Phil Collins was in a festive mood. The music legend’s Little Dreams Foundation held its holiday party Tuesday night at Jetset Franklin in Miami Beach. The nonprofit, which helps nurture talent in the arts as well as sports, invited a couple of talented kids to show off their singing chops at the funky venue.
Collins, 64, was perched on a bar stool in front of a makeshift stage, baseball cap pulled down low.
“I have to admit I’m impressed by what I heard,” said Collins, who runs the foundation with his ex-wife, jeweler Orianne Collins Mejjati. “It’s not easy standing up there in front of someone like myself or strangers, but these kids come in with guns blazin’. They don’t have any fear. That’s what you need.”
Collins was particularly impressed with one young lady’s brave performance of Against All Odds, which he wrote for the soundtrack to the 1984 film of the same name.
“I was reminded just how good a song that is. I never thought much of it at the time. Once I write a song I move on,” said the one-time Genesis frontman and drummer. “I never listen to my stuff. I mean, I listen to it while I’m writing it, but I forget about it unless it comes on the radio or I happen to be in the car and hear it. And you forget how good it is. That song still holds up, in my humble opinion.”
While he has high hopes for the new generation, Collins joked that some of the tweens who seek out Little Dreams for guidance need to brush up on their Googling skills.
“We had a drummer come in to see us,” recounted Collins, “and he was asked who his favorite drummer was. He names a few. Then my son Nicholas asked, ‘Well, what about Phil Collins?’ And he said, ‘Nah, he’s a singer!’ They don’t know who the hell I am except I’m the guy who sang In the Air Tonight.”
Collins was smiling. It’s all good. The semi-retired Brit was looking forward to some down time over the holidays and spending his first Christmas in the new home he recently bought in Miami Beach.
There’s a new member in his family to celebrate with — Spot Dave Collins, an adorable Jack Russell who was seen socializing at the event.
“He’s great fun,” said Collins, with a smile. “But no, he doesn’t have an account on Twitter. Don’t start that.”
Little Dreams’ charity gala, set for Dec. 11 at the Fillmore, has been moved to March 11. Tickets: http://www.ldf.cc/).