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country roads Singer Derek Ryan reveals how Nathan Carter inspired him to launch a music career

Why success is music to Derek's ears

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Singer Derek Ryan

Singer Derek Ryan

Singer Derek Ryan

SINGING star Derek Ryan reveals for the first time how a chance attendance at a Nathan Carter concert led to him launching his own country music career.

In Sunday World's new podcast, My Country Life, the Carlow native also tells how he bought a new home in lockdown just a mile from Carter in Fermanagh, not knowing that the Wagon Wheel singer was one of the local residents until the local postman told him.

Ryan first shot to fame as a teenager in a boyband called D-Side. They had three Top 10 hits in the British charts, a number one in Japan, and played major venues, including Wembley Arena, before fizzling out.

As Derek was rebuilding his life in the aftermath of the band's split, it was a country night headlined by Nathan Carter that set him on the road to becoming one of Ireland top singers and songwriters.

In My Country Life, Ryan recalls that he was then living at home with him parents.

"Around that time I went down to Kilkenny to have dinner out with my parents.

"The same night there was a gig in Kilkenny and Nathan Carter was playing at it. I went in and stood at the back.

"I came out and said to my parents, 'I could do that.'

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"The whole way home I was thinking about this. I remember I had a song called God's Plan that I had written.

"I had sent it out to different singers and they just didn't pick up on it.

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"I said, 'do you know what, I'll just release it myself... Lucky enough to have what would be considered a hit single for my debut. That kind of opened the door."

A prolific songwriter, everyone from Daniel O'Donnell to Philomena Begley and Foster & Allen recorded his songs when he became established.

"It's great to get phone calls from legends, which is a compliment in itself," Derek says.

- 'My Country Life with Eddie Rowley' is available on sundayworld.com or wherever you get your podcasts

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