Gary Kemp is a music stalwart. Songwriting for the iconic Spandau Ballet through the '80s, the more recent years saw and heard him as guitarist and co-lead of Nick Mason's rock band Saucerful of Secrets.

Twenty-five years ago, he released a solo debut album titled "Little Bruises," making his new and second album, "Insolo," a significant milestone in his long and storied career. For 2021, Kemp has written and produced an album that focuses on two dominant themes: the paradox of solitude in an urban landscape and his growing obsession with life seen through a rear-view mirror and how the past infects our present.

"[This album] has a 25-year difference [from the last], so my whole approach to writing feels very different now," Kemp said in an interview with Music Geek.

"I'm very proud of Little Bruises. I think it still stands out for me as a good album. I just think that I'm in a different headspace now. I think I have the experience of working for the last few years with Nick Mason from Pink Floyd and developing or coming much more to the front as a guitar player and as a singer, feeling more confident. And I felt there was a greater need for me to write an album about; that felt like it was lyric-driven as opposed to song-driven. I play every single guitar on this album than I did on Little Bruises."

The first track from Insolo is the bright and breezy '70s-inflected "Ahead Of The Game." Of the track, Kemp says, "Richard Jones added the bass guitar. Apart from being a friend, Richard's an amazing player and I've worked with him before, so we had an easy language. He loves late '70s pop and I felt some of that influence in this tune. In building backing vocals on this album, my references were always from that era - Wings, 10cc and Supertramp."

As the songwriter and guitarist of Spandau Ballet - one of the most famous bands of the '80s - Kemp became one of the most commercially successful writers of the decade. Spandau notched up 23 hit singles during their career and spent a combined total of more than 500 weeks in the UK charts, achieving over 25 million album sales worldwide. Some of their songs, like "True," "Gold," and "Through the Barricades" have become standards. True has achieved over five million plays in North America alone, and "Gold" was the proper soundtrack to the London 2012 Olympics.
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He is also an accomplished stage and screen actor with critical and commercial success in films such as "The Krays," "The Bodyguard," and the BBC TV comedy "The Kemps – All True" with his brother Martin. On stage, he was part of the Jamie Lloyd Theatre Company in London's West End.

As a member of Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets, Kemp performs early Pink Floyd material the world over to huge acclaim. His co-frontman in the band with Guy Pratt who is also his presenting partner on the Apple #1 podcast "The Rockonteurs."

Given decades of experience, music still excites Kemp at this stage in his life.


"You know I've got two phases. When I'm acting, I get very excited about actors, and I go to the theater a lot and watch it. For the moment, I'm devouring music. I think there's some great music coming out of America right now. Primarily [from] women. I'm as excited about the new Bruce Springsteen album coming out as anybody.


"Actually, music means more to me now. I'm inspired more by music now. I go through phases when I can't stand what's going on. It also means nostalgically, like all of us. There's a certain era in my life when I reached puberty, and music gave me an identity, beginning in the '80s with wanting to create the next big thing myself. Music has been my complete roadmap. I pick up the guitar and go to the piano every single day. If I'm feeling depressed about something, it's the instrument that I go to.

"I never thought I'd be selling a record which basically breaking a new act at my age 30 years after my first one," Kemp ended.