Sade’s longtime collaborator and Grammy Award winning producer, sound engineer, and mixer Mike Pela passed away this weekend after a sudden illness whilst travelling in Italy. He was deeply loved and cherished by his wife Suzy and daughters Natalie and Emily.
Pela started his career in the 70’s at CTS Studios in London, moving on to Pete Townshend’s Eel Pie Studios working with artists including; Stephen Stills, Alice Cooper, Hawkwind, Nico, and Pete Townshend. Pela co-produced and mixed the double album ‘Scoop’ for Townshend.
It was in the 80’s when his long term collaboration with Sade began after starting at Robin Millar’s newly purchased Power Plant Studios in London, where Pela worked as chief engineer on recordings including: Boy George, ELO, Roy Wood, Fine Young Cannibals, Everything But The Girl, Tom Robinson, The Style Council, Gang of Four.
He went on to work long term with artists such as Dreams Come True, Maxwell, and Sade.
“It’s hard to imagine a world without Mike, but he’s a vital force within everything we’ve done, and everything to come, and remains really, truly, in our hearts.
There’s no other like him, not if we were to look forever.
We shared absolute trust.
He gave us a safe place so we could be fearless.
He came with no ego; soulful, constant, funny, resilient, kind and brilliant.
We’ll try our best to make him proud.”
– Sade, Stuart, Andrew, and Paul.