writer

Rudimental

"Never Let You Go" from We the Generation

Asylum Records

Co-Producer, Co-Writer

Kodaline

'Love Will Set You Free' from Coming Up for Air

RCA

Co-Writer, Performer, Producer

Ed Sheeran

'All of the Stars' from The Fault in Our Stars Soundtrack

Atlantic

Co-Writer, Performer, Producer

Ed Sheeran

'Photograph', 'Bloodstream', 'Nina', 'Terenife Sea', 'Alive Love', 'Take It Back' and 'All of the Stars' from X

Atlantic

Co-Writer

Ed Sheeran

'Bloodstream' (Rudimental Remix)

Atlantic

Co-Writer

Gary Go

'Cameras' from Just Before I Go soundtrack

Fieldwork Music

Co-Writer, Performer, Producer

Rosi Golan

'Give Up the Ghost' from Fortuna

Gypsy Betch

Co-Writer, Performer, Producer

Fieldwork

'This Is Not the End' from Edge of Tomorrow

Performer, Producer, Writer

Paul Van Dyk

'Everywhere' featuring Fieldwork

Co-Writer, Performer

Snow Patrol

'May You Never' from Johnny Boy Would Love This – A Tribute To John Martyn

Liason Music

Performer, Producer

Snow Patrol

'Mysterious Ways' from AHK-toong BAY-bi Covered

Mercury

Performer, Producer

Example

'Say Nothing' from The Evolution of Man

Ministry of Sound

Co-Writer, Performer

Snow Patrol

'New York' from Fallen Empires

Fiction / Interscope

Co-Writer, Performer

Snow Patrol

Fallen Empires

Fiction / Interscope

Performer

Lena

'I LIke You' from Good News

Universal Germany

Co-Writer

Rosi Golan

'I Like You' from 'Lead Balloon'

Gypsy Betch

Co-Writer

U2

'Unknown Caller' Remix

Remixer

Paul van Dyk

'We Are One' Featuring Johnny McDaid

Co-Writer, Performer

Paul van Dyk

'Home' feat Johnny McDaid from Volume

Ultra

Co-Writer, Performer, Producer

Lise Karlsnes

'Come With Me Into The Furnace' from House of Fools Soundtrack

Co-Writer, Performer, Producer

Vega4

You and Others

Columbia UK

Co-Writer, Performer

Paul Van Dyk

'Time of Our Lives' featuring Vega4

Vandit

Co-Writer

Vega4

Satellites

Columbia UK

Co-Writer, Performer

Vega 4

Drifting Away Violently - EP

Co-Writer, Performer

Vega4

Better Life - EP

Co-Writer, Performer