Soundtrack Of My Life: Rylan

Cheeky chappy off the telly whose heart is in Ibiza

The song I can’t get out of my head

Armand Van Helden and Brittles – ‘The Promoter’

“I heard it once and I was like ‘is this a song?’ It was a bit like ‘Biology’ by Girls Aloud: the first time you hear it, you’re like ‘this is wrong, this don’t sound right’. And then you hear it three or four times, and you think it’s one of the best songs ever. Now I just keep hearing the lyrics in my head: ‘Do you want that table in VIP? No, on the dance floor is where I wanna be.‘”

The first gig I went to

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Spice Girls – Wembley Stadium, September 1998

“I’ve still got the ticket. I was gutted because Geri [Halliwell] had left [by this point] but when I got there it was amazing. I remember being stood on this chair – they had these fold-down chairs on the pitch – and my cousin was holding my back because she was so scared I was gonna fall down. I was screaming so loud and jumping around so much that I fell down anyway and I just didn’t care. It was like nothing I’d experienced before.”

The first song I fell in love with

Pet Shop Boys – ‘West End Girls’

“My mum used to DJ at pubs in the East End so she always had loads of vinyl. There are two songs I remember loving: ‘West End Girls’ [by Pet Shop Boys] and ‘Frozen’ by Madonna. They’re both really hypnotic-sounding and I can remember listening to them for hours on end on this old pair of shitty headphones. The wire was so short that I literally had my face pressed up against the record player! Does my mum still DJ? Nah, I’m the DJ of the family now.”

The first album I bought

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Spice Girls – ‘Spice’

“It was the day of my communion so my brother took me to Virgin Megastore on Oxford Street. I got a three-disc CD player and ‘Spice’, it was a highlight of my life. You can’t pick between the singles on this album because they’re all iconic – you just can’t – but the album track ‘Naked’ is a favourite of mine.”

The song I wish I’d written

Sigala and Becky Hill – ‘Wish You Well’

“I mean, I can either go business or personal here, can’t I? If it was business, I’d say something by The Beatles because then I’d be fucking minted. But personally, I’d have to say ‘Wish You Well’ by Becky Hill. It’s a song that resonates with me a lot: the lyrics, the track, everything. And she is fucking brilliant – justice for Becky Hill!”

​​The song I do at karaoke

Craig David – ‘Fill Me In’

“I don’t know why, but when I’ve been out at karaoke, I’ve always done ‘Fill Me In’ or ‘Smooth’ by Santana and Rob Thomas. But weirdly enough, a few years ago I actually got to sing ‘Fill Me In’ with Craig David on my radio show, which was quite funny. Did he like it? He loved it!”

The song I can no longer listen to

Donna Lewis – ‘I Love You Always Forever’

“I fucked myself up, basically, by having all my favourite songs at my wedding. ‘Lola’s Theme’ by Shapeshifters was another one we had at the wedding that I can’t listen to now – it’s fucking gutting [Rylan was divorced from former Big Brother contestant Dan Neal in 2021]. But someone decided to put a remix of ‘I Love You Always Forever’ on an advert last year when I was having my breakdown. And that really wasn’t great; I was like ‘thank you very much’.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Solu Music ft. Kimblee – ‘Fade’

“I just love this song. I can literally close my eyes and I’m in Ibiza. It reminds me of so many things: some good, some bad, some I’d rather forget. But I think my best era for going out clubbing was when I really shouldn’t have been – when I was about 16. I really loved dancing to all that late 2000s funky house stuff: ‘Lola’s Theme’, ‘I Just Can’t Get Enough’ by Herd & Fitz, ‘Love Has Gone’ by Dave Armstrong and Redroche – that was a fucking tune.”

The song that reminds me of home

Patrice Rushen – ‘Forget Me Nots’

“This is one of two songs that I can remember my mum playing all the time when I was growing up. The other is ‘I Love To Love (But My Baby Loves to Dance)’ by Tina Charles. They’re both really great songs but I think ‘Forget Me Nots’ deserves a remake at the minute, or at least to be sampled again.”

The song I want played at my funeral

All Saints – ‘Pure Shores’

“When someone asks me what my favourite song is, ‘Pure Shores’ always comes to mind. I just think it’s really beautiful: the vocals, the layering, everything. And it’s a song you can listen to in the summer, which is when it’s intended for, but also in the winter. William Orbit produced it and I love his work. I’ve always loved All Saints as well and I think their new stuff is fucking brilliant.”

‘An Evening With Rylan’ takes place at Glasgow Saint Luke’s on October 5. ‘TEN’, Rylan’s new book, is available now in hardback

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