Markus was in the Classic Hit 4FM studios earlier today, where he gave an interview and his fantastic rendition of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas‘ was played too! 😊🎵🎄 So proud of this lad; we can’t wait for the full ‘Christmas‘ album on Friday! 😍
Markus was at the Cunard Grotto Launch in Liverpool last night, performing and getting everyone in the Christmas spirit and you can see some gorgeous photos below, as well as watch videos of him! 😃🎄🎤✨
Mark performing ‘Merry Christmas Baby‘, one of the songs taken from his new album ‘Christmas’ (out this Friday)! 😊
— Signature Living (@SignatureLiving) November 28, 2017
MARK FEEHILY got told off by MARIAH CAREY when she and WESTLIFE recorded a cover of PHIL COLLINS’ Against All Odds.
Mark told Now that Mariah twigged he’d gone off for a crafty fag and added: “She went ‘You do not smoke! Your voice!’ I was mortified.”
WE SPOKE TO THE SINGER AS HE RELEASES A CHRISTMAS ALBUM ABOUT HIS TRAVEL EXPERIENCES
Mark Feehily is best known for his role in one of the world’s biggest boybands, Westlife. We caught up with him to chat about his new Christmas album and his experiences travelling the world as an out gay man.
What is it about travel that appeals to you and you enjoy most?
Travelling is very close to my heart. When I was young I was the biggest homebird ever, and initially hated leaving home. It left me heartbroken. But once I started travelling that changed. I had the best job in the world in Westlife. I got to see and experience other countries and culture and that then meant that my attitude changed on the whole thing and I became completely obsessed with travel. It’s something I love to do at every opportunity.
You’re best known for being in one of the world’s biggest boybands – you must have visited so many countries when you were part of Westlife?
Yes, so many countries. We travelled to all four corners of the globe, but there were some places the record company wouldn’t send us. For example, we didn’t go to many eastern European countries, Russia or some places in South America because a lot of our music was sold illegally there so the record company couldn’t make any money from it. But we’ve been to most other places, but it was usually a really quick visit so I didn’t always get under the skin of the place.
In terms of the places you’ve travelled to as part of Westlife and as an openly gay man, what are the destinations you liked most and what’s your best travel experience?
Bali was definitely one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to. The idea of getting away from it all and being in a beautiful place with lots of culture was really appealing. I spent most of my time in Seminyak and also went to Ubud. When visiting one of the temples I bought some bananas to feed some of the monkeys, not realising there would be thousands of them that would surround me vying for some banana. Before I knew it they were jumping on my head. It felt like they were trying to eat me too! I flung the bananas as far as I could and made a run for it whilst screaming like Ned Flanders in the Simpsons! It was scary and amazing all at the same time – a truly amazing experience and one I’ll never forget.
I totally loved every trip I took to the USA. It’s such a full on, in your face place, I just loved being there as much as possible.
When you’re travelling as a gay man and with a partner, what are your thoughts about travelling to certain countries? Do you think you’re a bit more cautious as a gay man than you would be if you were straight?
I’m absolutely more cautious. I will always Google how the culture is especially on homophobia and the acceptance and rights of LGBT people in a particular country. This is so important because you don’t want to find yourself in an awkward situation. Holidays are all about relaxing and enjoying yourself and feeling comfortable – you don’t want to have to always look over your shoulder. Of course, you could get some kind of funny look or comment in the most liberal country and at the same time visit a country that’s not so liberal and have a great time.
I’ve spoken to a couple of people living in a particular country that is famous for being homophobic and where it’s against the law to be gay. They say it’s completely fine living there, that loads of people are gay and everyone’s at it, albeit a bit more low key. This is a place I’ve really wanted to visit in the past but I didn’t because of its bad reputation towards gay people. But now I think I’m going to visit because I’ve heard it isn’t actually as bad as what people make it out to be.
Yes, as you know, at OutOfOffice.com we work with hotels in places like the Maldives where it’s illegal to be gay that offer honeymoon privileges to same-sex couples too. So it is possible to travel to these places, you just have to know where to go and do it in the right way.
