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Gary Kemp brands past hits ‘baggage’ to creativity: ‘It’s every time you sit down to write a song now!’

Gary Kemp says his past hits feel like “baggage” when it comes to trying to create new music.

The 63-year-old Spandau Ballet guitarist made the remark about living with his 1980s heyday as he was recognised by the BMI London Awards on Monday. (02.10.23)

Gary was presented with the BMI Icon award at a ceremony at the Savoy Hotel, west London for his contribution to music.

He said it was “very nice” to be honoured, but admitted he suffers “imposter syndrome” when in the spotlight – despite Spandau Ballet being one of the biggest acts of the 1980s, with hits including ‘True’, ‘Gold’ and ‘Through the Barricades’.

Gary added: “I’m the same whenever I get told anything about me that’s nice, I feel a great sense of imposter syndrome.

“(I think) ‘They must have made a mistake’. This is the way I’ve been all my life.”

Gary, who started a solo career after Spandau Ballet, added: “But, I suppose, I’m still here. I’m still making records, I still made music, my records are still being played and embraced in different ways, and become part of the ether really, so it’s nice… some songs have stood the test of time and become part of the British songbook, you feel very proud.

“At the same time, it becomes extra baggage every time you sit down to write a song now.”

His 1995 debut solo album ‘Little Bruises’ was produced by Bow Wow Wow bassist Leigh Gorman, renowned for his work with Sex Pistols’ manager Malcolm McLaren.

Gary also collaborated with Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason in his psych-rock band Saucerful of Secrets from 2018, and released his second solo album INSOLO.

Gary added: “It’s not as easy to have the same success as I did in those years (the 1980s), because every writer has a moment, a period of ten years when everything happens for them,” he explained.

“They are riding the wave, their age is right, you’re in the zeitgeist and things happen for you.

“Certain generations of people hearing music in their formative years will carry that music under their skin for the rest of their lives, and that is something to be thrilled about.”

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