In anticipation of his Taste of Abu Dhabi performance, English singer-songwriter and former Spandau Ballet vocalist Tony Hadley takes time to share his thoughts on today’s music, keeping the flame alive and food – lots and lots of it
Over such a long career, how have you managed to maintain a great singing voice?
Singing all the time [laughs]. Really, I think the secret is to make sure you sing all the time; the worse thing to do is to stop for a long period. If you’re a young singer, it’s always advisable to take singing lessons. I don’t follow any special rituals, I just do vocal exercises for about 20 minutes before I go on stage and I’m ok.
You’re officially a solo artist again, having announced your departure from Spandau Ballet earlier this year. What keeps you going back for more and motivates you now?
I think once you tasted the feeling of being on stage, you just want to do it again and again. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur singer, you want to recreate that sense of euphoria every time you’re performing. For some, it comes to a point where they get tired of touring and singing the same old songs. Fortunately, I don’t feel that way and I consider myself lucky to still be doing what I love.
Do you listen to new music and feel that need to keep yourself in the loop with what’s new out there?
I don’t listen to old Spandau Ballet recordings – I’m not a very nostalgic person. I listen to modern music all the time and I like many young artists like Twenty One Pilots, One Republic, Shawn Mendez, The Chainsmokers and Avicii. I really enjoy listening to new music and there’s a lot of good stuff out there. Also, when you’re doing production and recording still, like at my age, you want to incorporate modern stuff into what you do.
How do you feel when you hear young artists and listeners today profess how much they love your music, particularly the older stuff?
It’s lovely and fascinating that people are still able to connect to something that was essentially back in the 80s. We see a lot of teenagers coming to the shows, and like, in England, there are young listeners that love the oldies. So I consider myself lucky, I’m grateful.
You’re scheduled to perform at Taste of Abu Dhabi, which is the city’s biggest annual food festival. Are you a big foodie?
I love all kinds of food. Italian food is amazing, Spanish food is amazing, as well as Indian, Chinese, Thai and Indonesian. I love spicy food to be honest. I’m quite lucky to be able to travel around the world and get to experience different cultures as well as food. So yes, I’m actually excited to be there and sample all the food during the festival – that will be fantastic.