Yes exactly. There’s no point in saying screw them and I’m going anyway. There are certain countries where you could find yourself in a lot of trouble. There’s certain places I’d love to visit, but as a known gay person, I wouldn’t go. I don’t want to be too rebellious and walk into a potentially life threatening situation. You’ve got to research the destination and you’ve got to use common sense.
In terms of bucket lists and places you’d like to go, what’s at the top of your list?
Russia and Dubai. Only joking! When travelling as part of Westlife every last step was planned out and scheduled, so the prospect of getting on a plane, bus or train and having no schedule is absolute bliss for me. I’d love the chance to do a proper stint around South America – Brazil, Argentina etc. I would love to go to Hawaii as well.
Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
I’d say my worst experiences have been to do with how I’ve packed my bags. When flying to Greece via another country, I made a huge mistake of putting my laptop in my checked luggage which was nicked. Top tip #1, definitely do not check in valuable items. Another time, I left a bottle of Tom Ford aftershave in my hand luggage. I’d bought this just the day before and I had to stand and watch as security threw it in the bin (first-world problem I know). Top tip #2, don’t forget about liquids in hand luggage!
What can we expect from your new album?
This is a full-on Christmas Album of Classic Christmas songs, done in my own style, which is pop music but also with influences of soul, jazz and gospel. I haven’t chosen all the really obvious songs, so as well as some really well known ones I’ve gone for some that are lesser known. Christmas time can be tough for some people, and I’ve even thought things like “I wish I was in a relationship” or thought about someone who’s passed away. It can be really nice to have a melancholy song which I feel we all need every now and again, especially as the rest of the album is very uplifting. So I’ve included a beautiful piano ballad called ‘River’, by Joni Mitchell, which is one of my favourite songs of all time which I recently performed at the European Diversity Awards.
I also heard you’re performing as part of Mariah Carey’s upcoming Christmas tour?
Yes! I’m a special guest on Mariah’s upcoming UK tour where I’ll be performing a couple of Christmas and Westlife songs. As one of the biggest Christmas music events of the year I’m super excited about it!
JESSICA FARRY CHATS TO MARK FEEHILY ABOUT HIS CHRISTMAS ALBUM, A POSSIBLE WESTLIFE REUNION, AND HIS HOPES AND DREAMS FOR THE NEW YEAR.
TO BE ABLE TO LIVE IN SLIGO AND TO BE ABLE TO LIVE LIFE AS A NORMAL SLIGONIAN MEANS A LOT TO ME. SLIGO PEOPLE GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO MAKE SURE I’M LEFT ALONE.
He’s one of Sligo’s most famous sons – but Mark Feehily just wants to live life quietly, like any normal person.
Having spent two years away from the spotlight, he’s back with a new Christmas album, and preparing for a Christmas tour with none other than Mariah Carey.
The multi-Brit Award-winning star, who notched up 14 number one hit records as Westlife’s lead vocalist is set to provide the soundtrack to Christmas with the release of his festive new album aptly titled ‘CHRISTMAS’. He will perform Christmas classics at The Sugar Club, Dublin on December 19 th.
The Sligo native will be joining Mariah in Manchester and London for her ‘All I Want for Christmas’ tour.
Renowned for being private, Mark’s humility means that the Sligo public have always allowed him to live his life as though he was anyone else rather than one of the most famous people to ever come from Sligo.
“This is an exciting time for me. This album is light-hearted and upbeat. It’s more fun than my first album. My first album was a bit dark. This is a reflection of where I’m at in my life,” he told The Sligo Champion.
Recording and releasing a Christmas album is something he says he always dreamed of doing. And, when the opportunity arose to join Mariah Carey’s Christmas tour – he knew the time was right.
“I’ve recorded songs that not everyone will know. I always play it to my Mum and Dad. One of the songs is ‘River’ by Joni Mitchell and it’s one of my favourites, and then there’s more well known songs like ‘Have Yourself a Merry Christmas’. It’s really upbeat. ‘Oh Holy Night’ is a song I’ve been singing since I was an altar boy in Calry Church.
