With her blend of folk melodies, synthesized backdrops, and classical motifs, Enya created a distinctive style that more closely resembled new age than the folk and Celtic music that provided her initial influences.
Enya is from Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland, which she left in 1980 to join the Irish band Clannad, the group that already featured her older brothers and sisters. She stayed with Clannad for two years, then left, hooking up with producer Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan, with whom she recorded film and television scores. The result was a successful album of TV music for the BBC. Enya then recorded Watermark (1988), which featured her distinctive, flowing music and multi-overdubbed trancelike singing; the album sold four million copies worldwide. Watermark established Enya as an international star and launched a successful career that lasted well into the '90s.
Enya was born into a musical family. Her father, Leo Brennan, was the leader of the Slieve Foy Band, a popular Irish show band; her mother was an amateur musician.
Most importantly to Enya's career, was her siblings, who formed Clannad in 1976 with several of their uncles. Enya joined the band as a keyboardist in 1979, and contributed to several of the group's popular television soundtracks. In 1982, she left Clannad, claiming that she was uninterested in following the pop direction the group had begun to pursue. Within a few years, she was commissioned, along with producer/arranger Nicky Ryan and lyricist Roma Ryan, to provide the score for a BBC-TV series called The Celts. The soundtrack was released in 1986 as her eponymous solo album.
Enya didn't receive much notice, but Enya and the Ryans' second effort, Watermark, became a surprise hit upon its release in 1988. "Orinoco Flow," the first single, became a number one hit in Britain, helping the album eventually sell eight million copies worldwide. Enya spent the years following the success of Watermark rather quietly. She finally released Shepherd Moons, her follow-up to Watermark, in 1991. Shepherd Moons was even more successful than its predecessor, eventually selling over ten million copies worldwide; it entered the U.S. charts at number 17 and remained in the Top 200 for almost four years.
Again, Enya was slow to follow up on the success of Shepherd Moons, spending nearly four years working on her fourth album. The record, entitled Memory of Trees, was released in December of 1995. Memory of Trees entered the U.S. charts at number nine and sold over two million copies within its first year of release. 1997 saw the release of a greatest-hits collection, Paint the Sky with Stars: The Best of Enya, which featured two new songs. Enya's first album of new material in five years, Day Without Rain, was released in late 2000.
1980年Enya打消进入音乐大学的念头，而加入由姐姐，两个哥哥及双胞胎叔叔所组成的家族乐团 Clannad担任键盘手。将爱尔兰传统民谣予以重新编曲为特色的 Clannad，由其强烈突出的特色在爱尔兰，英国及欧洲等地拥有权威的地位。
恩雅在才华洋溢的家族成员压力下，欲寻求更自由的创作空间，1982年她离开了 Clannad 另觅发展。她离开 Clannad 后与乐队经理人Nicky Ryan(制作人)及其妻Roma Ryan(作词人)组成三人创作组，继续开创个人事业。
恩雅的音乐生涯真正开始于为 David Puttnam 的电影《青蛙王子》写配乐。虽然那一次在电影中并没有出现她自己演奏的乐曲，但在电影原声带中却收录了两首恩雅自己演奏的乐曲。
呼之欲出的个人才情嬴得国际性唱片公司WEA的一张合约。1988年正式推出首张个人专辑[Watermark]，仍由默契搭挡 Nicky Ryan 担任制作。这时恩雅就真正步入其发展的快速期，先后发行了[Shepherd Moons]，[The Celt]，[The Memory Of Trees]，[Paint The Sky With Stars]。她曾接受多家电台的采访。
恩雅的音乐被乐迷所喜爱。1993年2月，第35届葛莱美奖揭晓，Enya的[Shepherd Moons]专辑无庸置疑地拿下最佳New Age专辑奖。Enya推出的专辑[The Memory Of Trees]，在第39届葛莱美奖第二次获得最佳New Age专辑奖。