Ok guys, make sure you will tune in to ITV’s Loose Women today at 12:30pm, as Markus will be a guest on the show! 😃🎄📺
— Loose Women (@loosewomen) December 4, 2017
Ok guys, make sure you will tune in to ITV’s Loose Women today at 12:30pm, as Markus will be a guest on the show! 😃🎄📺
— Loose Women (@loosewomen) December 4, 2017
Singer Mark Feehily on touring with legendary superstar Mariah Carey, finally finding happiness and dealing with the darker side of fame
For 14 years Mark Feehily was the quiet one with the big voice in Westlife.
It’s almost two decades since Westlife and Mariah Carey teamed up for their epic cover version of Phil Collins’ Against All Odds and, in that time, it’s safe to say Mark’s seen it all.
From huge success, overzealous fans and heartbreak to partying with Simon Cowell and being left out in the cold after helping the band shift 55million records, Mark still insists ‘there was a lot to learn post-Westlife’.
And, while he doesn’t see Shane Filan, Nicky Byrne or Kian Egan all that often, Mark, 37, says the Westlife boys are still close.
There’s not a lot of time to think about the past, anyway; with new music to keep him busy, as well as an upcoming tour with Mariah, 47, herself and a happy relationship that’s got him itching to start a family, it’s fair to say that, these days, he’s in a very special world of his own.
You’re going on tour with Mariah Carey! How does it feel?
It feels amazing. I’ve been a fan of hers since I was a kid and, going back to when Westlife worked with her, people often ask us what was our favourite moment of being in the band. Others might say singing for the Pope, but for me it was always meeting and working with Mariah. But also, as a singer who has a Christmas record out, to be on these huge gigs with the queen of Christmas, you couldn’t ask for a better position to be in.
What are you looking forward to most about going on tour?
I’ve made a Christmas record and my first album was darker pop, but with this I got to hand-pick the genre. So I’m really excited for people to hear the songs and to perform in front of the big Mariah audience. I’m also excited for people to see that I’m actually a really happy and bright person!
You’re about to release a new album. Do you still worry about how people will react to new material after all these years?
You’ll always worry in case people hate it! But I reckon if enough people think that, you’re doing something right. In Westlife, we’d say, ‘If we p*** that many people off, fine, but we’ve also got loads of fans’. Most acts have a lot of people who hate their music, but it’s not all bad. If you’re getting a reaction, it means there’s something there. The worst is if people don’t react at all!
What are your best memories of being in Westlife?
There were so many moments where we’d huddle in the corner of a club, at a gig or backstage and we’d be like, ‘Is this actually happening? They’ve flown us and our mothers on a private jet, to the Vatican, to meet the Pope and perform for him. What is going on?’
What was your biggest ‘pinch me’ moment?
One very memorable time was when we were in LA recording music very early on. We were there with Simon Cowell and he took us to Clive Davis’ American Music Awards after party in a hotel. We got there early and first Gloria Estefan walked through the door, then Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, then Usher. We were in this penthouse hotel suite that was wall-to-wall superstars!
What’s the weirdest fan experience you’ve ever had?
One time our tour manager had sorted us massages after a gig – somewhere in South East Asia – and in the middle of the massage the woman tapped me on the shoulder and, when I opened my eyes, she had a camera in my face. The shy, nervous boy that I was, I was out the window! Nobody needs to see me laying on a massage table. Needless to say, that massage ended very abruptly!
Were there any darker moments?
Around the time I came out as gay [in 2005], almost everyone was totally supportive. But there was always one who was like, ‘I can’t believe you fooled me for 10 years!’ Some of my family members got really in-depth, horribly aggressive letters saying how disgusting I was. I can deal with anything but when it’s a family member opening their mail, expecting to see an electricity bill, and it’s this big 10-page damning letter telling them their son is going to hell, that’s a darker side.
Are you boys still in touch?
Yeah! But we now have our separate lives and space. We don’t call around to each other’s houses for a cup of tea but we’ll bump into one another occasionally or we’ll text. We love each other a lot but we don’t get together very often. I can only compare it to a friend from college – these days, they’re off doing their own thing like you are.
They’ve all got kids now – is having a family something you’d like?
It’s something I think about all the time. It’s only a matter of time and I hope it will happen quite soon. I’ve been with a guy now for four years – an Irish guy – and we’re very happy. I had my time being single after my first relationship broke down but the novelty wore off very quickly, so I was happy when we met. Of course, when you’re in that situation, settled and things are good, you start thinking about what’s next.
