Its no secret that Ed Sheeran is a huge fan of Westlife and, if theres anything the two have in common, its those big iconic power ballads.
So it made total sense that Westlife tapped the pop superstar to write their new comeback single, Hello My Love, released today. Its a perfect pop pairing and the icing on the cake for Westlife, who say that Ed, 27, has definitely channelled their vibe on some of his biggest singles to date.
Westlife singer Kian Egan told Metro.co.uk: For sure, I think any ballad could be a Westlife ballad [laughs]. Any time you hear a ballad you think, “That could be a Westlife song”.
I definitely think theres a Westlife vibe in [Sheerans song] Perfect and one of the other songs hes written for us as well were really excited about because its a big power ballad.
Kian, 38, continued: Its very Westlife whereas this first single isnt your typical Westlife. But the other singles hes done are very Westlife. Good songs are good songs, it doesnt matter whether its a Westlife song or not.
You could definitely feel a sense of a Westlife kind of vibe in some of Eds ballads for sure.
Well, now that theyve mentioned it…
Ed wrote Hello My Love, produced by Steve Mac, specifically for Westlife months before they had even announced their reunion. Even with their years of experience on the Shape Of You hitmaker, Westlife thought it was too good to be true that Ed wrote three songs with them in mind.
Band member Mark Feehily said: Its quite an honour because Ed is now one of the biggest stars in the world but also when I first met him, he was just doing gigs in bars and he was not very widely known.
When I met him that time, he was a huge Westlife fan and learnt to play the guitar to one of our greatest hits and he just loved Westlife. I thought, thats really cool, this really talented singer-songwriter loves Westlife.
Shane Filan added: Were all big fans of Ed Sheeran so its nice to have great songs [written by him]. Our new music is definitely at the level which we wanted to come back with so its up to the fans.
Speaking of the fans, the Westlife comeback is all down to them after years of relentless badgering for a reunion.
Give yourselves a pat on the back Westlifers.
Sharing his excitement to be back in the studio with his besties, Mark said: Being back in the studio when each member went in to do their vocals, it felt like being a band again.
It felt like back in 1999 when we were hearing our first ever song, and that was genuine, Im not just saying that.
Being back in the studio was like a baptism of the reunion.
The Uptown Girl hitmakers give major credit to the likes of Ed Sheeran and even Lady Gaga for spurring on their comeback, with both enjoying commercial success with melodic ballads.
In other words, remember the golden era when people actually used to sing on songs?
Mark explained: We actually feel that theres a gap for what we do now. Were hungry for it.
What weve done had become overdone and loads of other people started doing it, all these acts coming off The X Factor and they were working with similar producers. A lot of it just sounded like overload on that kind of style.
The singer continued: Apart from the Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born – thing and The Greatest Showman, in the past few years, theres just been no song or melody, its all been production tricks.
As a music fan myself, Shallow is just so refreshing to hear a song and a melody on a piano or guitar-driven pop song.
Referring to Eds 2018 hit single, Mark added: To bring it into a nutshell, Perfect was one of the biggest songs of the year and that is pretty much what a Westlife song is so it must be the time to come back because if thats what people want, weve got plenty of it to give.
That includes a brand new Westlife album which the four-piece are hoping to release by the end of the year. Before that though, theres the small matter of an arena tour to get through.
The Flying Without Wings singers are set to embark on a UK tour to celebrate their 20th anniversary – yep, its been a whole 20 years already.
Needless to say, life for Westlife has changed over the past two decades with most of the members becoming fathers, so their tour rider will look a little different to their early days.
Kian joked: For me theres going to be baby monitors. Itll be kid-safe, padded rooms, gates on all the exits in the arenas.
Sounds very rock and roll.
Shane added: Itll be exciting because Kians had a few babies since the last time, but even my kids theyre a lot more grown up now.
My daughters 13 and she was about six on the last tour and my other two boys, Patrick and Shane, are nine and 10, so they dont remember Westlife at all. Theyre going to experience something that they have no idea how exciting its going to be.
Its going to be a lot of fun, all our kids altogether.
Westlife arent the only iconic 90s pop band to reunite this year as the Spice Girls will also be touring this summer.
Shane seems pretty excited about the girl groups return, declaring: Girl power and boy power are coming back! The Backstreet Boys are performing at the O2 the day after us so we can go and see them too. Everyones back.
Sharing their enthusiasm, Mark chimed in: Back in the early days, I never got to see the Spice Girls live so if theres a day off that I can go and actually see the show then I will.
I was definitely a big Spice Girls fan especially when they first hit. Obviously weve met them through the years and its nice that were on tour at the same time and theres lots of excitement about that era of pop music at the moment. Theres a big demand for it.
More: Ed Sheeran
But well go and see them if we have a chance – were a bit busy though.
Grab us a ticket too, guys!
Westlifes new single, Hello My Love, is available to stream and download now.
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