Colm Keegan speaks about ‘The Dance’ and his future

Colm Keegan’s debut solo single ‘The Dance’ has been a huge success, hitting the number one spot on the itunes World Music Charts.

The Celtic Thunder star teamed up with Laura Durrant to record the famous Tony Arata country song.

Colm Keegan with guitar from his website. Copyright Nathalie Marquez Courtney
Colm Keegan

This week Colm spoke to Irish Music Daily about his solo career and debut single.

Irish Music Daily: Tell us about the Dance, what it means to you and why you chose it as a debut single.

Colm Keegan: ‘The Dance’ has been one of my favourite songs for many years now, by one of my favourite performers, Garth Brooks. I’ve wanted to record it for many years now and it’s been a well-known ‘party-piece’ of mine back home.

I suppose the concept of doing solo recordings has been at the back of my mind for a while now. This summer is the beginning of my third year with Celtic Thunder, a huge chapter of my life, and I feel even off tour I want to continue to allow fans of the show to get to know me and be a part of my musical journey.

I also really want to continue musical challenges such as making country sounding songs I love such as ‘The Dance’ and trying to give a very different vibe to the song and therefore giving almost a new meaning!

IMD: Where and how was it recorded? Tell us about Laura’s involvement.

CK: The video for The Dance was recorded up in a house in Clogherhead, County Louth and the song was recorded in our assistant musical director’s Seamus Brett’s studio. Seamus is a complete joy to work with, really encouraging and sweats talent so it was a really enjoyable process.

Laura is a very good friend of mine and on tour we’re constantly playing together. I also have spent a lot of time over in Glasgow in the last few months so have met with Laura to rehearse for various projects, recording a song together was inevitably going to happen some day! She’s such a talented player and someone who seems to think similarly musically so our ideas bounce off each other really well.

Colm Keegan copyright Nathalie Marquez Courtney
Colm Keegan

IMD: It’s already been very successful, topping the world charts. Were you surprised by that or did you expect it to do well?

CK: I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that the Celtic Thunder fans would be so encouraging and incredible supportive since the song’s release last week, subsequently going to #1 on iTunes World Music Charts, #1 best seller on Amazon and #1 on Hot New Releases on CD Baby, but it gets me every time!

They’re the most incredibly loyal fan base on the planet and no matter what we do/release they’re the first to pat you on the back. It’s always been one big family and this is just another example of that family support. A thank you would never suffice the gratitude I feel for all the work they do.

IMD: What was it like for you recording solo as opposed to being with the rest of CT? Was it daunting, or liberating perhaps?

CK: Two years ago it would have been a very daunting experience stepping up in front on my own. I suppose it’s a strange concept that I’ve found myself as an artist while being in a group, but I really have!

Our exceptionally talented MD and good friend David Munro is constantly trying to get us to
‘be ourselves’ – easier said than done! But I think after two years of that mind frame I feel I understand myself as a solo artist much better, and these recordings are examples of me demonstrating that.

I love being in a group, especially with the lads in CT who are some of my closest friends now, but I also love being given the opportunity for people to get to know who Colm Keegan is and I would hope every time I perform people learn something knew about me every time.

IMD: Are you planning to do more solo work, a solo album perhaps?

CK: I suppose this ties in with my previous answer. I love people getting to know me and my voice. I love taking songs I love and putting a ‘Colm Keegan’ slant to it and the real dream would be to have an album that I feel proud represents that. I’ve said this year I will work towards my first solo album, if I feel it’s ready than happy days!

I would hate to make one for the sake of it though, so I’m really leaving it down to whether I feel I’m happy with the material rather than putting a timeline on it. It might take 4months or 10 years! (please God not the latter!)

Colm Keegan - Pic taken from his website, copyright Nathalie Marquez Courtney
Colm Keegan

IMD: Tell us about the video. What was it like working on that?

CK: The video was shot by a good friend of mine at home Cathy Dunne. Cathy is an exceptionally talented film maker, director and photographer. She is not only a good friend but really sought after around Dublin and when I approached her to record the video and she agreed it was one of the
really exciting moments of the whole process.

Having not only a friendly face running the show but someone of her calibre and talent was such a benefit. I’m one of these guys who never, ever likes seeing videos of myself, but she’s incredibly talented and I didn’t hate watching this one back as much! Always a good sign!

We were also so lucky to have her seeing as though it’s been a hectic time for her establishing a new business ‘ReelRaven Films’. She’s been really tied up with that I hope to work with her and ReelRaven Films in the future, a pleasure as always.

IMD: You’ve been busy in Australia with CT. How do manage to juggle solo work with CT commitments?

CK: Australia has been brilliant. Such a massive part of the whole CT experience that felt strange to have not experienced already, but it was worth the wait! The Aussie fans are equally as welcoming as the North American fans and it was a brilliant opportunity to visit so many places in such a beautiful country.

As I mentioned, as part of CT we’re constantly trying to work at expressing ourselves individually so that we’ve something unique to bring to the table when the ensemble comes together. This makes the solo work part of that process almost. However it was a very special feeling for myself and Laura when everyone was so congratulating upon the release of the single. It’s a very special place in CT

IMD: What’s happening next for you? Are you considering a solo tour perhaps?

CK: This is first break we’ve all been given in a very long time! I first of all plan on taken a bit of time off before the hectic life resumes. I’m one of those people who can’t sit still for too long, so a week or two holiday should be plenty and then it’s back to work!

At home in my downtime I gig a lot and teach in various locations which is my joint love. A solo tour is 100% on the cards! I’m trying to see when I can get time off to allow it to happen and then I can plan properly.

I’ve asked Laura to come as well and she has agreed so if it does eventually happen it’ll be very exciting process putting that show together. It’s been an incredible few days since the launch of ‘The Dance’ and I want to build from here as much as I can.

I’ve loved the last few years as much of a curveball as it has been from where I thought my life was going, but now the idea of being a singer or presenter has become a really exciting prospect, one I hope to pursue to the best of my ability.

I would just like to thank everyone who has bought the single so far, made posters, shared or advertised it in some way. It’s been incredibly flattering watching everyone working to help me succeed and I really, really do appreciate every bit of it.

Thanks to Colm Keegan for talking to us. Click here to download his single from iTunes

Back to Colm Keegan main page

Categorized as Blog

By Michael Kehoe

Michael Kehoe is a writer for Irish Music Daily and Ireland Calling. His favourite Irish Music bands are Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys.