Photos: MediaCorp VizPro International, Richard Marx via Facebook
Grammy Award–winning musician Richard Marx was always sure he had a chance at succeeding in the fiercely competitive music business, and he’s got a songwriting, singing and recording career spanning four decades to prove it.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t believe I had a shot at longevity,” Richard said in an email interview. “I knew I had the willingness to work hard, and I knew both my strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with both.”
With more than 30 million albums sold worldwide since the height of his popularity in the 80s, Richard continues to hold the record for being the only male singer to have his first seven singles reach the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. And he scored the 14th No. 1 single of his career with the 2011 country hit ‘Long Hot Summer,’ co-written with and performed by Keith Urban.
“I always knew I could make a living making music to some degree or another. I’m just very grateful to still be playing shows and making new music.”
LIVE in Singapore
Richard is in town to prepare for his November 9 concert at The Star Performing Arts Centre, three years after he last sang in the country, and the pop legend is making time for an excursion on the side.
“I actually have a little time to hang out this time, which is great,” he said.
“I love the city. I don’t like the typical touristy things but a trip to the top of the Marina Bay Sands will happen one night.”
Though the bulk of his upcoming concert will be devoted to his past hits — think ‘Right Here Waiting,’ ‘Now and Forever,’ ‘Don’t Mean Nothing’ and ‘Endless Summer Nights’ — fans of the 52-year-old singer can look forward to a few new songs on the setlist.
Last July Richard released his latest album, titled Beautiful Goodbye, a collection of songs with a distinctive Latin flavour and a strong electronic dance music (EDM) influence quite unlike his signature pop-rock ballad style.
“It was just music that transported me, and I love that,” he said of his inspiration for Beautiful Goodbye. “It was mostly the musical landscapes that got me. And there’s so much beautiful Latin music to be inspired by.”
The process of recording his latest album also featured a slight departure from his SOP. “It was mostly done with programming instead of live rhythm sections,” Richard said. “But I still used a lot of guitars on the album, which is an instrument you don’t hear much of in pop music these days.”
Richard’s aptitude for and attitude towards music definitely rubbed off on his three sons, Brandon, 25, Lucas, 23, Jesse, 21, who are all pursuing music and performing — though Jesse appears to favour heavy metal over pop.
The proud father is supportive of his sons ventures, but he has previously expressed concern over their intentions to pursue careers in music. “I try to advise them as best I can,” he said on how he coaches his children.
“At this point there’s very little advice to give. We all just have to make the music we love and do the best we can. They’re all insanely talented so that’s a great place to start.”
With a miles-long list of awards and accolades, one might think the singer would want to try his hand at pursuits other than music, but Richard doesn’t see himself ever switching gears. “Even if I take a break from recording or touring, I still write songs, or pieces of songs nearly every day,” he said. “It just flows through me. I can’t turn it off. Luckily.”
His latest songwriting projects include two songs with country singer Vince Gill for his new album, material with EDM artist Kygo for the latter’s project, and a song with the Puerto Rican singer and composer Luis Fonsi.
With regard to his personal life, the singer (who confirmed he was splitting from his wife of 25 years last April) said, “I’m just enjoying life right now. Travelling; playing with my two adopted rescue dogs, Bronx and Bette; playing shows; drinking good tequila; and making as few plans as possible.”
That sure sounds like the lifestyle we all secretly aspire to.
Richard Marx LIVE in Singapore
Date: November 9, 2015 (Monday)
Venue: The Star Theatre, The Star Performing Arts Centre
Time: 8 pm
Ticket prices: $88, $128, $148, $168 *Excludes booking fee
Tickets available from SISTIC or its booking hotline (6348 5555)