Years and years ago (some of you were not even born) it was on the streets of Dublin’s inner city around the famous James’ Street that the “gangly, skinny kid” Danny O’Donoghue met Mark Sheehan, the go-to guy of the area.
At 19 Mark was already managing (or at least teaching in) a dance studio at the Digges Lane performing arts school that gave quick ways to talents like the very handsome Colin Farrell among many others like Prince Naseem. (Which news confuse me: a boxer from Sheffield is an unlikely addition to the dance studio of Dublin but that’s the rumour.)
“A friend told me about a guy in Digges Lane selling music equipment – it was Mark. I’d also heard about him as a hip hop dancer. Anyone who was cool around that time was doing something in Digges Lane.” says Danny. So even though he was from a quieter area in the south of Dublin, for the sake of becoming cool Danny ended up spending his time on James’ Street, too.
The two of them with Paul Walker and Terry Daly were put together by Eamonn Maguire as an Irish boyband following the successes of the likes of N’Sync and Backstreet Boys. They wrote a couple of songs (already keeping the control of doing all writing and producing themselves), made some videos (if you wanna cringe at how the 90’s looked, check them out on youtube!) and got signed by U2’s manager Paul McGuinness to Universal Records with the most lucrative deal in Ireland at that time.
The band spent a fun 2 years in the US and around the world working with the likes of Teddy Riley and Boyz II Men, who were their idols at the time. They also met and collaborated with Rodney Alejandro, their now touring keyboardist. After the singles though the label finally pulled out of their record. “I think that we were too R’n’B for the English market at the time and not R’n’B enough for the American market.” says Danny.
“Myself and Danny thought that we had something but – and it’s a stereotypical story – it got changed all the time. They changed what we had and, in the end, we just lost heart. We thought, ‘Fuck it! We’ll get out of here’.” explains Mark.
The end of MyTown has left Mark and Danny with great contacts and a burning desire to make it.
Next: US production