Tuesday 21 November 2017

'I’m proud I’ve achieved my success myself, from scratch to a certain degree' - Shane Filan on forging a solo career

Shane Filan
Shane Filan
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Poised to embark on a UK and Ireland tour to promote his second solo album, Shane Filan is riding the crest of a second wave of success.

The 36-year-old star and father of three has risen from the shadow of bankruptcy and the break-up of Westlife to rebuild his life, and career.

Having spoken at length about the difficulties he and his family faced during those dark times, he says his focus in life has shifted back to his wife Gillian, his three children, and music.

"I talked about that stuff a lot, I was honest about it all, just talked about what I was asked about.  But it’s a lot more about the music now which is great," he says.

"Life is moving forward. I’ve definitely talked it out and I think the way to move on is to stop talking about it to a certain degree.  You have to do that to move on yourself really."

Shane reveals he's in a part of his life where he's very happy and "in a very good place."

Irish pop stars (L-R) Mark Feehily, Nicky Byrne, Shane Filan, Bryan McFadden, Kian Egan of the pop group
Irish pop stars (L-R) Mark Feehily, Nicky Byrne, Shane Filan, Bryan McFadden, Kian Egan of the pop group "Westlife" and Irish music producer Louis Walsh (middle) attend the "Unbreakable" album launch at the Zuma Restaurant on November 11, 2002 in London. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

He's philosophical about the past. 

"I’ve had some amazing stuff happen in my life and some other things happen too and I got through it all, good and bad, and lived to tell the tale," he says.

"I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved and if some of that stuff didn’t happen I wouldn’t be here doing this interview, talking about my second solo album."

Shane's new album, Right Here, shot to number one in the Irish charts on its release in October and he's set to play three Irish dates in Belfast, Cork and Dublin on March 15, 18, and 19 as part of his UK and Ireland tour which kicks off March 3.

"You can’t change the past, you can only change the future.  I’m glad I’m singing and playing the Olympia and I’m looking forward to exciting stuff that’s happening now," he says.

The Sligo native believes that "success is happiness" rather than album sales or money.

"If you’re successful in a job you have to be happy.  If you’re not happy in the job what’s the point?" he says.

"Right now I feel I have a level of success I’m very happy with and I’m proud I’ve achieved it myself, from scratch to a certain degree."

Given he'll hit Cork and Dublin on Paddy's weekend, when Ireland tackle Scotland in the rugby, he's hoping to get some down time to celebrate.

"I’ll celebrate, definitely," he says. "I’m off on the Saturday night in Dublin so I’ll go for a few pints.  Hopefully we’ll be winning the rugby.  I’ve a full day to recover, so a few pints will do the business. 

"I won’t be going too mad.  You lose your voice.  Going to the pub for a few pints or whatever is fine, going to a nightclub is the worst thing you can do on tour – to wake up and not have a voice because you didn’t realise you were shouting and roaring all night!"

We won't be seeing him in his old haunt Lillies Bordello, so?

"You never know, but probably not!" he laughs.

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