Former Kajagoogoo singer Limahl doesn’t like to hear his voice after he’s laid down the tracks for songs. He fears there’s something he’d want to change, or something he flat out doesn’t like.
But the platinum-haired singer answers quickly when asked if there’s anything he wants to change about his band’s 1983 new wave hit “Too Shy.”
“Nah,” he emphatically says with a laugh. “When I hear my voice in ’83, it sounds terribly young. Then I think, ‘Oh yeah, I was young. I was 23.’ I think my voice is like a leather jacket—it’s gotten better with age. When I sing it now, I sing it with a slightly more mature voice.”
Limahl, whose real name is Christopher Hamill, is bringing that “mature voice” to radio waves again with the smoky ballad “Still in Love.” It’s accompanied by an equally smoky video with a couple—professional dancers Cameron Anthony and Eliza Simonelli—performing in an artsy home.
“The directors came to me and they suggested the colors,” he says. “I loved that idea. I suggested the dancing. I’m a big fan of dance. I love contemporary, tap and ballet. I know it’s such hard work for dancers. They give the best years of their lives to the skill.”
The single’s video had 20,000 views on YouTube within the first five days and every single comment was positive, he says. Limahl has been astounded by the feedback to the song.
“I’m my own worst critic,” he says with a laugh. “I’m quite critical, as most artists are. I don’t listen to my own stuff.”
He blames his return to music on American TV viewers because his songs are frequently used on the small screen. His hits “Neverending Story” and “Too Shy” were rejuvenated after being featured on hit TV series “Black Mirror,” “American Horror Story” and “Stranger Things.” He’s not one to rest on his laurels, however.
“I needed an incentive to get back in the studio to write,” he says about “Still in Love,” which hit the streets in June. “The American TV shows using my music last year gave me that incentive. Of course, what really sealed the deal was seeing the Spotify views going from 300,000 to 1.5 million, and I thought, ‘OK, people are interested in hearing something new. Come up with the goods.’ That was the challenge.”
The pandemic was tough for him, like all performers. Every one of his 2020 shows were postponed until next year—so far.
“I had a bunch of stuff in my diary (calendar),” he adds. “I moved out of central London five years ago. I lived in an apartment all my life. I never had a garden.
“Now, I live 2 miles outside of greater London and I love it. The first thing I did was collect my lovely 82-year-old mum to stay with me and my partner. I didn’t want her to be alone for the whole thing, as she’s a widow. We didn’t kill each other. I’m just having a problem staying away from the chocolate—the dark chocolate. I think it’s the endorphins I’m looking for.”
His mother is now staying with his sister, and he’s hoping to have some normality restored by Christmas. But he’s still with his partner.
“I have been blissfully happy with my lovely partner, Steve, for 26 years and in our ‘civil partnership’ for 11 years,” he beams. “I think when you’re young, it’s almost inevitable to go through relationship dramas and make the typical mistakes. Let’s face it, we’ve all had great night of passion and thought, ‘Ooh, is this the one?’ But surprise surprise! After the one hour of hanky-panky wears off, there are still 23 more hours in the day.”