ENYA, 44, singer-songwriter, is one of the world’s top-selling artists. She lives in Co Dublin.

  • I live in Victorian Gothic castle in Killiney that I was so bold as to rename Manderley, because Daphne du Maurier’s Rebcca is one of my favourite books.
  • People have this image of me as an ethereal Lady of Shalott, floating across the battlements, but it’s a very small castle as castles go – with no big ballrooms.
  • I don’t write my music in my home, only in the studio; I want as normal life as possible at home, with dinner parties and entertaining.
  • The success of Watermark [her 1988 breakthrough album] surprised me. I never thought of music as something commercial; it was something very personal to me.
  • The writin of a melody is an emotional moment; success doesn’t make it easy.
  • I was closer to my music-teacher mother Maire than my band-leader father Leo, because he was away travelling such a lot.
  • I was the quiet one in the family who took music serously at a young age, while the rest of my brothers and sisters were out playing.
  • I have four brothers and four sisters and it was a little bit stifling at times. Although I felt very much loved and protected, I would’t ask myself if I really wanted to do something because I was kind of in the middle as the fifth child.
  • I felt as if we were two families: the older ones, who were away touring when I was at school and the younger ones.
  • I was closer to my two younger sisters because of the nearness of our ages, but I feel I would have to have permission to say their names – they’re very private that way.
  • I found my own voice for the first time when I went to boarding school at 12; it made me independent and strong. It was my grandparents who paid for my education; they were always around to advise me when I was young.
  • I joined my family’s band, Clannad, as a teenager in 1980 to sing harmonies and play keyboards, but it wasn’t musically chalenging for me; I felt like an outsider.
  • My split from Clannad two years later caused a conflict of loyalty for a time, because I went off with their manager Nicky Ryan, who had asked me to join Clannad in the first place.
  • Enya is more than just me. It’s also Nicky, who arranges my melodies, and his wife Roma, who writes the lyrics. They believed in my music from day one.
  • I used to live with Nicky and Roma and their daughters, but now I live on my own.
  • I was able to be single-minded to the point of ruthlessness in leaving Clannad because that inner voice from boardind school was able to guide me.
  • But time resolves and mellows out everything in families. My decision suited me.
  • If you are from a big family, you always feel you belong to a family. I have lots of nephews and nieces and I have not tried to substitute anything by having my own family.
  • I have never come close to being married or engaged. I was with someone eight years ago when I questioned whether I wanted the pressure of being married or having children.
  • I always felt that if pregnancy was to happen, it would happen; if it didn’t, it didn’t.
  • I have security, I don’t need a man in my life. I don’t have pets, I have two guard dogs; and I don’t do my own shopping; it’s a security thing.
  • Last August I had to lock myself in the panic room of my castle because of a stalker; that’s happened to me a few times. The downside of success is stalkers.
  • I have had death threats from people with fixations who need help. Since Watermark, I don’t have as much freedom as other people, but I accept that.
  • There’s a lot of discipline involved in my work. I recovered from head injuries after a car crash 1997 by taking time out – and then going right back to the recording studio.
  • Enya’s new album Amarantine (Warner Music) is out now.

You | January 8, 2006
Maureen Paton
transcribed by enya.sk