It’s 17 years since you and the boys teamed up with Mariah – how do you feel about working with her again?
I wouldn’t say we’re close friends but any time we see each other, we talk. She seems to remember us and that whole period around Against All Odds – it’s not like she’s asking her assistant, ‘What are their names again?’ She’s quite genuine. Her mother’s Irish and we talked a lot about Ireland when we met – and she started doing an Irish accent really well! I think she’s surrounded by a lot of ‘yes’ men and she probably enjoyed just sitting down with a bunch of lads, having a glass of wine.
Did Mariah ever give you guys any advice?
When we were in Capri recording Against All Odds, I snuck off for a cigarette. There were camera crews from MTV filming us and I didn’t want them to see me smoking. When I came back to the studio, I hadn’t washed my hands. Mariah looked at me strangely and said, ‘Come here for a second.’ She grabbed my hand and sniffed it – she obviously suspected where I’d been. She went, ‘You do not smoke! Your voice!’ I was mortified. It wasn’t that she didn’t want me to smoke around her but more, ‘You should not be smoking with that voice.’ I didn’t listen in the long term, unfortunately.
You recently insisted Mariah isn’t a diva, but are you?
If there’s a song I don’t want to sing, I’ll strop because there are certain things you have to fight for. But, honestly, one minute I’ll be on the biggest chat show in the country and then the first thing I do is get in my car, drive to my local pub and have a few drinks with my friends. I can take or leave the showbiz lifestyle. When we were in the band we all had our moments, but luckily there were three other guys to bring you back to Earth.
The tour is called All I Want For Christmas – but what do you want for Christmas?
I’m just really happy that I’ve refurbished my house in Ireland and I’m going to be at home with my family, my goddaughter and my boyfriend. I’m looking forward to a traditional Christmas. Especially now because my friends and my brother all have kids, and that reignites that excitement of presents under the tree and watching films after dinner – that’s the place I’m in right now.
WESTLIFE STAR MARK FEEHILY OFFICIALLY OPENED LIVERPOOL’S GREATEST EVER CHRISTMAS GROTTO YESTERDAY AT A SPECIAL LAUNCH OF THE FESTIVITIES.
We went along to check out what was on offer and if you are looking for a full on Christmas experience for the kids then look no further.
The Irish chart topper, who had fourteen number one hits with Westlife, performed 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. It is open every day until Christmas Eve.
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 said: “I love Liverpool so it is great to be back in the city opening the Signature Living Christmas grotto at the Cunard Building.”
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. We’ve invested a lot to making the grotto a special for every family in Liverpool this Christmas.”
— The Guide Liverpool (@TheGuideLpool) November 29, 2017
N’awe, you can tell than fans weren’t the only ones who were all excitedly waiting for the time to come to be able to download Mark Feehily’s new album ‘Christmas‘ on Thursday night… 😉 Our artist himself shared a selfie while waiting for the big moment to come, saying: “This is me right now – very excited about the fact that my album is out in a matter of minutes!! 🎄🎅🏻 x“. He also posted a photo of himself “being interviewed by someone the other side of the country“, writing: “I got to sit in the hot seat for once and I liked it…lots of buttons to try and not press!” haha bless him 😄❤️ and one more posing in front of a Christmas tree, taken in the 2FM studios, where he “had a great day recording performances and interviews with the amazing team out there“. We can’t wait for those performances and interviews to see the light heh! 🎅🎤🎄
Yesterday, he wrote on Facebook of the album release: “Amazing to finally be able to release this album. I’ve loved every second of recording this and hope you love it as much as I do : http://smarturl.it/MarkFeehilyChristmas“. 🙌💿🙌
Mark Feehily is a huge fan of the new format of ‘The X Factor’ because Simon Cowell has found a way to make more than one star.
The 37-year-old singer’s former group Westlife were signed by Cowell to his Syco record label and managed by ‘X Factor’ judge Louis Walsh and he and the other guys – Shane Filan, Nicky Byrne and Kian Egan – were regular performers on the ITV talent show when they were together.
Mark has been watching the current series every week and thinks the changes implemented, such as the weekly prizes for the acts with the most votes, and the focus on original songs from finalists Rak-Su and Grace Davies has given the programme a real boost and he believes many acts will have chart success rather than just this weekend’s winner.
Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz, he said: “One of the things I’ve loved about this season is that Simon has really embraced original songs and he’s now using ‘The X Factor’ to not just create one big star at the end of the show but allowing ‘The X Factor’ to act as promotion for these talented acts which will get them in the charts. I think that’s a really clever move and I really like that dynamic.
“I also really like the fact they’ve had prizes each week, there was a feeling that if you got kicked out when you were fourth or fifth it was a bit like, ‘See you later guys.’ Whereas now the fact that you’ve made the final gives you rewards, which is great for those guys.”
Mark has returned to the music scene with his new festive album, which is titled ‘Christmas’ and features a collection of classic Yule Tide favourites such as ‘Merry Christmas Baby’, ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘Miss You Most (at Christmas Time)’.
The Irish pop star sent Louis, 65, a copy of the LP when he finished it and he was delighted when the music mogul called him to tell him how much he loved it.
Mark said: “I sent Louis a copy of my album and he was on the phone to me telling me how great it is and how he’d forgotten how good I was and that was really nice to hear. He was all fired up about it, which is so nice because he’s still powerful in the business and he still wants to help me.”
Mark’s new album ‘Christmas’ is out now and ‘The X Factor’ winner will be crowned this Sunday (03.12.17).
We have some VERY exciting news!! 😱
We are supporting @MarkusFeehily on his upcoming 'Christmas Unplugged' Tour!
For ticketing information visit: https://t.co/AGtkrHZR4H #glennandronanontour pic.twitter.com/AaOXuS0zAO
— glenn&ronan (@glennandronan) December 1, 2017
glenn&ronan: We have some VERY exciting news!! 😱
We are supporting @MarkusFeehily on his upcoming ‘Christmas Unplugged’ Tour!
For ticketing information visit: http://bit.ly/2jBH22I #glennandronanontour
Markus Feehily: @glennandronan can’t wait to get on the road lads! 🎄
TICKETMASTER // MYTICKET
Tue, 12th – Manchester, Ruby Lounge
Wed, 13th – Glasgow, St Lukes Church
Sun, 17th – London, Under The Bridge
Mon, 18th – Belfast, Empite Music Hall
Tue, 19th – Dublin, The Sugar Club
24 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS
Buy Christmas here (Amazon UK)
It is not often I start a review by highlighting the producer of a project (and comparing him to a well known fictional character). I rather think though that exquisite singer, Mark Feehily, won’t mind the brief diversion as I launch into some thoughts on his wonderful new Christmas EP. The engaging singer has worked well with producer Steve Anderson since his Westlife days – and chosen well to have him guide his festive project. Steve Anderson is the musical Scrooge – the Scrooge we have at the end of A Christmas Carol. He loves the holiday season, knows how to keep it well and – let’s face it – Christmas isn’t Christmas til he gets here. Fresh from his work with Kylie Minogue on her (still radiant) Christmas album, Steve is the perfect partner for Mark to get the best from his expressive voice and surround him with elegant and stirring instrumentals. Mark brings a sense of awe and wonderment to the seven songs on his EP, unveiling new facets to songs you thought you knew every single element of. Released with only twenty four days until the big day arrives, this is essential listening to give voice to your inner most feelings at one of the most emotive times of year (and each note and beat is a gift that keeps on giving).
The project opens with Merry Christmas Baby. Instantly, you get a sense of the style of music that lies ahead. A vibrant, live sounding band swathes Mark’s passionate voice and is textured with sumptuous girl group style backing vocals that accentuate the joy and happiness so saturated in Mark’s vocal delivery. There is an invigorating key change and a rather brilliant jam session that ends the song in ebullient fashion. You are left exhilarated after just one song and ever so hungry for more. He moves onto a somewhat more melancholy and reflective piece – Joni Mitchell’s The River. Accompanied by a resonant piano, Mark’s voice soars with a take on an old favourite that sounds like it would be perfectly at home in a musical version of Love, Actually. He doesn’t just sing the song – he seemingly takes every regrettable moment he has experienced and pours it into his performance. While this is prevalent across the song, it is perhaps best represented at around 55 seconds when he sings “I wish I had a river so long”, and – in those five seconds – manages to make the aching fragility so tangible that you feel like you can reach out and touch it. It is absolutely stunning.
