Paul Mescal's sister Nell, 19, is revealed as a rising music star

Not such Normal People! Paul Mescal’s sister Nell, 19, is revealed as a rising music star – who went from sitting in the toilets on her own at school in Ireland to a record deal in London

  • Nell Mescal, 19, from Kildare is an aspiring singer-songwriter living in London
  • Paul Mesca’s sister dropped out of school to pursue a career in music  
  • READ MORE:  A look at Paul Mescal’s incredible rise to fame

While her brother was rapidly ascending to Hollywood stardom, Nell Mescal was having such a tough time at school she would sit in the toilets on her own at lunchtime. 

But now the younger sister of the Normal People star and Oscar nominee is having her own shot at the big time as her music career takes off – having dropped out of school in Kildare in October 2021. 

Now Nell, 19, is living in Haringey, North London, has released three singles and has a management deal with American firm Q Prime, which looks after Metallica, Muse and Foals, as well as being signed with Manchester indie label LAB Records.

And after her brother was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role in Aftersun this week, she found herself further thrust into the spotlight as fans on Twitter suddenly discovered her music, and comments quickly flooded in along the lines of ‘realising Paul Mescal might not be the most talented member of his family’. 

Family affair: Paul Mescal, 26, celebrating BAFTAS with brother Donnacha and sister Nell in 2021

Nell, who has just released her second single Homesick, has only been living in London for 15 months after dropping out of school in October 2021. 

At the age of 17 Nell left Ireland and lived alone for three months in Brighton, where she started her musical career. 

However, on returning home she found herself alienated from her former friends and decided to leave school permanently and move to London. 

Nell Mescal has just released her second single Homesick. The 19-year-old has been growing her musical career for the past two years. Pictured: Performing at The Academy Dublin in October 2022 

A post shared by Nell Mescal (@nellmescal)

Speaking to The Times, she said that she was picked on at primary school, and difficult relationships continued as she got older and schoolmates teased her about her body. 

She said: ‘I would have moments when I would walk past people I thought were my best friends and no one would look at me, so I sat in the toilet for lunch. 

‘It got worse after I came back from those three months in Brighton because the attitude was: “You’re going to leave anyway so we don’t need to invest our friendship in you”.’ 

Nell, Paul and brother Donnacha having fun on a trampoline as children. Nell shared this image to her Instagram 

Nell left school at the age of 17 and moved to Brighton for three months. On returning home she felt alienated from her friends and decided to move permanently to London

This all coincided with Paul’s breakout role in Normal People, and a therapist suggested to Nell that people were jealous of her because of her brother.  

However, her decision to move away has encouraged her to pursue her own path and Nell made her musical debut in 2021 opening for Phoebe Bridgers, who was romantically linked to Paul at that time. 

Since then 19-year-old Nell has released three songs, Missing You, Graduation and Homesick.

She continues to grow her music repertoire and has signed a management deal with the American firm Q Prime, which looks after Metallica, Muse and Foals, and she has signed with Manchester indie label LAB Records. 

The 19-year-old singer-songwriter told London’s Evening Standard that she has been writing and playing piano since was 12 or 13.  

Nell has revealed that she was bullied as a child and that her mother has recently been diagnosed with cancer 

The younger sister of Paul Mescal was bullied in primary school all the way through to sixth form, where it got worse 

But it was at the age of 14 when an operation focused her thoughts. She said: ‘I knew I wanted to sing and do something in that world. But I didn’t think it was a real job.’

Nell revealed that she has a type of scoliosis and so had to have life-changing back surgery. 

Being out of action in recovery for two months, meant that she became engrossed in her phone and piano and decided to follow the path of a musician. 

Nell has delighted her fans with her recent release of Homesick, and earlier this month appeared on The Late Late Show. 

She has over 50,000 followers on Instagram who have been quick to support her rise to fame.  

Nell launched her musical career opening for Phoebe Bridgers, who was romantically linked to her brother Paul

The younger sister of The Streetcar Named Desire actor has only been living in London for 15 months after dropping out of school in October 2021

When Nell announced on Instagram that she had made NME’s 100 list for 2023 her fans flocked to the comments section. 


Another commented: ‘Amazing!!! Youre amazing x’

Someone else posted: ‘Sooooo proud’

And a fourth commented: ‘YES girl!!! i love this for you’

On Wednesday Nell took to her Instagram stories to reveal that she would be performing at 2023’s Kendal Calling, which is being headlined by Kasabian and Royal Blood. 

Paul Mescal with his younger sister Nell. The pair are taking the performing industry by storm with Nell releasing her second single Homesick 

Nell has spoken about how music has been her escape and way of starting to heal emotional wounds that life has thrown at her. 

Speaking to The Times she she said that her mother’s cancer diagnosis is ‘much worse’ than being bullied. 

‘My mum is sick and I don’t even know how to write about it because it’s so raw.’  

She explained how she is working out how much she wants to put out in the world through her music, but say what is truthful to her. 

The Mescal siblings have very supportive parents with their father, also Paul, a teacher and part-time actor and mother Dearbhla, who works for the gardai. 

So sweet! Nell posted a screen grab of a video call between her family as they learned the news of Paul’s nomination together, each looking equally ecstatic

Nell said that she believes her musical prowess came from her father Paul, who writes a Christmas song every year.  

Paul and Nell do have another brother Donnacha Mescal, who is currently living in New York and works in HR. 

Nell has said that her and Paul are similar in that they are emotional, but can be too serious, whereas Donnacha is more laid back and easygoing. 

He was featured in Nell’s ecstatic family post regarding Paul’s Oscar nomination.

She then shared a series of tweets as the news sunk in with the first reading: ‘I’M SOBBING’, and then ‘how on earth did this happen.’

Nell added: ‘I would post the video of my reaction but those tears were UGLY. I am so proud it is making me sick.’

Tweets: She then shared a series of tweets as the news sunk in with the first reading: ‘I’M SOBBING’, and then ‘how on earth did this happen’

Nell also shared a full list of the Best Actor nominees on her Instagram Stories, which of course included her brother’s name.

Paul’s latest bout of good news comes after he was also nominated for a BAFTA for the same role. He picked up a British Academy Television Award for Best Actor in 2021 for his role as Connell in Normal People.

Aftersun tells the story of a girl called Sophie, played by Frankie Corio, who is reflecting on the shared joy and private melancholy of a holiday she took with her father twenty years earlier.

The nominations were announced by Riz Ahmed and Allison Williams ahead of the 95th Academy Awards, which will take place on Sunday March 12.

Paul joins fellow British and Irish nominees Colin Farrell, Bill Nighy and Andrea Riseborough, who have garnered nods in the Best Actor and Actress categories.

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