Louis Walsh created and managed some of modern music’s biggest global acts, but today he reveals that there’s one Irish supergroup he had no desire to take under his wing.
The Mayo man, who put Westlife on the world stage and helped make them one of the biggest boybands of all time, says he would never have taken on U2 if the opportunity came his way.
Louis tells the Sunday World: “U2 would have been too difficult and too demanding. Paul McGuinness was the best man for them.”
In an exclusive interview, the former X Factor judge says that at the age of 69 he’s never been more passionate about showbusiness.
He is excited about the launch “when the time is right” of his yet-to-be-named new five-piece boyband and is confident that they will become another supergroup.
He predicts that Westlife’s new worldwide tour, which is packed with hits, will be the biggest earning touring show of their phenomenal career.
And the music guru, who once managed the careers of Eurovision winners Johnny Logan and Linda Martin, hints that he may join forces with RTE in a new bid to win the event again for Ireland.
“England hadn’t done well in recent years, but they sent a great song and a great singer to the Eurovision this year and they nearly won, and that’s what we have to do,” Louis says.
“I think Ireland has to forget about the past and how we did in the past and just get a great song. We need a great song and a great singer, and the performance is key. It wasn’t cool for a lot of people to do Eurovision in the past, but I think the Italian group, Måneskin, changed all that after they won. They’re now a hugely successful worldwide act thanks to Eurovision.
“So the power is there if you’ve got the right song and the right artist. We cannot be sending amateurs. RTE has a new head of entertainment and music called Alan Tyler and I know that he’s got plans for it. Both him and Michael Kealy [executive producer] are bound to come up with something great. They are already talking about it.
“If I got the right song and the right artist I’d definitely get involved. It’s getting both that is the key. I still love music. I still watch the charts, I still read up on everything I watch all the TV music shows. I watched Harry Styles on the BBC the other night. I follow everything. I’m like Elton John who loves the game. He loves the music and there’s nothing he doesn’t know about it.
Although he owns a home in Miami, multi-milionaire Louis says he would never leave Ireland and is a big fan of Dublin and the music talent that this country has produced.
“I live here and I love Dublin, especially in the summer,” he says.
“I love to go to Miami, especially for Christmas and January because I hate the cold. I’ve always done it and I’m going to still do it. I want to try new places as well. I went to Portugal last year and I’m going to try Majorca this year. But I love Dublin, it’s the best little city in the world. Everything is close by, you have everything on your doorstep.
“We have great bands and artists in Ireland today. It’s fantastic to see home grown groups such as Kodaline and Picture This selling out big gigs. Picture This I admire greatly. I think they’re great writers. I like Steven [Garrigan] from Kodaline a lot. I think his songs are brilliant and I want him to write songs for my new band. He’s very understated and very underrated.”
Walsh describes his new boyband as “five Irish guys between the ages 16 and 20, and two of the boys are Asian Irish.”
Louis says: “I don’t know when they will be unveiled, but they are recording and we’ve got sure-fire hits and all will be revealed when the time is right.
“All five sing and they’ve been in the studio with producer Brian Higgins who did the Sugababes and Girls Aloud stuff. Brian tells me that the sound is a cross between One Republic and 5 Seconds Of Summer.”
l WESTLIFE’s tour, The Wild Dreams, play Dublin’s Aviva Stadium on July 8 and 9 and Cork’s Páirc Uí Chaoimh, on August 12 and 13.