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CelebMix Exclusive Interview: Brendan Murray Speaks About His Time on ‘The X Factor,’ His New Single ‘If I’m Honest’ and More

Brendan Murray has become best known for appearing on the most recent series of ‘The X Factor,’ whereby he was mentored by Louis Tomlinson during his time in the competition. His impressive vocals even secured him a safe seat in the brutal Six Chair Challenge.

As he progressed through the competition, viewers watched him grow in confidence week after week throughout the Live Shows, particularly impressing with his captivating voice.

The talented Irish singer, song-writer and performer made it all the way to the Semi-Finals stage of the competition and since coming off the show, has featured as part of ‘The X Factor Live Tour,’ along with several other contestants from the series, performing in a host of arenas around the UK and Ireland. 

He has recently released his new single ‘If I’m Honest,’ which has received a great response from his legion of fans and also announced his debut headline tour, which will see him performing in venues around the UK and Ireland later this year. 

CelebMix had the opportunity to exclusively speak with Brendan Murray about his time on ‘The X Factor,’ the recent release of his new single, his upcoming tour and much more. Keep reading to check out our exclusive interview!

You’ve recently released your new single ‘If I’m Honest.’ How does it feel to now have your own original music released?

“It’s absolutely brilliant! It’s something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while now. On the show, I saw a lot of people singing their own original songs. I kind of wish I had mine prepared and ready for the show as it would have been great, but now that I’m getting the chance to do it, is great. ‘X Factor’ has given me such an amazing platform. I’m absolutely delighted and I can’t wait to put more songs out after it.”

How did you choose ‘If I’m Honest’ as the new single? Was it a difficult decision for you?

“I don’t think so. Myself and a few of the guys sat down – well, two guys in particular – we sat down and we just started writing. One of the guys came up with the hook and then we just went with it. We were happy with the way it turned out and we came up with a great song in the end.”

In connection with the release of the single, you’ve also announced your debut headline UK & Ireland tour, taking place in June. Are you excited about getting out on the road to perform for your fans?

“I’m really looking forward to getting out on the road. In the last couple of years, I’ve done my own stuff – I’ve been in a boy band, I’ve done Eurovision and stuff like that – now off the back of ‘X Factor,’ I think it’s time now to do my own tour. I don’t want to wait another six months down the line and then be like ‘I wish I done my own tour six months ago.’ I think that now is the right time to do it and test the water. Hopefully it does well – I’m really looking forward to it and going round to different cities!”

What can be expected from your setlist on the tour? Will there be some unheard originals and tracks performed from your time on ‘The X Factor’?

“It’s going to be a mix really. I’m going to be doing some of my own songs and I’ll be doing a mix of songs off the show as well, off the back of ‘X Factor.’ ‘X Factor’ is a family show and there’s going to be a bit of a family audience at my shows, so I’m going to give them a few songs I did on the show, a few new covers as well and a mix of my own songs. I’m really looking forward to the setlist and I hope that people like it!”

Going back to your time on ‘The X Factor,’ what was that whole experience like for you?

“It was crazy! After I did stuff in the past, I didn’t know whether to go for ‘X Factor’ or not. It’s something I grew up watching and it’s something I’ve always wanted to try out myself. My family kind of pushed me out the door and told me to go for it, so I went for it in the end and I managed to get to the Semi-Final and come fifth. It’s something I never expected, as so many audition for the show each year and there is so much talent that goes through the show. To get to that stage was absolutely amazing!”

What was your favourite performance while on the show?

“My performance at Judges’ Houses was probably my favourite. I was the last act on to perform and I got such a good response. I got to perform in front of Liam Payne and Nile Rodgers, which was incredible and I also got to do it out in Ibiza! That’s probably one performance I remember and getting through that stage as well is just something that will always stick with me.”

Louis Tomlinson was your mentor while on the show and he seemed to be extremely supportive throughout the whole process. How was he as a mentor?

“Louis was incredible! When we went through the routine in the house every week, he would spend at least eight hours in the house and he would make sure that all of us were getting on okay, not even with our songs, just making sure we were okay, in the sense that most of us were away from home, especially me as well, I was in a different country, so he wanted to make sure I was doing okay and that I was getting enough support. He was very supportive in that way and made sure that we were all equally good.”

What is your stand-out memory from the show?

“My stand-out memory probably has to be the Golden Buzzer I think from the Six Chair Challenge. That’s definitely stuck by me since I have left the show. Of course, there is loads of memories, but that one definitely sticks out for me.”

Going back to your roots, how did you come to realise your love for music?

“I started properly singing, I think, at the age of thirteen or fourteen and then I was just doing local competitions back home and getting the confidence to go up and sing in front of people, finding my feet. At the age of fourteen/fifteen, I started busking and at the age of sixteen, I auditioned to be in a boy band. We had a bit of success in Ireland and we got to do a bit of touring in the UK. After that, we parted ways and all took on different projects. ‘Eurovision’ came about and I’ve had a bit of experience for ‘X Factor’ in the past. It’s kind of been non-stop for me really since I was in my young teens!”

You’ve touched on your time in the boy band project you were involved in. When that project ended, was it an easy decision for you to continue with music?

“It was. After that, myself and the other members were a bit lost with regards to what to do, where to go and what to do after that project. When you get put into that industry, you’re on the edge. You go in there very naive and you don’t know what to make of it. I don’t think I was naive going in to ‘The X Factor.’ I wasn’t expecting much, I didn’t really expect to get through because I was in the limelight before and I thought they were probably looking for fresh faces, but thankfully they liked me and put me through!”

Who would you say are your musical influences?

“I suppose I love every really. I’m a big fan of Bruno Mars and the typicals like Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran. I love Bruno Mars – I’ve seen him live once. I love Gavin James, I love a lot of Irish acts. That’s a tough one – I’m easy when it comes to music, I like a lot of acts!”

Aside from the release of your single and your upcoming tour, what else have you got lined up for the rest of the year?

“I’ve a few gigs coming up – I’ve got the Junk Kouture Final in the 3Arena in Dublin on 2 May, so I’m really looking forward to doing that! I’ve a few festivals over the summer and hopefully I’ll release a second single in the summer and I want to get as many songs out as I can!”

Finally, do you have a message for those who supported you through ‘The X Factor’ and who continue to support you now?

“I just want to thank everyone so much for all the support, even since the show has finished. A lot of people have stuck by me online. It is a bit tough to go online and thank them sometimes, but I want to thank my fans so much for sticking by me, for streaming my song and for all the love and support – it’s honestly mind-blowing!”

CelebMix would like to take this opportunity to thank Brendan Murray for taking the time to speak with us! 

You can purchase ‘If I’m Honest’ from iTunes by clicking here. The track can be streamed on Spotify through the link below and is also available to purchase and steam through other responsible music purchasing and streaming outlets. 

For a full list of tour dates and to buy tickets to any of his tour dates, make sure you click here

Do you love ‘If I’m Honest’ as much as we do here at CelebMix? Are you going to any of his upcoming tour dates? Make sure you tweet us and let us know: @CelebMix

Written by Rachel Dempster