“A Christmas album is something I’ve always wanted to do. Then when the chance came up to do the Christmas tour with Mariah Carey, where we would perform Christmas songs, I just thought that I had to do the Christmas album. I couldn’t turn down the Mariah thing. And then this is really the perfect time to put out this album.”
The last two years have been quiet on the music front for the former Westlife star, but, on a personal level he has been extremely busy.
“I’ve been quiet in terms of promoting but I had probably the busiest year out of the public eye. I’ve been doing a massive job in the house in Sligo so I’ve been running between Sligo and London to meetings and keeping an eye on how it’s all going,” he said.
Now that he is getting older, he has noticed an increase in the number of offers to do musical theatre. That is something, he says, he would love to do.
And with that added maturity, he finds that there are more roles that would be suitable for him to play.
Mark has always been extremely private when it comes to his personal life.
Keeping his private life private, he says, has always been of extreme importance to him, and he will be forever grateful that the people of Sligo have always honoured that wish.
“It’s very important to me to keep things private. I don’t like going into a room and everyone looking at me. I got used to being on stage with Westlife. I’ve always been given that space in Sligo.
“Everyone kind of goes out of their way to make sure I’m left alone. Locals are very protective. They always take care of their own. Sligo people are so proud of Westlife.
He continued: “Even strangers help me out when things are getting out of hand or there’s someone drunk sort of annoying me.
“To be able to live in Sligo and to be able to live life as a normal Sligonian means a lot to me.”
And although he admits he likes to keep things away from the spotlight, he has spoken about his desire to have children somewhere in the future.
“I 100% want kids down the line. I can’t think of a better place to raise children than Sligo. It really is a fantastic place.
“There is so much to do here whether it’s music or sport or art. People are becoming more aware of their surroundings here.
“There was always a whisper from people that there’s not much to do in Sligo, but actually when you look at it there is so much to do here.”
His time spent away from his home county means that he has grown fonder of what we have to offer in Sligo.
“I’ve recently become more appreciative and I’ve started exploring a bit more and trying out all the walking trails that I haven’t done before.
“I climb the new walking trail at Knocknarea a bit with the new steps. I’m discovering so much more about Sligo.
“I’ ll be honest, we don’t realise how amazing it is. I had friends over from England there recently and they were blown away by the beauty and the scenery.”
Social media was rife last week with excitement after Westlife manager Louis Walsh hinted about a possible Westlife reunion.
It’s not the first time he has alluded to such an event happening, and it certainly will not be the last.
Kian Egan shot down those rumours speaking to The Sligo Champion at the time.
Mark admits that it is likely to happen in the years to come, but right now he says is far too soon for a reunion.
“It’s funny. Louis said something about Westlife reuniting, that all the boys want to get back together and then all of a sudden it’s just blown out of proportion. Mum, Dad and my brothers were all getting texts about it. It’s mad that it happens like that.
“I’m so grateful that the interest is still there from the public. I hope that the excitement remains and that by the time we do come back, everyone will be dying for it.
“It will be way down the line. There is a big place in my heart for it. But I think we would be sillyll to come backbk now. It’s’ onlyl beenb fivefi years since we split up so if it’s further down the line then people would be more excited.”
Each band member has their own thing going on at the minute, he says, and all are too busy at the present time.
“I have the Christmas album and once January comes I am planning loads of things like a new album so I don’t have the time and all of the other lads are really busy and have their own things going on. Once every so often Louis mentions the possibility of Westlife reuniting, but I think he’s just stirring the pot. The main thing is, until you hear it from one of the band members then it’s only rumours.”
Mark’s album ‘Christmas’ goes on sale this Friday (December 1st). Tickets for his gig at The Sugar Club went on sale last Friday.
Credit/Source: Sligo Champion Digital Edition / Thanks twitter.com/KianEganWeb for the heads up
Westlife star to perform at Cunard grotto launch
Westlife star Mark Feehily will officially open Liverpool’s greatest ever Christmas grotto tomorrow.
The Irish chart topper, who had fourteen number one hits with Westlife, will perform tracks from his new album ‘Christmas’ at the opening of the Christmas attraction in front of a VIP and celebrity crowd.
The entire ground floor of Liverpool’s magnificent Cunard Building has undergone a £100,000 Christmas themed transformation. Families can visit Santa’s house, his elves and meet real reindeers. There is also a special Santa train which takes in the sights of Liverpool’s famous waterfront.
Mrs Clause’s kitchen will also be open filled festive treats and every day from 5pm there will be a live Santa show.
And of course, Liverpool’s little ones will get to let Santa know if they’ve been naughty or nice!
Mark Feehily is taking a break from his whirlwind album promotional tour to open the attraction.
Mark said: “I love Liverpool so I’m looking forward to performing a couple of tracks from my new album in the city.”
Signature Living’s Kris Mochrie, the mastermind behind the grotto, said:
“It is a real coup to have secured Mark Feehily for the opening of the Cunard Christmas attraction. He has a brilliant Christmas album out and so he is the perfect for the job. It is even more special that Liverpool has got Mark just before he goes of on his December tour with Mariah Carey.”
More information about the Cunard Christmas grotto is available at www.ticketquarter.co.uk/Online/santas-christmas-party
By Andrea Kissane
Westlife’s Mark Feehily has described how he was nervous about working with the ‘Hero’ hit-maker.
The boyband recorded a duet with vocalist at the peak of their popularity.
‘When we met her we were thinking what is she going to be like? There’s a lot of people out there that you hear have a reputation and some are probably true and some are not,’ the Sligo native said.
‘But from our experience with Mariah, she was more than really nice, she was a lot of fun and we had a lot of good chats with her.’
Along with bandmates Kian Egan, Nicky Byrne, Shane Filan and then-bandmate Brian McFadden, he recorded a duet version of the Phil Collins hit ‘Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)’ for her 1999 Rainbow album.
‘We went for dinner with her and we went out for drinks. She invited us to a couple of parties that she had on in London at the time and obviously we were in the studio,’ the 37-year-old revealed.
‘We were with her until 5am every morning recording the vocals.’
And he believes that he got to see the star’s true personality.
‘We performed the song with her loads of times so we spent quite a lot of time with her.
‘And when you spend that amount of time with each other, you’re going to see the real person, it can’t be switched at all times.’
Describing her as an idol, he said the American songwriter was nothing but a pleasure.
Feehily is set to follow up his debut 2015 album Fire with a new festive release simply entitled ‘Christmas’.
And he will reunite with the 47-year-old on her ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ concert series.
He will open for the songstress on Sunday10th December in Manchester and Monday11th December in the O2 London.
‘I’m looking forward to seeing her again, I hope she brings a few dogs with her this time on the private jet,’ he said.
‘There are going to be two big extravaganza gigs. It’s her big Christmas show and little old me before. The Mariah Carey thing was phenomenal back then and it’s just as phenomenal for me now.’
The ‘Love is a Drug’ singer will also perform an unplugged gig at The Sugar Club on Tuesday December 19th.
EXCLUSIVE: The judge is dying to see his former act perform at the live final
By Vicki NewmanCelebrity And TV Reporter
Louis Walsh has made it no secret that he’s a big fan of his former act Mark Feehily’s new solo stuff.
So much so, that he’d love to see the Westlife star join the X Factor line-up.
Louis, who is hoping to make it through to next week’s final with his remaining act Lloyd Macey, told Mirror Online that he’d love to see Mark perform a song from his new Christmas album during the live final.
The X Factor judge, who led Westlife to massive chart success including fourteen number one singles, praised Mark’s album.
He said: “Mark’s album has reminded me just how much of an amazing, soulful voice he has. You know, there are few artists with such power in their voice.
“Mark’s version of Joni Mitchell’s River is breathtaking. When I heard it, I wanted him for the live final. The other judges and I were totally wowed by it when we heard it the other day.
“Mark would be perfect X Factor guest and I really want him involved in the future.
“His Christmas album is great. I hope it does well. He’s got some big music projects coming up.”
Tracks on the album include a cover of Otis Redding’s Merry Christmas Baby as well as Mark’s own versions of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Mariah Carey’s Miss You Most (at Christmas Time).
Mark said: “Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year so naturally it’s been a dream of mine to make this album.
