“My songs are like kids, I love them all, I encourage them to grow, to reach their full potential, and then send them out into the world” - Seal
Seal – British Soul
Seal is one of UK music’s most popular soul singer has what has been probably described a voice which is a gift from the heavens. The melodic, soulful and falsetto voice is one of the most easy recognizable in recorded music. At his peak in the 90s Seal sold millions of albums world wide and is known as much for his music as he is for marrying German supermodel Heidi Klum.
The Voice of an Angel
His origins lie with Acid House and dance music, the burgeoning dance scene of the London underground. Seal is probably best known for his global chart topping and Grammy award winning single “Kiss from a Rose”. Since the 90s Seal has toured across the world and managed to be one of the respected soul artists in England.
Seal was born Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola of Nigerian and Brazilian roots, he was raised in London’s Paddington. After an architecture diploma, Seal spent time at various odd jobs; in the 80’s he joined a London based funk band called Push and toured with them in Asia. After returning to England, Seal got his big break when British dance producer Adamski asked him to sing “Killer”.
The Early Years
The single attracted wide spread critical and commercial acclaim, making it a No.1 UK hit. Seal released his first album the self titled Seal in 1991. The album was a hit and it won Seal Best British Album at the Brit Awards. In 1992, Seal was invited by Brian May of Queen to be part of the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert at Wembley stadium.
His next album in 1994, would be his most successful, simply titled “Seal II” was known as much for its dance influenced music as it did for its cover where Seal was photographed naked. The single “Kiss from a Rose” was released and it reached no. 20 on the singles chart. But a year later in ’95, it was re-released as part of the Batman Forever soundtrack which catapulted Seal into a superstar.
The video directed by Joel Schumacher who also directed Batman Forever, had Seal singing next to the Bat- signal. The video won an MTV award. The single was a no.1 in US and it was performed live at Grammy where Seal won three. He won the coveted Record of the Year. The song with its beautiful opening melody and soulful lyrics is an international best-seller. Diverse artists such as Finish Heavy Metal band Northern Kings, Japanese artist Angela Aki and even Jack Black sang it during the American Idol finale as Seal watched.
After several short tours in ’96 and 97, Seal recorded his new album and released in 1998 called “Human Being”. The album was a tribute to slain rapper Tupak Shakur and the album cover once again featured the singer nude. The album was a lot darker and somber than his previous work and was not a commercial hit as compared to Seal II.
Progression and success
Generally the album was well received among the fans and it also reached platinum. In 2001, a strange turn of events saw Seal cancel an entire album. The media started to speculate that Seal’s album was rejected by Warner music his new label. But this was never confirmed. In 2003 Seal released “Seal IV”. The album was a commercial disappointment as compared to his earlier work. Seal also released “Live in Paris” and “One Night to Remember”.
In 2007, Seal released “System” which was a return to roots by returning to dance music. Seal sand a duet with his supermodel wife Heidi Klum called “Wedding Day”. The single “Amazing” is even nominated for the Grammies. Seal gave a special concert at the Victoria’s Secret fashion show where he sang “Wedding Day” with his wife. He also sang “Amazing” while his wife walked the ramp.
In late 2008 he released a list classic cover tunes on an album called “Soul”. The album was produced by the legendary David Foster who has produced Celine Dion. The album featured “Stand By Me”, the all-time Ben E King classic. A greatest hits album Seal Hits appeared in Dec 2009, just in time for Christmas. Seal has one of the most recognizable voices in Pop music and his love for soul and RnB music shines through all his music.
Did you know that...
- ...Seal proposed his wife Heidi Klum at 7,000 feet in a igloo he had built in British Columbia.
- ...his Nigerian name Olusegun means “God is Victorious”.
- ...he has adopted Heidi’s first child from former F1 team owner Flavio Briatore.