For the latest in our WISE WORDS interview series - where stars from a whole range of fields share the important life lessons they’ve learned along the way - we’re posing some of the big questions to MARTI PELLOW.
A star since the 1980s with his band Wet Wet Wet, Marti has also enjoyed a solo career. In addition, he played the part of Billy Flynn in ‘Chicago’ on London’s West End stage and also on Broadway. He followed this with ‘The Witches of Eastwick’, the concert revival of ‘Chess’ and ‘Evita’.
He has never stopped performing, and is setting off on the road once again with his Mysterious tour, singing music old and new, kicking off next month in Carlisle. To mark the tour and his brand new album ‘Arctic Poppy’, Marti sat down with HuffPostUK to discuss the hardest lessons he’s had to absorb along the way, and the simple pleasures he’s learned to appreciate...
What do you do to switch off from the world?
Cooking, and going out to the markets. I love being out and about. I’m an outdoor kid. I live in the town, but I can’t wait to get away.
How do you deal with any any negativity that comes your way?
Sometimes it’s very easy to let it live inside your head. The older I get, the more I drop my shoulders. I realise I’m powerless. Ultimately, how upset I get would depend on who was saying stuff. You can’t get too worried about a faceless person.
When and where are you at your happiest?
When I’m around my family and friends. I spend a lot of time on the road, so a great day is eating, cooking and reminiscing. It might sound mundane, but I value it. Oh, and I’d also factor in a phone call from an old friend, or a handwritten letter. We don’t do that enough anymore.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
’Don’t stay up late.’ I was about 30! No, I’d have to say it would be, always be on time. If I have a meeting, I try to get there 30 minutes before. It means I’m always relaxed, and in a positive frame of mind.
What has been the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?
I’m forever coming across those. In matters of the heart, it never gets easier.
What would you like to tell your 13-year-old self?
Don’t take your job too seriously, enjoy it for what it is. Write a great song, have a body of work. I wrote ‘Angel Eyes’ when I was 13, but this resonates more with me now than it ever did then.
What three things are at the top of your wish list?
Visit India; visit St Petersburg; visit Alaska. It’s all about travelling.
What do you think happens when we die?
You spend time with your family. Even though we don’t know, I embrace that thought. I will walk with my mother and father.
When or where have you felt in the presence of something bigger than ourselves?
It’s everywhere, in the circle of life, in the generations changing. I’m aware of an all-encompassing spirituality, and I find it a glorious, powerful thing.
What quality do you most treasure in relationships?
Being able to sit with each other, not necessarily having to speak, but to feel comfortable, to connect.
What keeps you grounded?
In my younger days, it was more difficult. I’ve grown into the listening stage of the game, and I think back to my elders, and wonder, “When did you get so smart?”
What the most recent act of kindness you received?
I got a letter saying how I had inspired an individual, but I realised it was actually the other way round, they just didn’t know it. It goes two ways.
For tour and ticket info for Marti’s Mysterious Tour, please click here. He releases his new album, ‘Arctic Poppy’ on 10 March.