Wayne and his younger brother Barry were seen by millions of viewers last weekend on ITV in the UK and Virgin Media here turning three of the judge’s chairs – Olly, Tom Jones and Will I.Am
Dubliner Wayne and his younger brother Barry were seen by millions of viewers last weekend on ITV in the UK and Virgin Media here turning three of the judge’s chairs – Olly, Tom Jones and Will I.Am
And Wayne today confirms that this is the fourth time he’s managed to go far on a TV music show having...
Wayne (32) and Barry (28) stunned the Voice UK judges, who included Annie Mac, when they told them that they both entered the Voice of Ireland and had Jamelia as their mentor, and ended up being pitted against each other in a head-to-head battle.
Now gigging on the pub circuit as the Beatty Brothers, they both entered the Voice of Ireland in 2013.
“I had been playing a few pubs back then with a friend to try and gain experience,” Wayne, who is from Ballymun, tells the Sunday World. “I used to sing whatever people in the pub were into rather than what I liked myself.” He reflects when asked how he first knew he had a good voice.
“If you remember Pop Idol over 20 years ago, when Will Young and Gareth Gates were on it, and one of the neighbours was over and talking to it to my mam about it and I said ‘I can do that’,” he recollects.
“I belted out one of the songs Will Young sang on the show and they said ‘go on then’ and the neighbour was sobbing listening to it. I then started to enter different karaoke competitions, even though I had a boy’s squeaky voice at the time.
“I’ve had to work on my voice for a long time though, it doesn’t come easy.”
Wayne explains that Barry started going to his gigs and started to build up confidence, and they entered the Voice of Ireland as solo acts.
“We didn’t realise there was a possibility of us going head to head, and that if we chose the same coach that we could be put up against each other,” he notes.
The other judges were Bressie, Sharon Corr and Jamelia. The brothers both opted for Jamelia as they thought her style of music suited them more. Three of the judges turned for Wayne and two for Barry.
“At that age I wouldn’t have been too familiar with anything the Corrs had done and Jamelia was more suited to the style of music I would have been singing, so for me it was a no brainer,” stresses Barry.
When the head-to-head battle round came Wayne was chosen to go through after singing Brandy’s ‘The boy is mine’.
“We got great coverage from the show as people remembered how we were pitted against one another, so then afterwards we decided to team up and do gigs in pubs,” adds Barry.
Both brothers work in logistic departments for UPS couriers. Barry is married to Nicole and had a little boy Blake (2), while Wayne has a long-term partner Shannon.
They decided to enter the Voice UK during the height of Covid, when lockdowns and gigs were stalled. “We said that a joint entity we decided to look at it as it’s a much bigger platform,” says Barry.
Wayne adds that he had previously entered the other big British music show, the X Factor.
“I was in a big house during boot camp which Simon Cowell and the scale of it is huge,” he discloses. “He flew in on his helicopter and it was really cool. I think 80,000 people applied and I made the final 30 and then eliminated.”
The lads had earmarked Olly to be their mentor if there were rival judges battling over them on the Voice UK. Tom initially turned, then Olly and finally Will when did performed ‘You are the reason’.
The Beattys along with a female singer are the only Irish acts in this year’s battle round stages, with 10 artists mentored by each judge.
“Olly has been great,” beams Wayne. “Olly really fought for us and we knew he would be the right fit. He has given us lots of advice and says he will put any of our songs we release up on his own social media.”
Olly also seemed to joke he has Irish relations.
“You know what I think he does have a little bit of family in Galway,” maintains Barry.
They hope their Voice journey leads to better things.
“Obviously we could say the dream is to have property all over the world with a Lamborghini sitting in the driveway of each one of them, but I’m a homebird and all I want is a comfortable life with my family and if music is where I make the living I’d probably never work a day again in my life,” smiles Wayne.