Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland singer Conleth: how the Spice Girls kept me going during my darkest days

By Stephanie Bell

Singer songwriter Conleth Kane will pay tribute to his teenage heroes The Spice Girls when he launches his latest single on video tomorrow.

The cover of the Spice Girls hit "I Turn to You" is being released ahead of the Co Armagh man's first solo concert in the West End of London on Wednesday.

Conleth (33), who met the band's Mel C last year, describes them as his "anti-depressants' while he was growing up in Lurgan, where he suffered bullying because he is gay.

Best known as a West End performer and for having a role in TV series Hollyoaks, the Lurgan man put his acting career on hold just over a year ago to try and carve out a niche as a singer songwriter.

His first single Grass is Greener, which he wrote about his own relationship break-up, went viral when he posted it on Facebook, where it was viewed more than 100,000 times in the first week.

Conleth recently signed a publishing deal as a songwriter with leading music company 23rd Precinct, which has lined up a number of representatives from top record labels to hear the local man in concert next week.

A nervous but excited Conleth said: "The publishing deal will hopefully kickstart my career and the record labels will be at the concert with a view to offering me a deal on my first album.

"I have an album of my own songs almost ready."

Conleth was approached by The Arts Theatre in Leicester Square, where he was a regular performer during his acting career, inviting him to perform in concert.

Much to his surprise, tickets sold out in just four days.

He says: "I am nervous but excited. It will be my first time singing for an audience who have bought tickets to see me and that is in itself a bit surreal.

"I feel really proud of my stuff and now to have big labels coming in to look at me as an artist for the first time, it will be nerve-wracking for me.

"It will be a lot different to singing in my bedroom."

His new single, a cover of the Spice Girls hit I Turn to You, will be released on YouTube on Sunday and Conleth describes it as "one of the best things I have done".

A massive fan of the band growing up, he decided to release the single after meeting Mel C back stage at one of her concerts last year.

He said: "I think the title of the song I Turn to You is appropriate because I turned to the Spice Girls in my teens and see them as having been my anti-depressant.

"I didn't have any friends as a teenager and was a real loner and the only enjoyment I got was to sit and listen to the Spice Girls.

"These five women were saying it was OK to be who you are and that positive message kept me going," Conleth added.

Watch the video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zHLYeASn2E

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