I think you should always challenge yourself in life. Sometimes it will be tough but you get through it, and when you do it’s so rewarding.
When was your toughest time?
Things didn’t come as easily for me as people might think.At 19, I’d dropped out of university twice and I was just dreaming of music all the time.
I bought a PA system and gigged around Ireland. My mum said: “Just go for it – give yourself five years and see what happens.”
It felt like it was never going to happen, and it was towards the end of those five years that I auditioned for The Saturdays.
Didn’t you audition for Popstars in Ireland in 2001 alongside Girls Aloud star Nadine Coyle?
I did, and I got down to the last 32. Louis Walsh was on the panel, and he said to me: “I see you more as a solo act and not part of a group,” so I went away from that feeling like the world had ended.
You’re touring the UK in June, playing intimate venues – how does that feel compared to the big arenas you were used to with The Saturdays?
Coming out as a solo artist means starting completely from scratch again. As a spectator, I prefer seeing my favourite artists in small places.
What’s your new single Never See Me Cry about?
It’s a very feisty pop song. I take my songwriting inspiration from the world around me. A couple of my friends are in quite bad relationships at the moment, and they feel Never See Me Cry is an uplifting anthem for them to finally say “f**k you” to their partners.
Will The Saturdays ever get back together?
I don’t really know if or when we will, but I hope we do, that’s all I can say. I don’t know how everyone else feels. We don’t talk about it – we do talk, but we never bring that subject up. It’s just not on the cards.
How often do you see each other?
We live in different places, so I don’t see the girls much. We used to spend every day together and it was a great seven years, but our kids don’t know each other.
How do you and your husband, rugby player Ben Foden, 32, balance family life?
My daughter Aoife is six and at school, and my son Tadhg is three and at nursery. We’re lucky because Ben’s job means he can do a lot of the pick-ups and drop-offs, so we make it work like everyone else.
There was a bit of a furore earlier this year after you posted a photo of Aoife wearing make-up…
Yes, I felt it was a bit unnecessary. I’d put a very light amount of make-up on her. It was a really happy moment and Aoife was enjoying herself. So many keyboard warriors came out, I disabled the comments because I didn’t need the negativity in my life.
Did it put you off sharing snaps?
No. Instagram’s for everyone. Everyone puts pictures up of their children, so I don’t see how it should be any different for me!
- Una’s new single Never See Me Cry is out now.
- Thanks to Escape Rooms, Angel (Escaperooms.co.uk)
- Una used to be an all-Ireland swim champ.
- She wrote her first song, I Miss You, at 12 after her grandad passed away.
- She was a coach for two years on the Irish version of The Voice and says it was her “perfect job”.
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