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Solid gold Seal

After putting the vocal spark into Adamskis single ‘Killer, SEAL is now stalking the charts with his first solo single ‘Crazy. Nicky Carvey gives him her seal of approval. Performing Seal pics: Paul Morgan

Back in the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, 27-year-old Seal stepped from obscurity and a squat in Willesden into the limelight as the smooth vocalist on Adamskis ‘Killer.

The tall, striking singer seemed to have appeared from nowhere. Adamskis record company were unable to come up with anything on him apart from an unlikely story about the two men meeting in a muddy field. As the single became entrenched at Number One and Seals warm voice came to epitomise the luxurious, long hot summer, the man himself remained a bit of a mystery. For Adamskis follow-up. Seals golden larynx was replaced by the icy tones of the keyboard wizard and aspiring pin-up himself and Seal was but a memory.

Yet here was more than just another clubland discovery. Born in Paddington, hed recently been a part-time member of acid jazz outfit Push, singing with them at various gigs and accompanying them on a Japanese tour last year.

Staying in the Far East for much of 1989, Seal arrived back and met up with Adamski while out clubbing. One Sunday afternoon on Clapham Common, where dance fans gathered after ‘Sunrise raves, a mutual friend heard a demo on a Walkman and whisked it off to Adamski. He liked it and invited Seal to work with him.

Despite weeks at the coveted Number One slot, there were soon reports flying around that Seal was miffed about the lack of credit he got for ‘Killer (he not only sang on the track, he also wrote the lyrics). The controversy was fuelled by the fact that much of the public was unaware of Seals input and identity (he was often mistaken for Adamski) and also that he had chosen to sign a solo deal with ZTT instead of Adamskis label, MCA.

Sitting in the back room of a photographic studio, Seal is jetlagged following a recent trip to LA, and its plain hes bored stiff with repeating the Adamski saga, as he looks ahead to the release of his debut single ‘Crazy.

“Were reconciled now. I performed ‘Killer at his gig at the Town & Country: it was wicked. man,”

“‘Crazy is about taking chances, people following their instincts and sometimes doing things that other people would regard as crazy.”

Laid-back, sulky, fun-loving, generous and philosophical. Seal is disorganised, dedicated to his music and 100 per cent slammin!


Though he hasnt yet passed his driving test, Seal has no problems getting around town. Standing six foot four in his steelcapped motorcycle boots, hes a big lad, and into bikes in an even bigger way.

“Ive always been into speed — fast cars, fast bikes … Well, its more exciting. I had a Honda before and now Ive got a VS 750 US Custom which is like a specialised custom bike. I havent come off this one, but Ive got two scars and a big hole in my knee from when I came off a bike in Asia. I was on my way to a gig to do some Barry Manilow covers — I needed to earn some money and thats what they wanted. In America I rode the most bitchin Harleys, ‘cause a lot of my friends had them. Its brilliant out there, Mickey Rourke and his cronies just hang out with their bikes on Sunset Boulevard and stuff. I mean, the guy who designed Harley Davidsons did not design it for you to be sitting on it like a plonker with a helmet.”


“Arent you gonna ask me about sex?” asks Seal, breaking into his distinctive husky cackle of a laugh, which only the hardest of hearts would not warm to. Currently young, free and single, hes certainly not reticent on the subject of love and affection. Throw in a few remarks about multiple orgasms and youll have his undivided attention. But what exactly does someone who describes himself as “a loyal kinda guy” look for in a female?

“I suppose shes got to be fairly attractive, fun to be with and someone who doesnt hassle me about coming in from the studio late. The last girl I had was a career girl, really strong-willed, sure of herself, beautiful and very sexy — and that always helps.”

