Next month, Seal is launching a 30th anniversary tour to mark the anniversaries of both his 1991 self-titled debut album and its 1994 follow-up, Seal II. But while Seal II provided him with his Grammy-winning hit “Kiss From a Rose,” he says he really wasn’t thrilled with the song at first.
“I didn’t particularly care for the song that much, and that was more to do with how I saw myself at the time,” Seal tells the Switched on Pop podcast. “I was listening to lots of Hendrix and Zeppelin and dance music.”
He added, “I liked [‘Kiss From a Rose’], but it wasn’t one of my favorites, and it wasn’t how I felt that I wanted to be portrayed as an artist … I wasn’t particularly fond of the song.” But, he says, when he heard what producer Trevor Horn did with it, he was “bowled over.”
Today, he says, “I think it’s a decent song, obviously … and also it’s an unusual song, in that there isn’t anything else that sounds quite like it. First of all, it’s a waltz — and up until ‘Kiss From a Rose,’ there weren’t many waltzes that made it into popular music.”
Then there’s the layered vocal arrangement, which Seal reveals was inspired by a legendary rock group.
“Thinking about it now, [it] was probably influenced by Crosby, Stills & Nash. Maybe that’s where that love of, or certainly the attraction to, that style of layering came from,” he says. “One of my big influences when I was getting my songwriting career together was [CSN]. They have really beautiful harmonic melodies, but also they’re quite rhythmic.”
His 30th anniversary tour starts April 25 in Phoenix, Arizona, and wraps up in Seattle, Washington, on June 12.
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