SEAL ONLY WANTS TO RELEASE SINGLES, NOT ALBUMS: ‘THE MUSIC BECOMES MORE EXCITING BECAUSE IT’S FRESHER’
Now that his Warner Bros. deal is up, the singer is also done with major labels.
In the midst of touring to support his latest album, 2015's 7, Seal is advising fans not to hold their breath waiting for the next one.
"I won't be making albums in the same way. I will be releasing songs," the singer tells Billboard. "I think there's an immediacy and a freedom which comes with that, to release music as and when I see fit. The playing field is different these days. The concept of going into a studio for however long and making a concept album, so to speak, I don't know if that's relevant these days or if indeed that is practical to do. It's certainly not so effective." 7 is also Seal's final album in his deal with Warner Bros., and he adds: "I don't intend on signing with another major [label]. It's not something I really want to do."
If all goes as planned, it won't be long before new music from Seal starts to surface, either. "There are a ton of songs, absolutely," he says. "I have a ton of ideas, and some pretty interesting collaborative opportunities. If anything, I think the music becomes more exciting because it's fresher. There's a kind of refreshing rawness about it. It doesn't get overcooked, overbaked and is not necessarily refined or finished as it would be when an album is released. And there's something to be said for that."
The move comes at an auspicious time for Seal: It's been 25 years since the release of his self-titled debut album, a platinum set that launched the hit "Crazy." Seal's not one for nostalgia or sentimentality, but the mark is not lost on him as he tours the globe this year.
"One thing that's really changed is I think I love it more now than I did back then," he says. "I loved it quite a lot then, but it always seemed to be a labor of love back then, and now it's a privilege to do the things I love. Just being able to do something that you love doing, something that you feel like you were put on this Earth to do and to do that with some success, I think that's one of the greatest things you could ever hope for. It's not a birthright, you know? It's a privilege, because so many people aren't doing the thing that they love. So that's the key difference between myself then and now, is that I think I appreciate it more now. But at the same time I don't take it as seriously as I used to take it, and that's probably why I enjoy it more."
He's certainly happy about the response he's receiving on tour: He's already been through Europe and will be out in North America through Sept. 4. He's experimenting with a new presentation that includes an engineer doing some mixing and sound design in real-time in addition to the live musicians onstage, but crowds have been supportive of it and have welcomed the 7 material into his repertoire.
"It's a pretty eclectic mix of showcasing both my new and old material," he says. "I'm doing a hybrid of embracing technology from the visual standpoint and also from the sonic standpoint, but with real musicians as well. Ultimately it's designed around the song. The song is of paramount importance to me, but it's also designed to keep us interested because we have to be enthused and inspired by it. If we're not, I don't really expect anyone else to be."
Seal finds it "ridiculous" that people are interesting in him becoming a father again.
The 52-year-old soul singer already has sons Henry and Johan along with daughter Lou from his marriage to supermodel Heidi Klum, and is also a father figure to Heidi’s daughter Helene. Seal is now dating another fashion star, Australian beauty Erica Packer, and reports are circulating that she's carrying his child.
"Ah, you've read the rumours!" he grinned coyly to Details magazine when quizzed on becoming a dad for the fourth time. "I'm going to be annoying and say if you read it in a magazine... The fact that people are even remotely interested in if I'm becoming a father again is ridiculous."
While he didn't want to get stuck into the topic of his fertility, Seal did note that he hopes lots of babies have been conceived to his music, such as romantic track Kiss from a Rose. The musician has other things to think about at the moment though, such as releasing his ninth album titled 7 on Friday (06Nov15). One track is called The Big Love Has Died and many believe it's about his nuptials to Heidi ending. The pair tied the knot in Mexico in May 2005 and divorced in 2012.
"I wouldn't say that," Seal said when asked about the song rumours. "I never explain songs, because I think that takes something from them. I want listeners to attach their own, personal experiences.
"I always think if people are vaguely interested in what goes on in my life, they can listen and form their own opinions."
One person whose songwriting skills Seal is a big fan of is Joni Mitchell's, who has hits including Big Yellow Taxi and Woodstock. He believes she has an autobiographical approach to penning lyrics which reaches out to him.
"I felt that she was singing to me about my life and that she just understood," he added. (Bron: Music News)
Seal says. “ I tried to capture all of the wonderfully different dynamics of love, whether it’s the anger, the acceptance, the bliss, the sadness, the elation, or the recklessness. It’s this emotion and the ways it makes us feel. It’s about the extreme joy and the extreme regret as well as all of the crazy things love makes us do.”
In order to properly tell this tale, Seal reunited with his longtime collaborator, the producer Trevor Horn, continuing a storied partnership that began with his debut, 1991’s platinum-certified Seal, followed by the quadruple-platinum Seal II (1994), the gold-selling Human Being (1998), Seal IV (2003), and most recently Soul 2 (2011).
“We barely spoke about music in the studio,” Seal says of his time with Horn. “ We talked more about life and our relationship over the years. He just understands how to place my voice. On the one hand, you have this elaborate production and signature of Trevor Horn, but you never lose sight of what it is I’m saying. That’s the narrative. There’s no producer who understands how to sustain and keep focused on the narrative of my voice and what I’m trying to say better than Trevor does. He pushes me, and we left it all on the court. He taught me a work ethic and approach to making records that will stay with me until the day I die.”
Originally born in London, Seal’s inimitable voice was first heard on Adamski’s 1991 club smash “Killer.” Another Top 10 hit “Crazy” arrived shortly thereafter as Seal went on to achieve global acclaim with his debut, even winning the prestigious BRIT Award for “Best British Male” in 1992. Hits such as “Kiss From a Rose” would turn him into a superstar as he received three Grammy Awards in the categories of “Song of the Year,” “Record of the Year,” and “Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.” His worldwide album sales exceed 30 million to date. Outside of the studio and beyond the stage, Seal served as a coach on The Voice Australia during 2012 and 2013.
Meer info: Warner Music