Going solo 'strange' for ex-Westlifer Mark Feehily

Mark Feehily

By Elaine McCahill

Former Westlife star Mark Feehily has said it feels strange going solo after being in a band for so long.

The Sligo-born singer - now going by the name Markus - announced before Christmas that he was going solo and released a teaser of his debut single yesterday.

He also revealed he has already shot a video for the song, which is called Love Is A Drug.

"I've been busy in the studio for the last two-and-a-half years. I did my first video shoot the other day for the first single," he said.

"It felt so different being on my own, but it also felt the same - I've made 37 videos before."

His former manager Louis Walsh recently said he thought it was "brilliant" that he was going solo.

"It's about time - he's a great singer. He left it long enough, but I think he wanted a break. I'm sure he'll do well," he told the Herald.

Markus (34), who sold 50 million records with Westlife, admitted that duetting with Mariah Carey on the band's song Against All Odds was a career highlight for him.

"We were so lucky it kicked off quite early on - getting the number one straight away was incredible," he said of Westlife's success.

"Mariah Carey was the big moment for me. She was lovely. I know there are all these stories of her being a diva, but all I can say is she was lovely and friendly and she spent all the time with us on set."

Markus has also gone into the catering business recently, serving crepes and tea from a food truck.

He told Breakfast Republic on 2fm that his new venture is going very well.

"I have lots of other interests outside music. I really love festivals and that's probably what started the whole thing," he said.

"It's a business. I like to keep myself busy. You can't be in the studio all day every day because you can wear down your creative side.

"It was just an idea we had when we were drinking cocktails in the back garden one summer. Now we have a business and it's going really well.

"I said it in an interview a few weeks ago and the reaction exploded, it went viral online. It's great publicity all together."

Markus will play the Olympia Theatre on March 8. His new song will be released on April 19.