Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall on biltong and SA house music

Simply Red's front man Mick Hucknall was exploring several genres while settling on a sound for his new album.
Simply Red's front man Mick Hucknall was exploring several genres while settling on a sound for his new album.
Image: Ian Jacobs/WireImage

Simply Red frontman Mick Hucknall went on an incredible journey of discovery through numerous musical genres across the world, including SA house music, before settling on the perfect sound for the group's first album in four years.

Recorded in London at British Grove Studios, the group's latest album Blue Eyed Soul is an up tempo mix of classic funk and soul.

TshisaLIVE got a chance to speak to the veteran musician recently and learnt that some of the album's sound had come from a journey of experimenting on several sounds, including house music with roots in SA.

“Over the years I have experimented with reggae, soul, funk and even house. But it was at a birthday party eight months ago that I was talking to a musician friend and he described me as a funk, RnB and soul singer. So I decided to try make an album using that sound.” 

Mick has toured SA extensively and has crowned Mzansi the country with the best food in the world.

“It has the best steak and the best curry. Everyone could agree that the food was just incredible.”

He is also a big fan of biltong, and even has a friend in London who helps feed his cravings.

“I love it. It's very good. My friend makes it in London so I know where I can get it if I ever feel in the mood for it.”

Mick said he hopes to return to our shores soon.

“We have a European and UK tour planned but if something comes up I'd love to visit SA again. It is a bit far away from the rest of the tour but I would jump at the chance.”

The album's lead track Thinking of You has been well received across the world and Mick said he was proud to be able to release music that he loved.

“I have always tried to avoid being part of a trend. I focus on the music I make. The aim to make something timeless that people can come back to, not something they are all listening to now.”

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