As lead singer of popular boyband Westlife, it is inevitable for Shane Filan to be asked if a Westlife reunion is near the horizon, considering other boybands like Blue, 98 Degress and A1 have made theirs happen. So, during Music Geek’s interview with the Irish singer-songwriter, the question had to be asked anew.
“I get asked this every day, and the answer is always there are no plans right now, but it could happen in the future as we are all still great friends,” he replied.
But for now, Filan is busy promoting his third solo album “Love Always” which led him back to the Philippines recently for a series of mall shows at Robinsons Place Manila (with Sitti), Robinsons Galleria Cebu and Robinsons Magnolia (both with Sabrina). He also guested on popular radio and TV shows as part of the promo tour.
Likewise, Filan had a surprise for his Filipino fans when he announced his duet with the Philippines’ Queen of Bossa Nova Sitti for the single “Need You Now” (their version of the Lady Antibellum original), which was released on February 9. They performed the together for the first time on the very day they had the mall show.
Filan also told Music Geek he will be back for a full-length concert hopefully by yearend.
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Here’s more on the album.
”Love Always” features some all-time classic love ballads alongside new original songs. The 12-track album, exclusively distributed by MCA Music (Universal Music Philippines), includes some of Filan’s favorite ballads along with some fan suggestions from all-time classics like “Make Me Feel My Love,” “This I Promise You,” “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “Eternal Flame,” to new hits including “Beautiful in White” which already amassed over 70 million views on You Tube. It is bannered by the single “Unbreakable” originally by British singer Jamie Scott.
On his bio, Filan says, “This is an album I’ve been wanting to make for a long time, I love singing ballads and this album is full of some of my all-time favorite songs as well as some fan choices such as the Bangles hit ‘Eternal Flame,’ which I had never thought about covering but loved recording, to one of my own personal favorites Bryan Adams’ ‘Heaven.’ Picking the tracks was the most difficult part of the process and I wanted to put my own take on them and I’m really proud of the versions I have done. There are also three brand new original tracks that I’ve written following requests by fans for some new music and I am really proud of how they sit alongside the other songs.”
He has cemented his position as one of the UK and Ireland’s most popular male solo artists, following his phenomenal success with Westlife—one of the world’s most successful bands of the last few decades—and he shows no signs of slowing down.
“There’s nothing that makes me happier than singing and being on stage,” he says. “It’s something I am very proud of and it’s what I want to be doing for the rest of my life.”
Westlife had 14 chart topping singles and 44 million sales. Their career, Filan says, “fulfilled all of our dreams 1000 times over.” It’s been a remarkable journey for a singer-songwriter who grew up inspired by an admiration of Backstreet Boys and Michael Jackson.
Music Geek had an exclusive email interview with Filan before he landed in Manila thanks to MCA Music. Here are the excerpts:
If you can add more of your favorite songs in your album, which songs would that be?
I think the songs on this album are my favorite ones right now. I recorded a few others but they didn’t end up on the album. I may do another “Love Always” album version 2 and then I will have to decide then which songs to record.
Can you tell us about the original songs in the album? How did the selection of covers come about and finalizing the line up?
All of these songs are very personal to me. I wrote them about people in my life and experiences that I have had in my life. I hope that my fans enjoy them and they mean something to them as well.
You will always be identified with Westlife. Do you sometimes get tired singing your old songs and wished they would request your solo efforts?
No, I love singing the Westlife songs. My fans want to hear them and that’s great. I am very proud of Westlife and I will always enjoy singing those songs. When I do a concert I always include the Westlife songs so people are happy.
Why “Love Always” as an album title?
The album is called “Love Always” because when I’m asked to sign an autograph that’s what I write, “love always, Shane Filan,” so it seemed like a good title for the album.
You always include Asia on your tour since you have been with Westlife even now that you are solo artist. What makes Asia and the Philippines special to you? How does it feel to be back again in the country?
I absolutely love coming to the Philippines. I always get such a warm welcome from the fans. I always remember landing at Ninoy Aquino airport and the hundreds of fans who always welcome me there. It always makes me so happy to be here.
How much have you grown as a singer, songwriter and a musician?
I think I’ve grown a lot now. I have learned how to be a song writer which is great. I think I’m always developing as an artist.
How do you balance your music career and family life?
I’m lucky that I am in charge of my own schedule so I always work it around my family. When I’m in the UK on tour I bring them with me ‘cause they love being on the tour bus.
What was the one thing you wished you knew when you were younger?
Oh, that’s a tough one. I don’t think I have any regrets so I don’t think I would need to know anything or I wouldn’t do anything differently.
A message to your fans?
Thank you to everyone in the Philippines, and I cannot wait to come and do a concert again in your beautiful country
To get you in the mood for love, listen to “Love Always” from Shane Filan online at lnk.to/LoveAlways_Shane. The album is now out on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Deezer, Spinnr and VEVO.
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Due to popular demand, another date has been added to Celine Dion’s upcoming Manila concert. Tickets to July 19 is sold out, and sales have opened up for July 20. Celine Dion Live 2018 will be held at the Mall of Asia Arena from Ovation Productions.
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Meanwhile, it was bad news for Paramore fans as they postponed both their Jakarta and Manila concerts on February 16 and 18, respectively after lead vocalist Hayley Williams fell ill with a throat and upper-respiratory infection. Williams wrote a lengthy personal message on their Official Facebook page on Friday which read, “It’s a pretty nasty sickness but if I would’ve been able to get my voice to come through for me, the guys and I would’ve done the show tonight anyway. Unfortunately, my throat hasn’t loosened up and the rest of my symptoms have only gotten worse. After getting an official diagnosis from a doctor here in Jakarta, our team decided that it would be the right thing to postpone the show [hours before]tonight in Jakarta as well as the next show in Manila to later this year.”
The Manila date has been moved to August 23 still at the MOA Arena. Williams asked fans to “please hold on to your tickets if you already have them.”
Tickets to their Manila show were sold out in 48 minutes after it went on sale in November 2017.
“I know nothing I say will alleviate that letdown,” Williams added. “We’re coming back for you so please hang on ‘til August.”