Record-breaking Priests compose song for new album 'Harmony'

 The Priests, who broke the record for the fastest selling classical debut album of all time, speak about their new album 'Harmony' released today, in an interview for ICN with Mary Wang.  Brothers Fathers Martin and Eugene O'Hagan and Father David Delargy have sung together for years. They recently composed music for the song 'King of Kings' on the new album.

"We're very pleased with the end result," said Fr David. "When we went to Abbey Road Studios where the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra were recording for the album, that was the first song that we heard when we went through the door. So it was very exciting for us to hear what we had collectively come up with around the piano."

Their new album was produced by Mike Hedges who has worked with U2 and Dido.

"We don't take for granted for a minute that it'll be as successful as the first," said Fr Eugene. "It might be, it might not, but I suppose really that's not our main goal."

Speaking in the luxury Royal Garden Hotel near the Sony offices in London, the Priests couldn't seem further from home. Yet they are not letting fame go to their heads. Proceeds from the sale of the album will go to good causes through their charity The Priests Charitable Trust.

Asked if it was a hard decision to give away much of their profits, Fr David said:  "it was something we wanted to do and we said from the word go that we would give money to charity. I guess it always involves a certain amount of self-sacrifice. We're all inclined to think of ourselves and our own needs, and you have to set those aside and think of the needs of people who are in greater need than yourself."

The Priests' audiences have included the President of Ireland and the Queen. When asked whether he was more nervous singing or preaching, Fr Martin replied: "preaching in front of your peers is probably the most difficult of all. I remember as a deacon getting up for the very first time and preaching in front of my own colleagues and it was pretty nerve-racking.there's always a sense of adrenaline, whether it's before celebrating Mass or going out to sing at a concert. So yes, there's always a little nervousness there, but it's good because it keeps you on your toes and helps you to think things through very carefully."

The Priests' debut album has sold almost two million copies. Despite their success, they never allow their music commitments to stand in the way of their parish obligations in Northern Ireland. Fr Martin explained that Christmas preparations in the parish would involve the choir, folk group, and schools' nativity plays, "so there are lots of different little preparations I suppose, all working together to promote the whole message of Christmas," he said. The trio will, of course, be singing themselves during Mass in their parishes over the Christmas period.



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