Talk time: Sealhenry Samuel
British singer Seal’s latest album—
As an early adopter, has the net lived up to your expectations? Absolutely. It has eliminated the “rock star”. It has bridged the gap between the listener and the artist. It has set new rules and a new order and is saying that if all you are doing is making music we can get that, you have to give more. We have to be able to almost reach out and touch you. You can’t be aloof any more.
What about piracy? You have to become a brand that people subscribe to, in the same way you would subscribe to a monthly magazine. They’ve got to like what you’re about rather than just your music. If we’re just selling the music, then people will just download it. So in becoming that brand and becoming that philosophy, people perceive the value, and they want to buy it. They won’t want to steal it.
Does this mean the end of the CD? Ultimately, I feel that music will move to a time when there is no physical inventory. I think CDs will die out. If you talk to a kid in eight years time they will say: “What, you used to have these things? You used to have to physically carry music around? How bizarre!”
What might replace them? I believe that eventually music will be just like satellite TV, just like the BBC Archive and HBO on demand—
Microsoft or Apple? I’m a Mac devotee and it’s not because they give me free gear or anything like that! Their advances into technology are superb. Their initiative towards dealing with the whole copyright violation issue in music is unbelievable. The Microsoft operating system can never be as intuitive as OSX or Apple. The smartest thing Apple ever did was that they decided, “Right, OK, we need to rebuild the OS from the ground up. Throw everything out of the window.”
Instant messaging? I use iChat. My last album—
- BBC archive
- HBO On Demand