UK Singing legend Seal follows up his bestselling 2008 compilation of Soul covers with the release of Soul II which sees the 48-year-old team up with producer David Foster and belt versions of such classics as ‘Let’s Stay Together,’ ‘Wishing On A Star’ and ‘Love Don’t Live Here Anymore.’
TaleTela were thrilled to be given the chance to talk to the star about the project, today’s music scene and more…
With such an extensive range of amazing soul tracks to choose from, how did you manage to narrow it down to 11 for Soul II?
These are the songs that I grew up with. I remember my mother playing those songs for me when I was small – I think I was about four-years-old, as she would sit by her sewing machine, because she was a wig maker in the 60’s.
Tackling such famous, and widely known classics by Al Green and Marvin Gaye for the LP, were you ever intimidated covering them?
There was a sense of intimidation with the first record, but not so much with this disc. There were times the first time round when I was singing certain tracks like ‘It’s A Man’s World’ where I was afraid that people wouldn’t be thinking about me as they listened to the song, they would obviously be thinking about the legend that is James Brown.
But I soon realised that it was OK, I wanted these songs to be about the vocal. I love these songs; I wanted the main focus to be on the vocal and the songs themselves. That’s the reason I still make music, I don’t sing for the money – I don’t have to anymore. Some of the songs on the record were sung by women and so I had to sing the whole song in a falsetto – which was hard.
To many radio listeners you are still that guy who sung ‘Kiss From A Rose’ does that irk you at all?
I really don’t mind, I am lucky to have a song that is considered an anthem. An artist is lucky to have one song like that in their entire career. I am performing it again live at the BBC proms tonight in fact.
What are your thoughts on the quote: “Most music made after the year 2000 is not really worth listening to?”
(Laughs) Did I say that?
No, I can’t remember who said it…but what do you think about that statement?
I think most modern chart music is less about songs and more about jingles. I think that there are no real songs within most music today but I like Dubstep, I like Drum ‘n’ Bass…I originally started out in dance music.
My first track ‘Killer’ with Adamski was actually banned on Radio One because a politician’s daughter died taking ecstasy at a rave and so no one was touching anything that had to do with club culture…but it eventually crept into the charts with virtually no radio play.
27-years-ago I was listening to albums of real songs, like 45 minutes of real songs that changed my whole outlook on the world. I don’t really listen to much of that chart stuff but my children do.
So what kind of music are you listening to?
The pop songs that are out nowadays that I do like are based on classical music, I love Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ that song has like four hooks in it and it clearly follows a classical song structure. I don’t actually know if she wrote that track. I think I met one of the writers on the panel of a music showcase we were both at and I remember congratulating her. I also love ‘Firework,’ it’s a great album and I think she should have won Album of the Year at the Grammys.
I like Amy Winehouse, there is no one like her and there never will be. Back To Black is just…I remember listening to ‘Love Is A Losing Game’ for the first time and it just broke my heart just listening to it.
I love Radiohead. I think Thom Yorke has one of the best voices ever and I loved their last album The King of Limbs. I bought the new album that Kate Bush just released, I although I haven’t listened to it yet.