How Damhnait Doyle and a crew of N.L. musicians lent their talents to video game played by millions


Doyle and a crew of N.L. musicians created the sea shanty Sleeping in the Cold Below for the popular online game Warframe, and Doyle also voiced the interactive character Vala Glarios.

Doyle worked as a singer and voice actor for the interactive online game Warframe. (Angela Walker/CBC)

Damhnait Doyle can now add “video game heroine” to her resumé, but the singer, songwriter and radio host from Newfoundland never expected to get involved in the world of online gaming. 

Doyle told CBC’s Weekend AM in a recent interview that she was asked to do some work for the free online game Warframe by a friend and colleague from home, Keith Power, who works in Los Angeles as a composer for film, TV and gaming.

“I love his work. So it didn’t even matter what it was that he asked me to do — I said ‘yes,'” said Doyle.

Power hired a crew of Newfoundland musicians, including Alan Doyle, the Ennis Sisters, Greg Hawco and Aaron Collis to compose and record theme music for the game. The result is a sea shanty called Sleeping in the Cold Below, with Damhnait Doyle singing the lead vocal.

But, Doyle said, technology is not her strong suit: “I can hardly turn on my cellphone.”

Despite her lack of technical expertise and gaming experience, Doyle said, she’s a lot more involved in Warframe than just singing a song.

Doyle voices the character of Vala Glarios in the game. (Digital Extremes)

She also voices the character of Captain Vala Glarios, performing for the game’s director over Skype. 

“She’s actually an interactive player within the game. So I have voiced, you know, the commands…. It’s really interesting being involved in the process of the breakdown of how it all works,” said Doyle.

Doyle said people really relate to the song, which, with more than 2.1 million views on YouTube, has a life outside the role-playing action game.

“Right now this song is just getting so much attention,” she said.

  • LISTEN | Damhnait Doyle and other Newfoundland musicians perform Sleeping in the Cold Below:

Growing up in Newfoundland, Doyle said, she’s always loved sea shanties, but it took a while for others to catch on.

“It’s not surprising that the rest of the world thinks that sea shanties are awesome,” she said.

To hear the interview with Doyle, and other Weekend AM interviews, click here

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