How does fame affect relationships? “Its really difficult to keep one going ‘cause after you sign, every man and his dog are on your tip. And its true about what they say that all of a sudden there are loads of women, and if youre in a relationship the person youre with tends to get really insecure. But Im quite particular about the girls I go for. Im not really into women throwing themselves at me. I remember I was at this gig in Brighton and there were these three girls at the front literally trying to pull my trousers off and I found that a bit shocking actually. It was something Id always been aware of but until it actually happens to you …”

Surrounding himself with various electronic gadgets — Psion Organiser, DAT Walkman and mobile phone — Seals other constant companion is his trusty guitar. Removing it from a slick leathercase, he strums away unself-consciously, performing an impromptu acoustic version of ‘Crazy.

“I just pick it up every day and eventually I want to end up on stage with it. I do acoustic versions of all my tracks so you can get the feel of them in the rawer form. Its nice to have an instrument to write from, it roots you and gives some kind of continuity to your songs. Before, I just used to write from my vocals — once youve got a topic you start imagining textures like with ‘Crazy. Once Id got the lyrics the music just followed.

“The music I most enjoy is stuff that paints pictures for you. Id like my music and lyrics to work hand in hand and people just get off on it.”


Informing me that he made his well-worn leather coat, it would seem that music isnt the only string to Seals bow. He may not have worked in McDonalds, but hes served his time in jobs outside the music industry.

“I was involved in fashion for a while; I worked for a designer in the Kings Road, who was really big; I used to do the pattern cutting for all his clothes. I was also a sticker boy [putting up notices in telephone boxes advertising ‘Sexy Young Model etc] which was quite a thrill.

I got to meet the ladies of the night and chat with them, they were really cool. It made me see what they did in a different light. In fact, one or two of them were quite horny.”


While dabbling with crystals and astrology have become the in-thing in the New Age Nineties, Seals fascination with the ‘alternative is more substantial. He does actually know what hes talking about …

“Im quite into astrology because Im sure it has an affect on everyday life and peoples characters. I was born on the 19th February which makes me an Aquarian but Im on the cusp of Pisces. I read this book called ‘Sexual Astrology which tells you what kind of gadgets youre into. Apparently Aquarians are supposed to be into this ancient Chinese box that has two wires attached to it and you attach one end to one particular part of your anatomy, and the other to a different part and you switch it on and it sends electrical shocks …”

Besides music, Seals other interests include comics. One of his regular haunts is Londons Forbidden Planet comic shop

“I used to buy comics when I was about 15, 16, but then I stopped. Ive recently started again in the last two years — sci-fi things like ‘Heavy Metal, ‘Rank Xerox, ‘Watchman. Its good escapism from reality.

“I saw this film called ‘Darkman when I was in the States which was quite funny and I think thats been taken from a comic. It was about a guy who discovered a way to build living, breathing skin …”


Seal wasnt looking for someone to produce ‘Crazy, but after getting on well with Trevor Horn, they agreed to work together in Los Angeles.

“Its hard but its gotta be done,” he says. “I stayed in a wicked house that Trevor had rented out there, in Laurel Canyon, which is down the road from where Jack Nicholson and people live. It had a pool, jacuzzi, tennis courts, all those boring things. One night the alarm got set off by accident and the security guy came up with the police and I was called outside and had to kneel on the ground and answer questions about why someone with my particular hairstyle was in a house like that. The security guy had his hand on his holster and was looking pretty trigger happy so I decided not to do anything to upset him. He was really pissed off that it wasnt an ‘actual [real burglary].”


Having enjoyed living large and checking out the nightlife in LA, Seal is no wallflower. And although he now hasnt as much time for going out and about, his roots are still in club culture.

“Clubs are a great way of spending time but I dont have much time any more. If I do I find myself doing the same things and talking to the same people — or rather not talking to people because the musics so loud. One thing that really pisses me off about clubs is that you can only get pissed or get high and dance. Im involved with a new club venture where itll be more relaxed — therell be an acoustic room, films and somewhere you can actually have a conversation with someone. Ill also be performing there like every month or so. But thats all on hold at the moment because of my music.”