Ronan Keating: Singer, songwriter, maybe rollercoaster enthusiast?
The Irish artist, whose hit song ‘Life is a Rollercoaster’ rode the music charts in the year 2000, is a self-proclaimed “thrill seeker”.
“When I was with Boyzone, we opened a roller coaster. We rode it for 19 times. It was ridiculous,” said Ronan.”We were kids though. You could only do that when you’re a kid. I wouldn’t do that now.”
The ride was Flying Island in the now-defunct American Adventure theme park in England. The year, 1998. He was 21 years old.
Today at 39 years old, he still loves roller coasters but still feels the trepidation just before the ride takes off.
“When I go on a rollercoaster–just as I’m sitting in the seat–I think to myself, ‘What the hell am I doing?’ But when I get off the ride, I think, ‘That was amazing’,” he said to us on his recent trip to Singapore for an acoustic performance in Universal Studios Singapore.
He gamely took on the CYLON side of the Battlestar Galactica duelling roller coasters, considered the more thrilling of the two (the other is the HUMAN ride) the day after his show.
Time of My Life acoustic performance at Universal Studios Singapore
Like how the roller coaster gets us closer to our inner fears, the acoustic performance of his new album ‘Time of My Life’ (and past hits) is his way of bringing fans close to the emotions and intimacy of how he created his songs.
“I wrote this album on an acoustic guitar in my kitchen. Getting to sing the song acoustically gives people insight into how I was feeling – happy and inspired.” No backing tracks, bass or keyboards included, or required.
The album took a year to write. “Everything was created organically, nothing was forced. It didn’t feel like I was under time constraint or pressure. I just worked away on the record, and slowly but surely it came together.”
He’d do the same for his future albums.
“I think I will travel a bit with my guitar next year and write. Maybe to France and Italy into the mountains and the vineyards.”
More than 20 years in the music industry
Ronan debuted with the Boyzone band in 1994. The band went on to become an international sensation during the 1990s with 25 million records sold.
In 1999, he started his solo career and has since sold over 20 million records.
Compared to when he started, Ronan said he has learned to be a better singer, writer and performer. “I’m more confident in my own skin, which becomes evident when you see a live performance,” he said.
And like a roller coaster, what are some of the highs and lows in his life?
He pointed to the album ‘Time of My Life’ as the highest point of his career. “It’s the most personal and proud I’ve been of a record. I feel complete as an artist to be able to go out there and sing the songs for the audience.”
In contrast, his lowest point, both personally and professionally, was when Boyzone member Stephen Gately passed away in 2009. In his own words, “It was the most devastating time.”
Besides singing (and riding the roller coasters), he has acted in movies, starred in a London West End musical, hosted TV shows and is now a judge on X-Factor Australia.
“That’s everything isn’t it?” he said, laughing. On a serious note, he said he’d like to continue working in film and has a movie ‘Another Mother’s Son’ that will be out later this year.
For Ronan, life may have started somewhat like a roller coaster but for now, he is certainly cruising along and having the time of his life.
Ronan Keating at Resorts World Sentosa
Besides his showcase, Ronan spent a jam-packed couple of days with us in the Resort and here’s what he got up to!