Relive the 80s with Rick Astley

Ahhhh … the 80s: The era when many of us started schooling and had our first crush. The decade’s greatest hits also provided one helluva soundtrack (who can forget Bananarama, Sinitta, Sonia and Debbie Gibson?). One of the stars whose songs still resonate in our hearts is heartthrob Rick Astley, whose string of hits like “Never Gonna Give You Up” and “Together Forever” had us singing all the way to the shower.

We can’t imagine teen stars today like Justin Bieber spontaneously dancing the way you did in your “Never Gonna Give You Up” video. What was the culture like for you growing up? Did everyone dance?
Well, not everyone danced, but you had a better chance with the girls if you did dance. I liked to dance.

The song later triggered a massive web trend called “rickrolling,” where users are tricked into clicking on a link to the music video online. How does it feel to have started something so big?
It was really bizarre for me when it happened and is still weird now. But it’s OK because I get a lot of young people coming to my shows because of that—it’s great.

They don’t make dance pop the way you used. What’s different about the music scene now as opposed to the 80s?

Kids now are real lucky. They’ve got computers so they can write and produce great stuff in their bedrooms.

You’ve recently landed a job as a radio DJ. How does this change the way you see music?
I see music the same way but it’s really exciting to be conducting the interview for a change. I’m really enjoying it.

What does your daughter Emilie think of your music?
As it should be, she is both embarrassed and proud of her dad.

Rick Astley performs at the Relive the 80s at Class 95’s Retrolicious concert on Oct 9, 8pm. Fort Canning Park, 51 Canning Rise, 6332-1200. $48-95 from Sistic.