Shane Filan talks fame, family and his solo career

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He may have enjoyed worldwide fame and success as a member of Westlife, but Shane Filan admits it took time to adjust to life as a solo star. Describing his first solo gig as "nerve-racking", the Irish singer has since become more confident performing without his former bandmates and is back with his second album Right Here - something he is clearly excited about sharing.

"I think making the second album is always a big step, everyone making their first album wants to get to their second album, so yeah it was something I was very excited about in all four to five months making it," Shane explained to HELLO! Online. "I now feel excited to hear what the fans think of this album because I think it's a lot better than my first and that was my main goal, to just improve."

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Shane Filan releases his second solo album on 25 September

Describing his new album as "more pop" and "more current" than his first solo effort You and Me, Shane has co-written the majority of tracks and has even enlisted the support of his friend and former Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle to record a special duet I Could Be.

"I've known her for years through Girls Aloud and stuff like that," Shane said. "I just wanted a great singer and she has just got a flawless vocal, she absolutely nailed it."

While his fans won't get to hear the new album until its release on 25 September, Shane revealed he has already received positive feedback from three important critics, his three children – Nicole, ten, Patrick, seven, and Shane, five.

Shane has collaborated on a track with Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud

"The two are huge fans, they probably want me to play the album in the car a bit too much if I'm being honest!" Shane laughed. "Daddy's a singer and yeah they think that's pretty cool but they're five and seven, and my daughter is ten so she's probably a bit more into Taylor Swift as well."

Could they follow in their dad's footsteps in the future? "They're into music which is nice to see, they've got good little voices on them too which is good, it will be interesting to see where that goes in time.

"My daughter is starting a drama and stage school now which, I was very similar to her at that age so you never know we'll see what happens. If they don't want to do it, whatever, I don't mind. It's their life, maybe they wanna play soccer. They're into soccer and Gaelic football at the moment so that's their thing."

Shane is clearly very proud and protective of his family, and talks of his desire to "provide" for his children and Gillian – his wife of almost 12 years - who he describes as an "amazing woman".

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Shane says he couldn't imagine life without his wife Gillian

"I literally couldn't imagine life without her and that's the truth," Shane confided. "She's an amazing mother of three happy, healthy children and to me that's what life is all about.

"No success, music, money, whatever - as long as you can provide for that family that you love, that's all I want to do. That's my job as a father and she's amazing. She's an amazing woman."

The couple have faced a series of highs and lows together – from Shane's rise to fame to his bankruptcy in 2012 – something he says made their relationship even stronger than ever.

"Without a doubt," he said. "They say 'whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger'. That was a very tough time and a horrible time but it has made me stronger. It's made me a lot more determined to succeed, not in a cocky way but I have to succeed because it's my job.

"Things happen in life. I've had some amazing things happen in my life, with Westlife all my dreams came true. When it comes to music that's as big as it can get, but also bad things happen too because life's not perfect. So it's how you learn from that and moving on now I just want to sing, have success and be able to provide and build it into a career."

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Shane says Westlife won't be making a comeback in the near future

It has now been over three years since Westlife went their separate ways and Shane admits that he and his former bandmates Nicky Byrne, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Brian McFadden sometimes struggle to stay in touch.

He explained: "It's kind of funny, you think we'd be in touch more but I think because we're all doing our own stuff now and focusing on our individual careers.

"So yeah we don't really see each other that often but I see the lads from time to time – maybe once or twice in the last year that I've seen them. I probably see Nicky more than any of the other lads in the band, just because I've done his radio show. He has a big radio show in Ireland now so he interviews me and stuff so it's quite funny."

However there is no bad blood between the former bandmates. "All the boys are great and we finished the band on a great note as in individually, personalities stuff like that, so there's no badness there - we're just totally on different paths at the moment."

Shane says he is excited to release his second solo album

So could Westlife follow in the footsteps of other boy bands like Take That and make a comeback in the future?

"I wouldn't consider something right now, because I don't think it's something any of us would want to do but that's the honest answer," Shane said. "For the future I can't tell you what will happen in five years' time, but you just never know. It could happen but it could not happen and it's not fair to the fans to say 'It might happen' and then turn around and say 'Oh it's not happening'."

The 36-year-old is currently only focused on his solo career and the upcoming release of his second album – something that fulfils his true passion for singing.

"I love the fact that the option I have is singing, because that's all I want to do. That's what I'm good at and I don't even think about singing, it's like breathing.

"It's my dream job."

Right Here by Shane Filan is released on 25 September

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