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proud moment West End star Conleth Kane's Pride anthem remixed by team behind Katie Perry, Kylie and Lady Gaga

7th Heaven remixed Conleth's song 'Proud'

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Conleth Kane said Proud is his "therapy song"

Conleth Kane said Proud is his "therapy song"

Conleth Kane said Proud is his "therapy song"

Singer Conleth Kane has delivered a Pride anthem thanks to the team behind Kylie, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

The West End star asked producers 7th Heaven to remix ballad Proud last year and couldn’t believe they loved it.

Legendary production duo Jon Dixon and Andy Wetson turned his song about standing tall as a gay man into a dance anthem which has already hit Virgin Radio and got the attention of Victoria Beckham.

Conleth, from Lurgan, has fans all over the world thanks to his original version and hopes the dance remix will reach a whole new audience.

The 37-year-old has spoken out about his experience of homophobic bullying and serious assaults when he was growing up in Northern Ireland, which left him feeling suicidal.

He moved to London and found his feet as a singer, musical theatre performer and actor with roles on dramas including Casualty.

He’s continued to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and Proud was his message of self-acceptance to the world.

“I performed it at Pride in London in 2017 after writing it the day before,” says Conleth.

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Conleth Kane moved to London where he found his feet as a singer

Conleth Kane moved to London where he found his feet as a singer

Conleth Kane moved to London where he found his feet as a singer

“This is my therapy song. It’s very positive but it came from a place of pain. I was angry that Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland all had equal rights for gay people, but Northern Ireland didn’t.

“The song is very celebratory and to come back with this version in 2021 when the law on marriage has been changed at home, it feels like it’s come full circle.

“I wrote it as a ballad and I’ve always been very protective of it, but I knew if I ever took it to the next stage it would only be with 7th Heaven.

“They came back with this big glossy dance number which could sit comfortably on a Cher or Kylie album. It’s everything I wanted and more.”

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He contacted the producers last year, who got back to him immediately to say they loved the track.

Then Conleth had to wait until Covid restrictions were lifted in England to allow clubs to reopen, which happens tomorrow.

“The guys at 7th Heaven have worked with everyone, from Britney Spears to Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson and Kylie Minogue.

“I reached out to them during the first lockdown last year on their Facebook platform and explained I had this song which could work with their makeover.

“They downloaded the song as soon as I sent it and replied to me within a day to say it’s a banger and we can transform it.

“Then I had to hold on to it because it’s a club track and there’s no point in releasing it until the clubs reopen. They have been really supportive and complimentary about the song and they think it can do well.”

He released the remix on Friday and music PR company Euro Solution will be pushing it to DJs across the UK and Europe.

Conleth has also made a stunning video, out on Friday, with some help from back home from pals Dane McDonald, who works behind the scenes on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, and stylist Lewis Robert Cameron.

“They’re both friends from home and it was lovely to have that familiar accent on set,” he says.

“I approached an LGBTQ+ group, The Alpha Dancers, who are a group of amateur performers, including teachers, bankers and hairdressers who get together every Sunday. They jumped at the opportunity to be in a video.

“It was such an anxious time, the night before a 12-hour shoot when I was terrified I’d wake up and find the cameraman had been pinged by track and trace, or a venue had had to close because of Covid. But everyone was safe and well and by the time we finished I felt like I’d run a marathon. We filmed in three locations including one of London’s most iconic gay venues, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, where Freddie Mercury and Princess Diana used to hang out.”

After nearly 18 months in which all Conleth’s work disappeared, and on Christmas Day he lost friend Mark Dougherty, the panto king of Northern Ireland who had produced his first single, he’s determined that 2021 will be a better year.

The omens were good when the singer noticed that Victoria Beckham had watched his Instagram story, as he’s a lifelong Spice Girls fan. “On the 25th anniversary of Wannabe the Spice Girls had something on their story asking which member of the group you would be. I said Victoria, because then she could go and watch a Spice Girls concert, because she’s not in the group any more.

“I was on the train when I realised she’d watched my Instagram story and I honestly jumped.

“After the year everyone has had I’m just taking every day as it comes, but I know my song has found its home,” says Conleth.

Proud – the 7th Heaven Remix is available to stream and download now.

roisin.gorman@sundayworld.com

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