Horns infuse Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas with a lovely, languorous feel, elevating Mark’s poignant wish to rapturous new heights. It is the perfect follow on from The River, an opportunity for him to take the cathartic redemption of that song and channel it into a plea that is earnest and heartfelt. In lesser hands, the voice may have gotten lost in such a bold instrumental yet the power and control in Mark’s singing means he is in symbiotic partnership with the band. An extended middle 8 lets the yearning permeate before Mark tackles another sterling key change and leaves the listener with the sense that, with performances like this in the world, perhaps a little magic will happen this festive season. And that hope continues into a stupendous recreation of This Christmas. He is a gloriously soulful raconteur who paints ornate visual images just with the power of his voice. Whoever chose the order of the tracklisting did a splendid job of crafting a story within a story – Mark letting the celebratory nature of the season guide him with a joyous glee. The convivial singalong nature of the harmonised “shake it up” refrain towards the end of the song has your raising your hands to the sky in emphatic testimony.
When you are opening for Mariah’s Christmas tour and then covering one of her devastating holiday ballads, you better do right by the song. There is no denying that Mark makes the song, Miss You Most At Christmas, his own. As on The River, there is no need for anything other than piano and vocal to bend each note to Mark’s desolate will. You can almost picture him, hardly dashing through the snow (because he bundled up too tight), lost in his thoughts in a wintry wonderland. While Mark pays due deference to Mariah’s original, he infuses his own memories to make this feel personal and intimate. He also elicits the listener’s own memories of lost loves from Christmases gone by, making this the musical equivalent of sitting by a roaring fire with a cup of cocoa as you grant yourself just a few moments to reminisce about what might have been. O Holy Night shakes you out of that reverie, and is my favourite Christmas carol. The a cappella opening is possibly one of the finest since Whitney sang I Will Always Love You. Mark’s voice is pure mesmerising majesty as solemn, reverent music gradually shimmers into life behind his humble solo. As the narrative of the songs progresses, so does the power of the music and emphasis in his voice. The “fall on your knees” moment sends shivers down your spine, as grandiose and dignified as if a choir of angels sang this song. Mark is your guide on a mellifluous Christmas journey and it leaves you feeling joyful AND triumphant.
In a market over-saturated with Christmas cover albums, is there room for another one? Don’t be a Scrooge, of course there is. This time it’s the turn of ex-Westlife star Mark Feehily and, while he’s no Buble (who is undeniably the musical version of mulled wine and snowflakes and jolly good cheer), there’s something enriching and enchanting about the Irish singer’s new spin on the most beloved festive tunes.
Feehily has done away with the hackneyed sleigh bells and other saccharine, yuletide-friendly elements in his tracks and this, combined with his genuinely magnificent singing voice, means his songs are less cliched than most Christmas covers tend to be.
Think bluesy, jazzy ballads with pared-back production; familiar tunes wiped clean of all the fuss. Highlights include O Holy Night and his goosebump-inducing take on Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
Think of this effort as being like Feehily’s own little Christmas concert: you can almost see him sitting at a Westlife-style high stool, surrounded by a few hundred tinsel-wrapped candles… and you won’t even miss the other guys.
8/10: Lucy Mapstone
Belfast Telegraph Digital
Now, guys… it’s 1st of December, which means that Mark Feehily’s festive album ‘Christmas‘ IS OUT NOW!! 🙀❤️😁🎄🎵✨
As Markus has mentioned, this album is a bit of his own Christmas gift to the fans and we are incredibly happy and proud of what he’s put together. The song choices, the vocals, the emotions… he’s made such a fantastic festive album and we feel so lucky to be able to enjoy the sound of his taking over our Christmas! 😊🎵💿
Make sure you will make the album yours and get into the festive spirit in the most beautiful way… 👌😉
1. Merry Christmas Baby
3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
4. This Christmas
5. Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)
6. O Holy Night
7. Silent Night (Live Acapella)
BUY ‘CHRISTMAS’ LIMITED EDITION CD WITH HAND SIGNED CARD STREAM ‘CHRISTMAS’
Markus was on Today FM’s The Last Word with Matt Cooper and we can now listen back to the interview. 😃🎄🎵
LISTEN BACK: MARK FEEHILY ON TODAY FM
“It’s an album I’ve had in my head for a long time”
Former Westlife star Mark Feehily has a new Christmas album.
He spoke to Matt about why he decided to do it, and also discussed the idea of reforming Westlife and what it was like working with Mariah Carey.