The Canadian singer is in Dubai for his two-night concert at Dubai international Stadium on March 12 and 13. We catch up with the 39-year-old (for the second time) to find out what he is getting up to in the city.
You are in Dubai with your wife, son and family. How is fatherhood treating you?
It’s great. What you see right now is a guy who’s had three hours of sleep and has a little one year old. One year and six months actually, his teeth are just coming in and he never, ever stops talking. It’s the best. I can’t wait to have another one. I’m blessed; it makes me better at everything because he’s what I live for. He’s put everything in perspective.
Has your son been to one of your concerts yet?
My son has been to 33 countries, at one-and-a-half years old. It’s so cool. He’s been everywhere with me. My wife has been really great, to be like that and to come. Now, when this tour’s done, we’re heading to South Africa, and then that’s it for the dates. And after that, I go and follow her, I sit on set and support her, the same way she’s done for me. That’s what I’ll do with my year off. I feel like that’s the only way to do it. If I know one thing, it’s that a happy wife is a happy life. As long as she’s fulfilled and she’s happy, I’m happy.
So you’re a very hands-on dad?
Am I a hands-on dad? Yes. I love that little dude so, so much. I think, as a parent, you always talk about the things you learn, you know? How, all of a sudden, you become a dad or a mum and there’s suddenly this meaning in your life. The thing that I learned is that it’s true. I’ve finally learned how much my mum and dad taught me. And when I look at them, it is emotional for me. Because I know my mum and dad love me. But I never really understood, when they look at me, what they see. And now I know. It makes my relationship with him even better, because I know it now, I love that little boy more than life itself.
Do you consider yourself a romantic?
I think I’m just as romantic as the next guy. I have a terrible sense of occasion. I try not to only save being good for birthdays or Valentine’s Day. I think romance comes in little waves. I think it comes in being thoughtful, and careful, and loving. But my wife would probably laugh at me for answering that question. The most romantic thing I might have ever done wasn’t really for romance; it was because I was in a huge struggle - I was an idiot, and the girl didn’t want me around anymore. So I ended up getting a shoebox and finding a pair of my shoes from when I was really little, and I put a bunch of Hershey’s Kisses in with the shoes. I put a note on top of the box that said, “I would walk a million miles for just one kiss.”
What’s your craziest fan experience?
I’ve had lots of great, crazy moments. I think probably the craziest for me was in Virginia years ago. I was playing at a place called the Wolf Den; and when I came out to the audience a man took a swing at me - I could hear him coming because I could hear him yelling at me. When I came back on stage I was shaking. And then I heard the security guy shout my name, and this guy was behind me, trying to take off my head. It turned out that it was a federal offence, the FBI arrested him and put him in the back of the cop car. (I didn’t know any of this, though. I was on stage finishing ‘Come Fly with Me.’)
Did you ever have a stage name?
I changed my name for one show, for one night – although I ended up changing it back the next day. But I did have an incident with a record label when I was 26, I’d just been signed by the Warner Brothers. About twelve of them sat down with me and they said to me, “You have to change your name. With a name like Michael Bublé, you’ll never be taken seriously. You’ll never sell a record. Your name’s a joke.” So I went home to my parents and I told them I needed to change my name. And my father, he loves me so much, you know? He said, “Son, if that’s what you need to do, then it’s what you’ve got to do.” But I could see that it hurt him; and when I saw that, I was sensitive to it, and it really made me angry. And so I walked back in to the record company the next week, and I sat down at the meeting, and I said, “Alright, let’s make a deal. I’m going to change my name. But you need to sign a contract that tells me that if I change my name, I’ll sell a million records.” And they told me that they couldn’t promise anything like that. So I said, “Well, I can’t change my name.”
How has the music industry changed since you started out?
New music goes through cycles, and when I was a kid, I loved listening to the radio; I loved a lot of ’70s and ’80s music. I feel like the music is almost going back to the ’70s, which is so great. I was so excited last year with artists like Daft Punk with ‘Get Lucky’ because it sounded so familiar, like great music has come back. The same goes for people like Bruno Mars, with his last hit, ‘Uptown Funk’ – it’s just great.