Last Friday night I relived my childhood as Mum and I headed to Manchester Arena to see Westlife! They performed hit after hit on their Twenty tour and it's amazing to think they've been performing together for so long. They've sold 55 million records worldwide and are one of the UK's most popular touring bands and it was clear to see why as they performed number 1 after number 1 going back all through the years. With multiple costume changes and a well thought out, creative stage that they could play with, pyrotechnics and confetti canons they really did keep the Mancunian crowd entertained. They played some new material off their upcoming album Spectrum as well which Ed Sheehan has written for and their new single Dynamite comes out this Friday 5th July! But it wasn't just Westlife that brought their A game last Friday, the first support act Keelie Walker, also with a new single out this week opened the show with her four dancers and impressed the crowd. The gasp was noticeable as she said "I'm 15 years old" but her confidence and on stage presence, the choreography for every song was professional and she looked like she belonged on that arena stage. She played around five or six songs including This Is What It's Like and her brand new track Not You. The crowd sang along on the cover she did of Charlie Puth's Attention. I caught up with her after her set to find out more about the young pop star from Nashville.
So first of all I wondered if you could tell me about the first moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
I started off acting and dancing at the age of six, I always wanted to be in the entertainment industry, but I was finding my way with what I wanted to do. I've always sung as well but I never really put that out there because of fear but when I met my music producer when I was 13 he encouraged me to do so. Soon enough I went for it and it led me here so I'm very grateful!
We've just seen you perform, opening up the Manchester Arena for Westlife! You played a new song which is coming out in July can you tell us about that?
Yeah it's called Not You and it's coming out July 5th, you can pre-save it on my website keeliewalker.com.
And how involved were you in the writing and production of that song?
That's actually the first song that I co-wrote that's being released so it's definitely more meaningful. That's how I want to start doing my music, making it more meaningful and real. I want to start writing more, I'm a beginner at it!
How're you finding it so far, getting in to a room with someone and sharing that process?
Yeah, writing to me is kind of therapeutic in a way, I'm not the kind to like talk about my feelings I hold it in which isn't good, you should talk about them but I'm not that person so writing for me is a way I can get my feelings out without actually having to say it.
Normally I say what did your parents play to you growing up and what are you choosing to listen to now but you're only 15, which is amazing what you've achieved at such a young age! So what did you listen to growing up?
I have a lot of favourite artists! Some of my favourites though have to be Beyonce, JLo or Billie Eilish, they're so inspiring to me.
What's next for you? Have you thought about the future or are you living in the moment right now?
There's going to be more songs coming out and an album sometime next year, more touring but I can't say who for yet! Hopefully I get to the point where I'm selling out my own tour, doing arenas, stadiums even, go big or go home!
Your energy levels on stage are incredible, those dance moves! How important is it for you to incorporate that into your live set?
Dancing has always been a part of me, I started so young so I always went to competitions and stuff like that so it's been a part of me for a long time so it means a lot to me to incorporate that with my singing as singing means a lot to me as well. I love when a crowd has so much energy because sometimes it's hard to find energy, you're tired so it's nice when the crowd is feeding you that, when they show you that they enjoy your music and your show, it helps a lot.
If you could duet with one person in the World who would it be?
Ooh it's a tough one I'd say probably Beyonce.
We'll look out for that in the near future! When on stage are you completely focused or do you let your mind wander?
When I'm on stage there are some moments when my mind is on other things but I pull myself back in, with songs you have to tell a story, so I have to pull myself in to tell the story, to make it more interesting I guess.