Luck of the Irish
He rose to stardom as the fresh-faced lead singer of Irish boy band Boyzone. More than two decades on and having sold 20 million records as a solo artist, Ronan Keating is still riding the rollercoaster of success. We catch up with the superstar on the eve of his much anticipated performance at the Caloundra Music Festival.
“I’m going to have to dash, I’m expecting a call from Ronan Keating.” It’s not something you say every day, but I was lucky enough to chat with the man himself recently as he made his way into a London recording studio, where he is working on a new album with Boyzone.
Having recently turned the big 40, Ronan has had a stellar career so far and is showing no sign of slowing down anytime soon. He opens up to Profile about his recent marriage to Australian, Storm Uechtritz, the arrival of his son Cooper, his new gig as a prime time radio host and of course his trip to the Sunshine Coast.
profile: Ronan are you excited about performing at the Caloundra Music Festival?
ronan: I’m very much looking forward to it. Any excuse to get back to Australia. My wife Storm is coming for a little bit longer with our son Cooper and staying on with her family. Sadly I only get a few days in the country, but that’s the way it works, what can I do? My mother-in-law actually lives on the Sunshine Coast and we holidayed there last year with the kids, it’s paradise.
profile: You have said you are not returning for another season of X Factor or The Voice, what is keeping you busy these days?
ronan: The Voice was great, I really enjoyed it, it was a great experience and I learnt a lot. I’m not doing any of those shows at the moment though, I’m concentrating on other stuff. I’m doing a radio show in London which is quite a big deal, it’s breakfast radio from 6am to 10am Monday to Friday, so it’s a huge commitment. I’m also working on a Boyzone album, I’ve just finished a film, all sorts of bits and pieces. Then I’m still doing summer festivals as a solo artist. There’s not enough hours in the day but I’m making it work.
profile: You recently made an appearance on the Australian TV show Love Child, what was that experience like?
ronan: I really enjoyed it, the cast was fantastic. The script is meaty and it’s very well made. To dive in there and create something was great and Jessica Marais is a real talent, an incredible actress.
There are moments when you are singing with Pavarotti or Elton John and you think, ‘Holy s**t, how did I get here?’”
profile: You have recently become a dad again to son Cooper, how is it all going?
ronan: It’s really busy for all of us, but like any other family you make it work. Storm is an incredible mother. It’s just a pleasure to watch her as a mum, it makes my heart burst, I love it. Cooper is such a wonderful little fella. My other children to my first marriage are 18, 16 and 12 and they are incredible kids, I’m very proud of them all.
profile: What is it like to be back with the boys from Boyzone?
ronan: We’re in the process of recording now, we’re trying to have the album ready for Christmas, if not early next year. It’s brilliant to have all the lads back together again, we’re having great fun. It’s like old school friends, even though you don’t see them for a while you just slip back into it again.
profile: What have been the most memorable moments in your career?
ronan: I was 16 when it all began, a long time ago now. I’m still very passionate about it and feel very lucky that this is what I do for a living. It’s the best job in the world. There is not a day goes by that I take it for granted. There have been lots of different things, number one albums I have worked passionately on are a highlight. Then there are moments when you are singing with Pavarotti or Elton John and you think, ‘Holy s**t, how did I get here?’
profile: Did you ever imagine you would have such success?
ronan: No, you never could, it’s impossible. But you’ve got to work hard, that’s something the kids today need to realise. We live in a world where we think everything should be immediate. But you have to work hard, nothing comes easy, that’s the bottom line. Dreams really do come true.
profile: What can audiences expect from your performance at the Caloundra Music Festival?
ronan: All the hits I have done over the last 25 years – Life is a roller coaster, When you say nothing at all, If tomorrow never comes, Living each day, they are all in there. An hour-and-a-half-plus of history for me, plus a couple of new tracks.