“It’s been fantastic being back in the studio to cover these songs and make them my own. I’ve had incredible feedback, particularly about River and Merry Christmas Baby. I’m looking forward to giving something back to fans. This is what the album is all about. It is a bit of my own Christmas gift to them.”
Mark’s album, Christmas is available for pre-order now.
* The X Factor semi final continues tonight at 7.30pm on ITV
Ex-Westlife star Mark Feehily admits he’s ‘finally in control of his life’ after boyband days where ‘team ran their lives for them’
As a solo singer, the Sligo man can finally decide what he wants to do with his life, and not leave anyone else in the lurch
By Nicola Bardon
MARK Feehily has said he is finally in control of his life — after confessing he never even booked a flight during his Westlife days.
The Sligo singer is stepping out on his own and releasing a Christmas album, his second record since the band split in 2012.
Mark admitted that during the boyband days they had a team who ran their lives for them, down to the smallest detail.
But now as a solo singer, he can finally decide what he wants to do with his life, and not leave anyone else in the lurch.
He said: “Ever since Westlife ended I’ve only been responsible for myself, so it’s my decision, so if I don’t want to go somewhere or do something that’s offered, nobody else suffers if I say no.
“Whereas in the band if I said ‘no, I’m not doing it or I can’t go’, it’s affecting people’s careers and lives, it’s a lot of responsibility.
“There’s certain sides of Westlife you miss, like the performing for the fans and being in the studio and having the laugh with the lads on nights out.
“But I can’t say that I miss the other side of it.
“Put it this way, I’m really appreciating having a balance in life, I feel like I’m in control and I’m grounded, and I’m more aware now than ever of who I am and I’m in control of my own destiny. That does feel good to me at 37.”
He added: “I enjoy being in control, in control of my own life and my own destiny.
“I wouldn’t change a single bit of the Westlife journey but it did come to a time where I felt a bit more grown up and older and ready to be in control of my own life.
“I don’t want any one thing to control my life again, it’s all about balance. It feels good right now to be where I’m at.”
Mark, who was mentored and managed by Louis Walsh during his Westlife years, added: “So much stuff you don’t learn until Westlife is over, so much stuff is done for you, put in place. Literally everything.
“I probably didn’t book a flight in ten years until the end of Westlife.
“Even cooking, I love cooking. I love it. But I’ve only discovered this in the last few years because we were in restaurants and travelling around the place and room service and on tour we had our own caterers with us so as a person I’ve grown more in the last five years than I would have in a long time.
Westlife performing at their homecoming concert at Landsdowne Road on June 27, 2003 in Dublin“You realise even more now looking back how much time we spent away, and we could be away for six months, surviving on phone calls and texts.
“There’s nothing like being in the room or Mum’s like, ‘right I’ve the dinner on, come out’.
“I’m going to bed much more relaxed and happy and I sleep well, and I think it suits me being in control of my own life and being home in Ireland and being around my family and my godchildren.
“And I’m also still very busy so I have learnt the art of being really busy but making time for myself.
“For a long time we were told if you do all that personal stuff then you can’t do this, it’s one or the other.
“But that isn’t the case now, I’m in charge now and I can make my own decisions.”
One side of going solo is taking on all the responsibilities, including meeting the label and learning all the lyrics.
Mark added: “The first thing you have to do is learn all the lyrics to every song because it’s not like when it was ‘that’s Shane’s bit, that’s Nicky’s bit, that’s Kian’.
“It’s more in situations where if the label aren’t happy with something I have to go and meet them, if there’s a song that has to be written. You can’t split up the responsibilities.
“But I don’t feel guilty if I say no or yes to something anymore because I’m not letting any of the other three down.”
MARK’S Christmas album is out on December 1 and tickets for his Sugar Club date are on sale now.
Marky shared a video of himself signing the Christmas cards that will accompany his limited edition CD, which you can pre-order now! 😃✍️🎄🎵💿
BUY ‘CHRISTMAS‘ LIMITED EDITION CD WITH HAND SIGNED CHRISTMAS CARD
Download the video here (right-click and “Save Target As / Download Linked File As“).