In 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 ... Sananda Maitreya.
If you don't at first recognise the name, you'll be sure to recognise the voice. Because this is the more recent epithet of one Mr Terence Trent D'Arby, who can boast a Grammy Award and a string of massive hits, including 'Wishing Well' and 'Sign Your Name'.
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Why's the name change? Well, Sananda has previously explained it's on account of an important set of dreams he had in 1995, when his previous incarnation "died a noble death". In his place, Sananda continues to create, most recently with his double album 'The Rise Of The Zugebrian Time Lords', on which the upbeat single 'Blanket on the Ground' shows his unique voice shows no sign of disappearing.
"Our masters said it right, 'And In The End, The Love You Make is Equal To the Love You Take'"
Below, Sananda speaks to HuffPostUK about the lessons he's learned along the way, and the lady close to home who keeps him grounded...
What do you do to switch off from the world?
What I do to switch off from the world is to simply go to the greater world within. As children, we learn early that there are always 3 worlds, the one they want us to see, the one they wish to hide from us and the world we create for ourselves with our imagination. Being exposed to early traumas will almost guarantee that we will create a world for ourselves where we can be safe from how rude & ugly & possessive our day to day world is. The gift of trauma is that it invites us to create AN INNER WORLD. And this bipolar nature is what also allows for a disposition towards detachment. I switch off by going to the mothership that lies within my heart. I hear the world very well, but I do not listen to it. I listen to my inner voice, all other voices confuse my simple brain.
How do you deal with negativity?
I deal with negativity mainly by avoiding it. It seems Counter-Evolutionary otherwise. Artists are who they are precisely because of their ‘oversensitivity’, it is our blessing and our cross to bear. Looking for more crosses to bear is a masochist’s yoga. But when negativity can’t be avoided, I use it as fuel to fire up further creations. Preferred or not, negative energy is powerful & great raw matter, it can always be transformed into something useful.
When and where are you happiest?
I am happiest when I am reminded that I am a musician & am not required to be more than that. I am also happy when I look at my two sons & realize that there is nothing more on earth of importance left for me to do anymore, having passed myself on. Which means that it doesn’t matter what I do now, it just matters that I do it. And try to have some fun, so that I can pass that on to my boys also.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Believe Half of What You See Son & None Of What You Hear.”- Marvin Gaye. I was also fortunate enough, as a young soldier in Germany another lifetime ago, to have been told this sage advice by a distinguished old gentlemen who had survived the Nazi’s into an advanced age, “Remember Son, 90% of Everything Is Shit.” Excuse me the liberty of having translated from the Original German.
What has been the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
The hardest lesson I’ve learned is that Just Because You Change Your Name, doesn’t mean that They Will Change Your Social Security Number. Because, you can change your name to Santa Claus, but if your social security number is registered to Rudolf, it’s going to STAY registered to Rudolf, Valentino or otherwise.
What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
I would tell him to just be patient, and wait until he started smoking, and then he would understand everything!
What 3 things are at the top of your bucket list?
At the top of my bucket list would be to have complete control of the military and see what would happen.
To play in a rock band with my sons, Francesco Mingus and Federico Elvis, if the Lord wills.
To give back the years to my wife Francesca that her youth absorbed in helping to give birth to this new life.
What do you think happens when we die?
What happens when we die is mainly what dreams we have invested in our lives along the way. But even in the worst-case scenarios, Salvation Comes, At Any Time, to remind us that we do not HAVE TO suffer our beliefs forever. One way, or another, what we think of ourselves catches up to us, until we are willing to say “fuck it” and move on.
When do you feel a sense that we live in the presence of something bigger than ourselves?
Luckily for me, my ego is willing to debate the idea that ‘There Is Something Bigger Than Ourselves!” And besides the exercise in humility, why are we obliged to assume that the force that gave birth to us, is bigger than us? For we too, are that very force which gave birth to what we now observe as us. Though naturally, when my spirit is depressed I NEED to buy into SOMETHING BIGGER THAN ME, to pull me up to the proper levels. Knowing that naturally, no sooner does it pull you back up to its level, than you resume smacking it in the face. Apart from all of that, people know when they are in the presence of the divine. And each one is right.
Sananda remained inspired by the words of other musicians, from Marvin Gaye to the Beatles
What do you try to bring to your relationships?
A Big Dick & A Bigger Heart. What more do I owe? Otherwise, the only thing that I can give is my earnest desire to give back at the very least, as much as I may have taken. Our masters said it right, “And In The End, The Love You Make is Equal To the Love You Take”- The Beatles. If I can stay close to that, I am good.
I give what personality inspires while aiming at a large measure of why I am. In my own dark & screwed up way, I forever aim to uplift life in all of its many graphic forms. I favor the fabulous & the freaks!
What keeps you grounded?
I can promise you that what keeps me grounded is AN ITALIAN WIFE. And a Milanese, just for a little overkill! Upon my marriage announcement to her, some Italian friends took me out for a drink in Milano and let me in on a tribal secret. After a few grappas had taken my brain for a train, but before it started to rain, I was told by these few intimates, “Now You Will Understand Why Italian Men Are Crazy. It’s Because We Have To Marry Italian Women. Salute!” Even better, I hit the lottery when I found my wife, she has helped to restore, much of my faith in God and the life I deserve. Fortunately, I am a Catholic, which means that naturally, I am a masochist as well.
What was the last good deed or act of kindness you received?
The last good deed received by me is that The Huffington Post has interest in my life expedition! And that I get a chance to promote with this very valuable opportunity, my latest project, ‘THE RISE OF THE ZUGEBRIAN TIME LORDS’. I aspire always to earn my way through life and understand first hand that ‘COMMERCE IS GRACE’. In any event, thank you for including my situation! And may we all realize, in our own sweet time, that life is what WE say it is! The last good deed I gave was to announce that www.Sananda.org has your back and is looking to grow a spine together!
Sananda Maitreya's double album 'The Rise Of the Zugebrian Time Lords' will be released on 9 October. Information here. And here he is in action...