Jun 12, 2013

    Keating's roller-coaster life

    Like his hit song in 2000, Life Is A Rollercoaster, life has been quite the ride for 36-year-old Irish singer Ronan Keating over the past years.

    Among the low points: The loss of his Boyzone band mate Stephen Gately, who died suddenly in 2009, and the end of his 14-year marriage to model Yvonne Connelly last year.

    But there have been highs too. One of them is his latest album, Fires, released last year, which he said is his "best solo work in 20 years".

    My Paper caught up with Keating, who is dating The Voice UK producer Storm Uechtritz, ahead of his Singapore show next month, to chat about the good and bad times.

    You were just 16 when Boyzone was formed. Does it feel like it's been two decades?

    Some days, when I wake up in the morning and I'm not feeling too good, it feels like 20 years (laughs).

    But, no, most times it doesn't feel that long. It has gone by super fast, too fast, to be honest. Too many great moments and memories.

    What was your intention with Fires, and are you working on any new music yet?

    For me, it was all about pop music and finding my sound again. It was about what I think I should sound like at this time in my life and my career. That was really important and that's what I did.

    I have started writing again, but it's a long, long way off.

    How do you stay relevant when artists like One Direction are monopolising a huge part of the pop market?

    I don't let that dictate what I do, but I definitely pay attention to what's out there on the charts and what people want.

    I can't go putting dance music out, because that's not who I am, but to try and involve a part of that in my music is fun. I think it's courageous and I think it's important to take those risks.

    I think both our stories are very similar. One Direction is a fundamental boyband that was put together and, through marketing, they have been successful. That's what happened with Boyzone.

    What was touring with Boyzone like after Gately's death?

    I found it very hard, to be honest. I didn't really enjoy that tour. I got through it as best as I could. I don't think it was our favourite tour, but we're back on the road this year and I think we're all looking forward to that. We'd love to take it to Asia, Australia and farther afield.

    Besides starring in the Australian film Goddess this year, you also auditioned for The Hobbit. What happened there?

    It was something I was very passionate about. It would have been amazing to be involved, but I didn't get it. What can you do? These things happen.

    But I'll never give up, you've just got to keep going on and something will pop up.

    You cite your children, Jack, 14, Marie, 12, and Ali, seven, as your greatest accomplishment. Do they keep you going?

    Absolutely. They're my world. And having Storm by my side is incredibly important. She's so wonderful and so strong. I'm very lucky.


    Catch Ronan Keating at the Star Performing Arts Centre on July 8. Tickets from $98 to $168 are available from Sistic ( or tel: 6348-5555)