Paul Young represents an important part of the history of world music: his unmistakable voice has in fact accompanied many generations, and has been the soundtrack of many inimitable hits. The singer will be a guest of Amadeus’ 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s Arena Suzuki, which pays homage to the great hits of the past years. Young reached out to meet us and, between present and future, talked about his music and his songs that immediately became world hits.
You are a great singer of world music and have had numerous successes in your career. Would you like to tell us when your passion for music was born? When did you find out it was going to be your way?
I always listened to the radio a lot when I was young; I traveled with my mother on the bus, and she told me to sing on the bus. I never realized anyone was listening until I got some applause from the other passengers. When I got older, as soon I was sixteen, I started earning money until I saved up enough to buy an amplifier and a guitar and join a band as fast as I could.
Here in Italy, your songs circulated a lot in the 80s and 90s. What has changed since then? How much has your music evolved?
Yes, I was lucky to continue to have hits in the 90s, so there’s maybe 15 very good years. My music has changed a little over the years, because it was mostly keyboard-based in the early days; but as I practiced more guitar, the songs and the arrangements tended to be more about the guitars than the keyboards. I think I’m evolving all the time, and I try not to be predictable. As well having a solo career, I’ve had a band named “Los Pacaminos” and this year is our thirtieth year together. It’s quite amazing because I started this band just to play more guitar and not to be the lead singer. I wanted to be one of the singers because I don’t always enjoy the attention to be a solo star, but I would have never think it would go for thirty years. So I create the music for itself, which is a great challenge because it’s different to the songs I create in my solo career.
You are about to participate in the Amadeus Arena Suzuki TV show. What do you expect from the Italian public?
I’ve got no idea what to expect from this TV show because I don’t know much about it. I understand the music is from different decades so I’m looking forward to see and meeting some stars of the hits of those years. I hope the crowd will enjoy everything they get to see and ear. It sounds like a fantastic night!
You will interpret the songs Love of the Common People and Every Time You Go Away: two songs that have meant a lot for world music. What did these songs represent for you?
“Love of the common people” was not my first hit in the UK, but I think it was my first hit in Italy. I think the Festival of Sanremo opened the doors for my success in Italy, so it means a lot to me because I love a lot Italy as a country but also through my musical success I met a lot of my friends, like Zucchero, who’s still a great friend of mine and I adore his music too. “Every time you go away” was a song a nearly I didn’t record. I was making my second album and I thought it was complete, but when I listened to everything I felt it was too mature and not very pop, so I went back and find “Every time you go away”. It was a lucky find because not only was successful over Europe, but it also gave me my first American number 1 and my first Japanese number 1.
What are your future projects? Can you anticipate something?
I’ve got future projects all lined up. I’ve got a Paul Young album that is complete and we will hold the release until next year because I’m doing a tour in the United Kingdom which is a more relaxed thing: it’s a little bit of music, a little bit of interviews and both the tour and the album are connected, so we thought to release them at the same time. And as well as that I’m working with an album with my band “Los Pacaminos” because we’re thirty this year so we want to do an album to celebrate thirty years of togetherness, because we’re still great friends. We don’t play regularly, so it’s great to be back together again.