Seal was born in Great Britain, but as a current resident of Los Angeles he felt the “collective consciousness” that led to the election of Barack Obama as presi- dent last November in the U.S.
That’s what inspired the singer to record Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” one of the 12 R&B covers on his latest album, “Soul.”
“The initial inspiration came from what I perceived to be a collective consciousness of people,” explains Seal, 46, who was born Seal Henry Samuel, “not only in America but around the world, saying, ‘Look, the whole place is in turmoil, the economy’s in the toilet, people are reckless, frustrated and irresponsible ...’
“And I think the collective got together, realizing there’s something that needed to change and they put enough energy out there and hoped for a leader and change and ... the call was answered.”
“Soul,” which Seal recorded with producer David Foster, features another civil rights anthem, the Impressions’ “People Get Ready,” as well as other favorites by James Brown, Otis Redding, Al Green and others. “It was a case of not trying to reinvent the wheel, as that wasn’t necessary,” Seal explains, “but instead trying to pick the songs that David and I collectively felt best showcased his arrangement skills, his musicianship and my voice.”
Seal — who has two young sons with his wife, supermodel Heidi Klum — says he’s comfortably playing the “Soul” material alongside “Crazy,” “Kiss From a Rose” and other hits from his five previous albums. “I don’t see why these songs can’t co-exist with my existing stuff,” he says. “We’ll just move some things around and make them really fit seamlessly.”
And, he adds, a second volume of “Soul” covers is also possible. “Yeah, who knows,” Seal notes with a laugh. “You know me; I change my mind all the time.”
Seal performs at 9 p.m. Friday (April 3) at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor, 377 Riverside Drive East, Windsor. Tickets are approximately $36.50 and $46. Call (888) 245-5885 or visit www.caesarswindsor.com.
Send your thoughts and comments to