Nearly eight years ago, a timid 12-year-old boy stepped out onto the Britain’s Got Talent stage and delivered one of the show’s most memorable auditions of all time. Now he releases his new record, ‘Found My Way’.
“Ronan Parke. Remember that name. This kid is going to be a star.” Louis Walsh prophesied. With a self-titled debut album in 2011, a series of joyous pop singles, an anti-bullying campaign, performances across the globe and a recent headline pantomime stint – Ronan Parke has already more than fulfilled the judge’s prediction.
Now 20-years-old, Found My Way is a triumphant coming of age for the pop-star. As the clicks of the opening track, and one of the album’s stand-outs, ‘Better Off Alone’ give way to “loving you is a lonely vibe, you don’t care about the tears I cried”, there is an astounding soul and depth to Parke’s voice that has never been there before. There’s a real feeling that these tracks are his own, the first time we are hearing his voice as an artist in his own right, and that makes every moment of Found My Way so believable. He told CelebMix earlier this year:
“I have had such a huge role in the creative process of these songs. It’s been over 6 years since the release of my 1st album, so naturally the music has matured as I have.”
Whilst promoting the album on social media, Parke was always keen to speak about the versatility in the tracks. This week he announced during a Facebook live:
“Everyone can listen to the album. There is a song on the album for everyone. There’s ballads, there’s pop music, there’s dance hits, there’s really emotional songs.”
That couldn’t be truer. Title track ‘Found My Way’ boasts an infectious pop hook, ‘Every Thought’ is a break-up ditty straight from the 80s and ‘After All These Years’ wouldn’t be misplaced on the biggest West End stage. Parke can sing it all.
There are some real stand-outs too. The album’s lead single ‘No Love (Like First Love)’ has a pulsing nostalgia that gets better on every listen. ‘Sayin’ You’re Mine’ could well be Parke reminiscing on that early love, its glorious club beat begging for a music video. Elsewhere, ‘Want Me To Stay’ is a spiralling love story perfect for a winter’s evening, almost reminiscent of Ed Sheeran’s late 2017 smash ‘Perfect’.
Ronan Parke may be a pop-star, but by no means is this a just a new breakthrough pop album – it’s far too genuine for that. Whether Found My Way hits the chart heights or not, it is a record Parke, his team and those around him can be so proud of. This is real music at its best.