This is the story of a boy with an extraordinary1 voice
Declan Galbraith (born on December 19, 1991) and his family live in the small town of Hoo, near Rochester, Kent. His father is of Scottish descent, while his mother comes from an Irish family. Declan lived with Ben, his grandfather, since he was six months old. Ben sang in a band and often took Declan along to the bars he was playing in.
“I would sit there for hours watching Poppy Ben and the musicians, and listening to their music,” says Declan. The explosive mix of Scottish and Irish musical traditions inspired Declan and became his early musical influence. He remembers himself already singing at the age of two. He adds, “These are some of my very first memories in life—always singing.”
Declan’s talent was publicly acknowledged2 for the first time when at just 7 years old he performed at the annual Rochester Dickens Festival3. Little Declan, dressed up as a chimney sweep, started singing and the crowd went wild. Soon after this he started to enter local talent contests and within a year he had won 16 titles and more than ￡100,000.
Since then he has gone on to record a version of “Walking in the Air” which was released on the same Christmas album as Westlife. In a short period of time, Declan has become a well-known celebrity and has appeared in numerous television programs, newspapers and radio shows all over the UK and Ireland. Unfortunately Ben died before he could see Declan's success, however，Declan cites him as his strongest musical influence.
His first album Declan was out in 2002. It was a big hit and charted in the U.K. and Ireland. Another big success came during a nationwide tour of Young Voices concerts when breaking the Guinness World Record. Not only does Declan possess an extraordinary vocal talent but the range of music he sings is both diverse and unusual for such a young boy of his age.
His mother said, “As parents, it has always been the biggest concern to ensure that irrespective of4 his talent and success, Declan would not lose touch with the real world, and to remain a normal young man. We know he has an extraordinary talent and he has set himself a very high goal.”
Now, several years later, Declan has made music and singing his full-time career. In cooperation with multi-platinum5 German producer Ully Jonas, the resulting album, entitled Thank You, was released in December, 2006. Of this album Declan says, “I like to record songs that are meaningful to me and the audience. I have recorded many different types of songs, such as ‘Tears in Heaven’, ‘Love of my Life’, and ‘An Angel’, songs that demand vocal performance and interpretation6. I love that kind of music.”
Declan is determined to keep his feet firmly on the ground and knows that it is important to keep up with all of his schoolwork and education. He is also anxious to record new songs that he can claim to be his very own and perhaps one day he’ll even write them himself. “So far I have been able to realize my dream of making music and singing. I am now playing guitar and the piano and have also started to write my own songs. One day I would also like to develop other skills and perhaps do some acting as well.”
In daily life, Declan is like most other 16 year old boys. He loves computer games, swimming, cycling and football. He is a very simple but filial7 boy. He wishes to gain enough money so that his parents needn’t work any more, he also wants to buy a new car for his father.
NEAR TO DECLAN
Strong voice, super songs and charts success. Declan is only 16—and has already got what a star needs! In front of the camera he’s already a Profi8. Smiles, pulls faces, rocks with his guitar. Stage-fright? No way! With 10 years he got his first record deal, short time later he was even allowed to sing in front of the English Queen. Now with 16, Music world is on his feet. But how is this Boy really? What does he think about girls? He told us...
Q: You’re still so young, and already so successful, aren’t you afraid to lose the ground9?
Declan: No absolutely not. It’s a bit stupid of course to say “I’ll never ever lose ground under the feet”, but I don’t wanna think I’m something better ’cause I’m just a normal 16 years old boy. Besides that my parents look after me staying on the ground—especially my mum.
Q: Do you have strict parents?
Declan: No. I’m actually allowed to do everything—apart from smoking, having wild parties and coming home totally drunk.
Q: Are you looking for a girlfriend?
Declan: Well, it’s not like I wake up one day, step in front of the door like:“today I’m gonna look for a girl.” But I wouldn’t mind if a girl would find me.
Q: Tell us about your first real love!
Declan: There was a totally cute girl in my school. I saw her like every day and was totally in love. I wanted to talk to her all the time but I didn’t really dare all the time because I’m really shy. But then I invited her to the cinema and guess what: she said yes. During the performance I’ve tried all the time to put my arm around her but I didn’t dare to. We just stayed friends then. Sometimes I’m mad at myself for being so shy.
Q: Did you have heart aching after this?
Declan: Sure it hurts but I didn’t fall into a deep hole. But I was a little bit sad of course.
Q: Do you have any tips against heart aching?
Declan: Well the worst thing you can do is to watch romantic movies, you should do something with friends or family, that works for sure.
Q: Though you have success you’re a totally normal teenager?
Declan: Yes of course! Maybe a lot of people think that’s not a normal life but what is normal? Some teens become profi football players with 14 or 15 and I have a record deal, I don’t see there’s much difference between actually.
Q: Do you actually still have spare time?
Declan: Sure, just not as regular as other people. Sometimes I have four months I have nothing to do and then there are six weeks which are very stressful. But I have time to relax.
Q: And what are you doing in your spare time then?
Declan: I have to learn for school of course and doing homework, but when I’m done with it, I play football with my cousins, that’s my second huge passion after the music.
1. extraordinary adj. 非凡的；特殊的
2. acknowledge v. 承认
4. irrespective of 不管；不顾 irrespective
5. platinum n. 白金
6. interpretation n. 演绎
7. filial adj. 孝顺的
8. profi=professional 专家
9. lose ground失去地盘，失利