Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Honour to be starting tour in Carlisle, says Collabro's Matthew Pagan

Matthew Pagan turns 21 later this month but there is no party planned.

Collabro photo
Collabro, with Matthew Pagan second right

Carlisle’s Collabro star simply doesn’t have the time. He is hot property after he and the four other members of the group won ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent watched by millions on June 7.

The former shop worker will instead be gracing a stage which has played host to many of the world’s leading superstars.

Collabro are performing at the famous G-A-Y nightclub in central London on July 25.

Matt said: “I’m the second youngest in the group and I’m 21 on July 25. We’re at the G-A-Y club then. It’s where the likes of Lady Gaga and many others have performed. I’ve never been there before so I’m sure it will be something I’ll remember.”

The gig is just an example of how life has been transformed for the former Richard Rose Central Academy pupil, who was until six months ago working on the pub and club circuit here and abroad.

Matt first battled to get his showbusiness career off the ground after leaving school.

He earned a living selling kitchens at Andersons in Denton Holme until, two years ago, he gave up the job to be a full-time singer, working in clubs in the UK and in Spain.

Now he is living life in the fast lane of fame and is getting used to hob-nobbing with household names on the celebrity circuit.

“What is happening to us is just amazing, astonishing,” he said.

“We were recording our album in Woking just last week and it was quite relaxing there at times,” he said. “There’s a swimming pool there and tennis courts so we were doing a bit of that while we were there.”

He said: “It has just been so busy since we won but we still like to think that we’re down to earth. We’ll always stop and have a picture taken with someone where we can because we know the fans have been and are so supportive of us.

“The fans are brilliant. When you have a look at social media, on Facebook for instance, there are great comments.”

He also revealed the lengths some fans of the five-piece – Collaborators as they are known – have gone to to get noticed, with ‘mature ladies’ sending the singers ‘some dodgy pictures’.

Matt added: “We’re doing all kinds of things at the moment, being driven around everywhere, like press interviews and photoshoots ahead of our album and tour.

“We are also going to things like the pre-Wimbledon party which takes place every year at the Kensington Roof Gardens.”

Despite the glitz and glamour, Matt gets homesick.

“We don’t have a lot of time to think about it during the day,” he said, “but you do get homesick. We’re very busy but it is at night-time when you have time to lie back in bed and just ask yourself what is happening.”

Matt will get a welcome boost later this month when his parents Tony and Linda, who live in St Ann’s in Carlisle, plan to spend a week in the capital to coincide with the release of Collabro’s first album.

Collabro kick off their first UK tour next January with a homecoming for Matt.

Supported by fellow talent show finalist Lucy Kay, the five-piece will be performing two dates at the Sands Centre on January 26 and 27.

Tickets for January 27 are sold out. Those for January 26 are selling well.

“It’s amazing to be coming home,” said Matt. “Personally for me it is an honour to be starting the tour in my home town.

“Cumbria in general has been astounding in terms of the support Collabro and I have received.”

Of his Collabro brothers, Matt said: “We didn’t get together until January and then we started with Britain’s Got Talent in February.

“Now we’re together all the time and we’re like brothers. I think I can speak on behalf of them too when I say this but I couldn’t wish for four better friends.

“When I look at what we’re doing, I can’t believe this has all happened to us in the last six months.”

  • Matthew Pagan has revealed how he faced every singer’s worst nightmare – losing his voice – and faced a race against time to record Collabro’s debut album.

The Carlisle singer was struck down with laryngitis as Collabro prepared to enter the recording studio to put down tracks for their first album Stars.

Mattnew had to see a specialist and followed doctor’s orders, trying not to talk wherever possible to allow his throat to recover.

He said: “I had laryngitis. I was off for five days which left me with just two days to record my parts of the album.

“That was on the Monday before last when it came on and it took me until the Sunday to be clear of it.

“When you’ve had a really bad throat you know it doesn’t come back straight away. I lost my voice. I had to go and see a laryngologist and had a camera put down my throat. With these things they always get worse before they get better.

“I had a very faint talking voice for a time but now I’m back on our busy schedule, everything is fine.”

He added: “I had to do my bits for the album last of all. It was tough but all the lads were behind the screens in the studio, they were really supportive.”

Matt enjoyed recording the album.

He said: “We’ve been recording it in a studio in Woking. It’s the first time I’ve been in a professional studio like that. When I was doing the pubs and clubs I had time in a studio but nothing like this. It was scary but exciting.

“You sing behind screens and then you’re able to sit and watch how it has all come across on screens and computers before it comes together. We did it last week, sometimes we’d be in there for 10 hours a day.”

Tracks on the album – due to be released on July 28 – include the title song Stars from Les Miserables, which Collabro performed in the live final of the TV talent contest.

The song helped scoop them the £250,000 jackpot and a prized performance slot at this year’s Royal Variety Performance.

Others include Les Miserables Bring Him Home, Let it Go from the Disney smash hit film Frozen, Somewhere from West Side Story and Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz.

“My favourite song on the album is With You from Ghost the musical,” Matt said.

“It is an amazing song, so emotional too.

“I start the song and when we were recording it I was being encouraged to think about someone I’d lost. Anyone who has heard the song will relate to it. I’ve lost my grandad and I had that in my mind when I was recording my part.”



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