Born in London in 1963, Sealhenry Samuel fronted bands from his early teens then spent the late 80s travelling through Asia. When he returned, the UK was in the grip of acid house and he began applying traditional songwriting values to this whole new genre of music. The first result was ‘Killer’ (1990) in collaboration with Adamski, which spent four weeks at number one in the UK singles chart and earned him an Ivor Novello award.
A deal with ZTT had already been made while ‘Killer’ climbed the charts – which went into full effect as the single hit number one and Seal began work with Wendy & Lisa and Trevor Horn to create his first, self-titled album. Its singles – ‘Crazy’, ‘Future Love Paradise’ and ‘The Beginning’ – were all worldwide hits. While ‘Crazy’ continued the dance focus – going top ten in 17 countries and selling three million copies worldwide – subsequent tracks explored Seal’s rockier edge. A dramatic cover of Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Hey Joe’, becoming key to his live shows.
A second album, again self-titled and produced by Horn, entered the UK chart at number one in 1994 and included a duet with Joni Mitchell. But it was the album’s single ‘Kiss From A Rose’ that consolidated Seal as a major international star, winning three Grammy awards in the process.
With subsequent projects continuing the collaboration with Horn (though now outside of ZTT), Seal has the curious accolade of being the only artist that to have worked with the producer on more than two albums. Their collaboration continues to this day with the release of Human Being (1998) and the acclaimed Seal IV (2003). Hear the latter's highlight, 'Lonliest Star', and 'Crazy' too, can be found on Produced By Trevor Horn.