It’s always fun to catch up with someone you’ve known for more than 30 years. Last week I spent some time with Take That hero – and pop star in his own right – Mark Owen.
How crazy is it that Owen has been making music for more than 30 years – that the baby-faced one from the UK’s biggest ’90s boy band is now a veteran of the industry?
I first met him back as the band were just taking off in 1992; he wasn’t even 20.
He’s now just turned 50 and naturally is thinking of the people important to him; Father’s Day is today and Mark spoke to me about an important influence on his new album: his dad.
“When I was growing up my dad used to play the clubs round Manchester, a lot of Irish country bands,” he explained.
“Some of my earliest memories are of being with my dad in some social club somewhere, asleep under some table as he’s playing with his band. He’s the first person who hears anything I do. That’s something I’ve always done. My dad used to sit around the house with his guitar, and he still does. He’s a good sounding board. It’s nice to have that connection.
“He gets really excited when the guitars go on the songs, then he’ll want to know what guitar sound it is. He’s proper into it.
“It’s lovely to get him involved. A lot of times that’s who you’re doing it for, those people around you in your family.”
Owen was chatting before an appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden, where he performed his new single You Only Want Me.
He said he was grateful for the time lockdown gave him to grow out his hair, as well as focus on his new album and let the songs gestate for a while. As well as seeking his dad’s opinion he also enlisted his kids’ help.
“Both Willo and Fox are singing on the record, which I’m really excited about,” he said. “I was trying to do this song called Comeback and I said to Willo, ‘will you sing on this song?’
“She came and I tried to explain what I wanted her to do. She tried it a couple of times and then asked if she could do her own thing.
“I said OK, and do you know what, I thought that’ll do! Ten times better than what I was trying to get her to do. I’m really pleased with them.”
I wondered how Owen, whose hits with Take That include Back For Good, Why Can’t I Wake Up With You, Rule The World, How Deep Is Your Love and A Million Love Songs, broke it to the kids that he was one of the biggest stars in the UK when they were little?
The Oldham-born singer said: “They’ve always come to see the shows we’ve done, they’ve all been to see the big productions so they’ve always been aware daddy wears some strange outfits now and again!”
Owen and I teamed up to do a TikTok dance and we went a wee bit viral with it after he taught me the dance routine.
My excuse for dad-dancing? Well it is Father’s Day!
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