Ronan Keating is truly having the time of his life.
So it's apt that that's the title of his tenth solo album, released earlier this month.
Time Of My Life is by far his most confessional work, heavily inspired by his new wife, Australian TV producer-model Storm Uechtritz, whom he wed last August and calls his soulmate.
Keating, 38, has three children aged 16, 14 and 10 from his first marriage.
When asked about the album's title, he explains to M with enthusiasm: "It's very personal... It's being in that place of absolute peace, tranquillity. I'm calm, I'm in love, I'm happy, and these things are reflected in the music. That's a huge deal."
The songs he wrote for Time Of My Life are incredibly personal as well.
"There are songs that aren't necessarily about love as such, but in everything that I've written on this album, my wife has inspired me. My eyes have been opened, as has my heart. You can't help but be inspired and for that to affect your songs."
The frontman of popular Irish boy band Boyzone is as personable during our interview as he was during an intimate industry showcase last month at The Arts Club in London.
The half-hour set was visceral and earnest, delightful in its sincerity as he sang five songs from Time Of My Life, making sure to speak to the audience in between songs.
After not performing any showcases for his last five or six albums, Keating admitted to nerves, saying he was full of stories and wearing his heart on his sleeve with his new songs.
Even though he has spent half his lifetime as a successful musician, he admits the whole process of creating Time Of My Life - under new label Decca Records - was "very daunting".
He adds: "I've learnt so much about myself in the past 24 months, personally and as a performer. And I was up there (at the showcase), I was exposed, honest, and I just gave everything. I gave my heart and soul. I told the truth.
"And that's what's coming out in the songs, in my words and interviews, and on stage. If people haven't seen me before, I'm finding comfort in this.
"After being in a pop band, having your comfort blanket around you and being secure, it's a strange thing to be exposed like that. And I think maybe performing in West End helped me."
Keating declares that 2015 was a massive year for him on both a personal and professional front.
Not only did he get hitched, he made his West End debut in hit musical Once. During his West End engagement, he also met Dan Healy, who became a co-writer.
Although Keating didn't write the first single Let Me Love You, he chose to record it because it echoed aspects of his early relationship with Uechtritz, 35.
"This song relates to me and Storm when we first got together, and the distance between us and the two different worlds we were living in. And yet we came together through the distance.
"Storm was working and travelling around the world and so was I. At one stage, I was following where she was in the world through her Instagram (account)."
When asked if things are amicable with his first wife Yvonne Connolly, after their 12-year marriage ended in 2010, Keating admits: "These things are hard, but you've got to put the kids first, that's the priority, that the kids are loved and protected and happy. That's what we're focused on.
"My kids are amazing, they love Storm and she loves them. We have a great relationship, all of us together. The kids were incredible at the wedding (where they served as bridesmaid, flower girl and best man)... It was truly magic."
As to whether he plans to have more children, Keating says cheerfully: "We would love to, Storm and I - watch this space!"
Professionally, he is looking forward to a very busy 2016 that will include touring for Time Of My Life, a stint as a judge on reality TV singing series The Voice Australia and the release of his second feature film Another Mother's Son, a drama about the British island of Jersey during the Nazi Occupation.
As for new music from Boyzone, he assures us: "All of us want to mark the 25 years (of the band)... We're like brothers."
This article was first published on Feb 24, 2016.
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