If you grew up in the 1980s, then you’d remember Howard Jones – the blond singer with the Mohawk hairstyle.
His mission has always been to push things and do them differently, and as one of the pioneers of the synths, he has influenced a whole generation of electronic and dance musicians.
Also a forerunner of the new wave movement, Jones has sold over eight million albums across the globe and is one of a select group of British artistes to penetrate the United States market.
His multi-platinum albums have yielded 15 top hits, making him one of the defining figures in 1980s and 1990s pop history.
Tomorrow, the singer cum songwriter will perform An Evening With Howard Jones Solo: The Songs, The Piano, in a cosy setting in Singapore.
Expect to hear classics such as New Song, What Is Love?, Things Can Only Get Better, No One Is To Blame, Like To Get To Know You Well, Everlasting Love, Look Mama and more.
Jones’s solo shows offer an intimate trip through his 35-year music career – it’s personal, passionate, stripped down and magical.
Many of his best known songs were composed on his piano and in this upcoming show, he will share behind the scenes stories and reveal the inspiration behind the songs.
“I’ve always loved doing solo shows because it’s really the most intimate way of performing and it highlights the thing that is most important … the songs.
“Also, it gives me the chance to interpret the songs in different styles,” he says in a recent email interview.
Jones started off as a one-man electronic band. As a keyboard player, he was fortunate to be around at the time when keyboards and synthesisers were becoming available in local music stores – and affordable.
For someone who has often said all he wanted to do was be on radio, he has achieved beyond that.
Jones’s songs are still being played on air. It’s more than a dream come true for the 63-year-old.
“I’m thrilled that people still want to play my work on the radio!” he says, citing Keith Emerson and Stevie Wonder as his two biggest keyboard influences.
“I grew up listening to radio and it was always my aim to one day write songs that could be played on the radio. It’s amazing that they have stood the test of time and people still want to play them.
“My fans have grown up with me making electronic music and then doing acoustic and working with strings and choirs.
“They are wonderful because they follow me whatever direction I take and they probably share a love of technology as well.”
Many young artistes today have difficulty managing fame and are battling mental health problems or turn suicidal. Jones, whose 1984 album Human’s Lib went to No. 1, is fortunate to have kept grounded during his early days.
He attributes this to Buddhism, which plays a central part of his life and influences everything he does. He chants daily and tries not to go around blaming others for the circumstances that he faces.
Jones says: “It’s important that when young people start out on a high-profile music career that they have some sort of philosophical practice to help them through the highs and lows of being in the spotlight.”
Jones is extremely savvy when it comes to navigating the ever-changing waters of today’s music industry.
He has become an expert at exploring different approaches to releasing music, staging gigs, and ensuring the needs of his different audiences are met.
He is currently working on a new album called Transform, to be released next May, after which he will embark on a tour.
“It will be my most ambitious yet.”
An Evening With Howard Jones Solo: The Songs, The Piano will be held at 8.15pm on Nov 23 at the Gateway Theatre in Singapore. Tickets, priced from S$98 (RM299) to S$168 (RM412), are available via APACTix Hotline: +65 3158 8588 or www.apactix.com/events/detail/howard-jones-2018. For more information, go to http://www.facebook.com/modepdt