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Credit Irish Sun
BIG-hearted Nicky Byrne has presented his fellow Eurovision contestants with a special Irish gift.
The singer represents Ireland in the second semi-final of the show tonight in Stockholm, Sweden.
And living up to his ‘nice guy’ reputation, the dad-of-three brought a piece of home for the people he is up against.
He ordered a special created old style microphone lapel pin made by Newbridge Silver to give to his competitors.
Wife Georgina jetted out to Stockholm earlier today with 400 of the pin, which the Westlife star wants to give to everyone who takes to the stage to represent their country.
A pal of Nicky’s said:”Eurovision is all about goodwill and competing. Not everyone will make the Grand Final but they will all receive Nicky’s souvenir. “
Since Westlife called it a day, all of its members have explored solo careers ranging from music to reality TV.
Nicky Byrne has kept a high profile with presenting work and a star turn on Strictly Come Dancing, but now he’s ready to return to music with the release of his debut solo album Sunlight. The album’s title track is this year’s Eurovision entry for Ireland and is a departure sonically for Nicky.
I gave Nicky a call to talk about his Eurovision hopes, discuss his debut album, and to find out if he’s feeling the pressure of being the last Westlife member to release solo material.
You’re making a return to music with the release of your debut album Sunlight. Why did you decide that now was the right time?
Basically when Westlife split four years ago, the first thing I did was Strictly Come Dancing and I was hosting a few different things in the UK and in Ireland. I knew I would return to music but I didn’t know when or at what point and for what reason. After 14 years in Westlife we felt we’d done enough and we didn’t miss it. Of course you miss the big nights and the crowds – the buzz off that you’ll never replace – but we didn’t miss consistently singing and travelling to different countries. Although that sounds amazing, and by the way it was absolutely incredible, you get to the stage where you’re happy to rest for a while.
I didn’t know in what capacity I’d return to music, whether it be a charity single or I’d make an album. I certainly didn’t have the hunger to make the album at the point. My sister-in-law Cecelia, who is an author and she wrote P.S. I Love You and many other books, she did a book called Where Rainbows End and the rights had been bought to make it into a movie. It was turned into a great British romantic comedy called Love, Rosie and she asked me to write a song for the soundtrack.
She connected me up with a guy called Ronan Hardiman, who is an Irish composer and producer that had done Lord of the Dance, and we chatted over the phone. I’d met him before but didn’t know him that well. We spoke about the task at hand and right away we both agreed to work with Wayne Hector; I knew him from Westlife as he’d written World of Our Own, Flying Without Wings, Swear It Again etc. Ronan had worked with him on a lot of stuff too. We got in contact with Wayne, flew to London and wrote a song called Finishing Line, which is on my album.
We were out at Wayne’s house in Surrey and we just hit it off. We all knew each other well but what we were creating on Wayne’s out of tune piano, which we had a good laugh about, made us think that we should do more together. About a week or two later Wayne flew to Dublin and came to Ronan’s studio where we wrote Sunlight, Some Things Always Seem to Last and Song for Lovers. We had four tracks and we were on the way to making an album. There was another guy, Don Mescall, that we got involved as well and we wrote another 6 tracks with him and we had an album.
At this point I had no record deal and no music manager. I had no plan and nobody telling me what I should and shouldn’t do. We were just making this great pop/rock album and we thought it would be good if I could front something like a OneRepublic or Imagine Dragons and go down that road. That was in 2013 and it took us 2 years to complete it.