AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH NICK HEYWARD
By Sandro Monetti
At peace with his past and passionate about his present and future, pop veteran Nick Heyward has found contentment with his place in music history.
The former frontman of Haircut 100 says, “I’m not Mozart and I’m not Prince, but I do what I do at the level I do and I’m doing what I love.”
Having won widespread critical acclaim for his most recent solo album, Woodland Echoes, it’s the old hits that have brought Nick to the Los Angeles area in recent days for a pair of sold out local 80’s concerts sharing the bill with contemporaries such as Boy George and A Flock of Seagulls.
He still enjoys performing the likes of Love Plus One and Fantastic Day, explaining, “I genuinely love singing those songs. It’s an honour to do so. People connect with certain music, art resonates, and I know as a fan myself that’s a powerful thing.”
Trim and still boyish at 57, he doesn’t look too much older than he did in his days of Top of the Pops appearances – and that’s largely down to careful weight management. “If I keep to 170lbs, all is good. If I go to 165 I don’t seem to have any ailments at all but if I go over 170 my knees start to go sluggish. I try to avoid sugar and eating restaurant food when I travel.”
Talking of travel, the English singer is now an ex-pat. He lives in Tampa, Florida, with his American fiancée, Sarah. “Where we are in Tampa looks kind of like Jurassic Park. You imagine a T-Rex is going to emerge over the trees any moment,” laughs Nick.
“Something happens to English people when abroad,” he adds. “You become more English, your accent becomes more English. Sarah will say to me things like ‘That’s such an English thing to do.’”
With his love life and work life going well, another source of joy is that Nick’s son Oliver, from his first marriage, has followed him into the music business and works as a sound engineer, including on his Woodland Echoes album. “I prayed for a situation like this and he’s really good,” says Nick, who revels in the creativity and freedom of life as an independent recording artist.
“With the emergence of the internet you can make music at home now, away from the sometimes sterile environment of a recording studio, be inspired by the environment around you, and share your work on social media.”
The message Nick wants to share is simply this, “Do what you love. And if you don’t love what you do, change the way you think about it and suddenly there’s a new opportunity to feel fulfilled.”
*Nick’s acclaimed new album Woodland Echoes is available now.