As a member of Westlife, Shane Filan became a household name throughout Europe and Australasia during the bands incredible 14 year career together. With record sales of over 50 million, Westlife achieved a phenomenal 14 number one singles which included If I Let You Go, Flying Without Wings, My Love and Queen of my Heart as well as a duet with pop superstar Mariah Carey. The boy band released 10 studio albums before deciding to part ways in 2012 following a mammoth farewell arena tour of the UK.
With the horizon a blank canvas for each of the members of Westlife, Shane is the first of the foursome to make his way into the world as a solo artist, releasing his debut solo single, Everything To Me, over this past weekend.
With an album set for release later in the year and a tour in the works, Shane sat down with RenownedForSound.com Editor Brendon Veevers to talk about his new career direction, details of his upcoming studio album and what his former bandmates think of his new material. Here is what Shane had to tell us:
Brendon Veevers: How are you doing Shane and where are we talking to you from today?
Shane Filan: I’m great, thanks. Really excited about my first single. Today I’m in County Kerry in Ireland doing my very first ever solo TV performance.
BV: You are currently working on your debut solo album and you have teased us with the release of the album’s first single, Everything To Me which came out over the weekend. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the single and what the track is all about?
SF: I wrote this song about the stuff that is important to me. My wife and kids and being positive. Looking forward in life. It was the first song that I wrote for the album.
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BV: What was it like to film the video with all those flight attendants? Not a bad day in the office that day we can assume?
SF: The video shoot was great. I had 81 people on the set, and more even more behind the scenes. It was a very humbling experience for my first video and it turned out great, I’m so happy with it.
BV: You have co-written each of the 4 tracks on the EP. How important is it to be involved in the creation of a new record or track on a songwriting level?
SF: It wasn’t something that I thought would happen at the start but I was encouraged by the record label to write and I got off to such a good start with Everything To Me and a couple of other songs that I just kept going and now I’ve written a full album because the songs are important to me and they are just true stories about my life.
BV: The last 12 months have been quite busy for you, bouncing between London and Nashville to record the new songs. What’s that been like and what have been the most artistically rewarding things to come from recording in these very musical cities?
SF: I definitely got a sound from Nashville that is going through my album, but the most rewarding thing is just writing my own songs.
BV: Your solo work is a new chapter in your life. What can we expect from ‘Shane Filan – the Solo Artist’?
SF: Lots of good things hopefully! I’m really looking forward to the future and I’ve no expectations, what will be, will be. I just want to continue singing.
BV: What are the biggest differences being a solo artist to that of your time recording as a part of a group?
SF: Everything is different. And it’s a lot quieter in the dressing room. I’ve got a good team of people with me and so far I’ve felt very relaxed and comfortable.
BV: Other lead or predominant singers in groups have gone on to lead very successful solo careers including Robbie Williams and fellow Irishman, Ronan Keating. Has Ronan been in touch to offer any advice to you on how to approach this new chapter in your life?
SF: No, I haven’t spoken to Ronan for a while but I met him at the Irish open golf event last year and he wished me all the best. I’ve known him for a long time – since the very beginning of Westlife. He’s always given me positive advice.
BV: Having been in Westlife for so many years, what was it like to enter the studio for the first time to work on your new solo material without the rest of the band there?
SF: It felt new and fresh and exciting. Even though I’ve done it many times before this felt like a new experience. I love being in the studio. I got to take my time and create a sound for myself which was so important.
BV: Was there any apprehension about going solo?
SF: Of course, I’ve had the last year to think about it, and I’m still getting used to it every day.
BV: Have the rest of your previous Westlife bandmates given the tracks their stamp of approval?
SF: They’ve all been in contact saying they love the song, which is great. We spent half our life together and its good to get the thumbs up from the boys.
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BV: Given your past success, have you placed any expectations on your solo work or are you taking a more laid back approach to your solo releases?
SF: I’ve no expectations at all – I just want it to do well. The music industry is a difficult place. I’d love if my first single went top 10, then it’s a hit!
BV: What can fans expect from the album? Would you say that Everything To Me is indicative of the sound within the rest of the record?
SF: Yes there’s a similar up-tempo vibe throughout the album with a bit of country and soul as well. It’s a very positive album and I can’t wait for people to hear it in November.
BV: Are there any surprises to listen out for on the album such as collaborations or duets?
SF: There’s no duets on the album but that’s something I’d love to do in the future when I know where my career is going.
BV: I’m sure there are plenty of artists out there lining up to record a duet with you. Who would you most like to work with on a record and why?
SF: There are lots of great singers out there but Taylor Swift would be great. She’s got a beautiful voice but I’m sure I’m in a queue of people who want to duet with her.
BV: Will you be heading out on the road to deliver the new songs to fans?
SF: Yes there are definite plans to tour next year and I’ll be announcing details for the tour soon.
BV: Thanks for your time Shane and good luck with the EP and album releases.
SF: Thanks Brendon
Shane Filans new single and EP Everything To Me is out now.
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
Interviewing and reviewing the best in new music and globally recognized artists is his passion.
Over the years he has been lucky enough to review thousands of music releases and concerts and interview artists ranging from top selling superstars like 27-time Grammy Award winner Alison Krauss, Boyz II Men, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Lisa Loeb and iconic Eagles front man/songwriter, Glenn Frey through to more recent successes including Newton Faulkner, Janelle Monae and Caro Emerald.
Brendon manages and coordinates the amazing team of writers on RenownedForSound.com who are based in the UK, the U.S and Australia.