Sananda Maitreya aka former 80s superstar Terence Trent D’Arby has explained the reasoning behind his decision to change his name, claiming it was a ‘choice for survival’.
The 55-year-old musician became a hotly-tipped star in the 1980s, being compared as a rival to both Prince and Michael Jackson following tracks like Wishing Well before disappearing from the spotlight.
In 1995 he adopted the name Sananda Maitreya before making it official in October 2001, and he made a rare appearance on Good Morning Britain opposite hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid to explain the name switch.
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Speaking on the show, Sananda said: ‘It’s just the process of being an artist. But we often find that unfortunately once you become a brand, the brand becomes more important and the brand becomes essentially what you are.
‘If you’re growth or your movement threatens to take you outside of that, it isn’t always a very comfortable existence because you wake to realise you don’t really own who you are anymore and there’s too much committee behind it.
‘That’s comfortable for some people, and it’s not so comfortable for others,’ he added.
Explaining the reasoning behind his sudden departure from the spotlight, he revealed how it wasn’t his choice to step away, but was thankful of the move after claiming he wouldn’t have survived the popstar life.
‘It wasn’t necessarily my choice to disappear,’ Sananda added. ‘I chose this project Prometheus and Pandora because largely I felt I had lived that particular life. These legends and myths are narrative history.
‘Basically I was thrown off the mountain after it was determined I wasn’t really cut in the cloth that suited the way the situation wanted me to go. I seem to have been possessed by a mind of my own and I did not merely want to be a pop product, but I wanted to be an artist which was always my ambition. That followed its own revolutionary arc.
‘When that seemed to be a problem for the establishment as it existed, as it presented itself at the time, I was pretty much asked as Prometheus was, to leave the mountain.’
‘I didn’t leave of my own volition. Basically if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have survived it. So for my own survival and my growth, as a soul, as an artist and as an emotional being, it was best that I assume an identity I didn’t have to fight anyone over or that I have to constantly engage in constant tug of wars and just reinvent myself. I wasn’t the first person to do that and I won’t be the last.’
He added: ‘It was a choice for survival.’
Sananda has released a total of 12 albums, with his latest Prometheus Pandora being released earlier this month.
You can catch Good Morning Britain weekdays on ITV at 6am.