ENYA: From the Heart
The Mail on Sunday (London, England) 8 January 2006
I live in a Victorian Gothic castle in Killiney that I was so bold as to rename Manderley, because Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca 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 a 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 writing of a melody is an emotional moment; success doesn't make it easy.
I was closer to my music-teacher mother Maire than my bandleader father Leo, because he was away travelling such a lot.
I was the quiet one in the family who took music seriously 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 wouldn'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 challenging 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 boarding 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 in 1997 by taking time out - and then going right back to the recording studio.
Enya's new album Amarantine (Warner Music) is out now
Note: It would have been far more interesting to have gotten the entire interview instead of quotes pulled out of context. Still, the quotes are typical of the bolder, determined, and more upfront attitude that Enya expressed in interviews at the beginning of the promotion for Amarantine. Due to the many questions she faced about the break-ins at Manderley Castle prior to the release of the album, one wonders if she was determined to let the world know that she wasn't a traumatized 'Celtic Faery' figure afraid to go out in public.