Word Is Out: Adele Looks To The Future, Gets Her Shade On


As Adele sits on top of the pop world, with the massive 25 breaking records left and right and selling over 3.38 million in the United States alone, what does the woman herself have to say about her success? Plenty, but don't call her arrogant --- sweet humble pie she is.

In a new interview with TIME magazine, Adele not only looks towards the future, but also discusses how motherhood has changed her for the better, how she let's go of anxieties, and expresses her thoughts on getting into the acting business, along with clearing the air about that rumored Beyonce duet (relax Bey stans...Adele hasn't tossed out the possibility). Yet, what's more interesting to me is Adele inhibitions to speak her truth about the current climate of today's music culture.

Since I'm always viewing music as a consumer and a critic, it's always interesting to hear the artists themselves discuss similar grievances I've seen when it comes to the marketing and distribution of music, especially now with our rapid technological advancements. We don't consume music like we did 10 years ago, even the same way we did when Adele first debuted in 2008 with 19, and Adele knows this, but frankly, my dears she doesn't give any got damns, as she was proud to thumb her nose at the idea of placing 25 on streaming sites like Spotify and Apple Music, as she wanted to make the release of her album, "an event":

"For me, all albums that come out, I’m excited about leading up to release day. I don't use streaming. I buy my music. I download it, and I buy a physical [copy] just to make up for the fact that someone else somewhere isn’t. It's a bit disposable, streaming. I know that streaming music is the future, but it's not the only way to consume music. I can’t pledge allegiance to something that I don’t know how I feel about yet."

As for utilizing social media to push her art forward, Adele ain't about that life either:

"Privacy is key to being able to write a real record, whether people like it or not. My life has changed so much, but I’ve made the realest record I can make, and it's the real part of me. How am I supposed to write a real record if I’m waiting for half a million likes on a f—ing photo? That ain't real."

Adele also uses frown emojis when she's discussing her disdain for branding and the current trends of artistic gimmickry:

"I don’t like that word, [brand]. It makes me sound like a fabric softener, or a packet of crisps. I'm not that. But there's personality in an artist, and if you're expecting people to let you in and give themselves to you, you have to be a whole package. I feel like some artists—and this isn't shading any artist, just me trying to come up with my own explanation—the bigger they get, the more horrible they get, and the more unlikable. And I don’t care if you make an amazing album—if I don’t like you, I ain't getting your record. I don’t want you being played in my house if I think you're a bastard."
"I'm not throwing shade at anybody, but when you have a six-month build up, don't expect me to be there the day your album comes out, because I’m bored. It doesn’t matter how amazing it is. You put seven songs out. I’ve heard the album. I’ve heard everything you want to say about it. I’ve heard it all over radio. Don’t expect me to not lose interest before it’s even happened."

Shade or no shade, Adele isn't off the mark about the abundance of gimmicks music artists use these days to sell their albums. Tired I am too of wait periods that consist of only teasers and lyric videos with no follow-through of the product. Or other tedious actions like social media trickery, releasing mixtape after mixtape to tide us over because the album 'isn't ready yet', and releasing albums for free to people's phones assuming everybody wants to own it right then and there (looking at you U2...). What always ends up happening in the end is that the albums themselves always leave little less to be desired, simply because more effort was put on image and public relations than focus being put on the crafting of the album itself.

I guess I'm as old school in thought as Adele because I appreciate when artists dip out of the spotlight for awhile to create and put themselves at the forefront of their projects --- not the image their PR team has cooked up or 'branded' them as. It's why a lot of artists that skirted around such practices this year (like Janet Jackson's Unbreakable, Jazmine Sullivan's Reality Show, and Marina & The DiamondsFROOT for starters...) tended to show themselves and their albums in a better light than their over-exposed contemporaries.

While I disagree with Adele about streaming not being an effective buying tool, as streaming has helped many unknown artists on the come up (in honesty, her and Taylor Swift just want to make bigger bank than us all...), and kind of wonder what she thinks of her own eclipsing presence in pop music and the (much vaunted) comparisons she's received in accordance to legendary acts, pop music's hottest chanteuse isn't saying stock statements when she notices how we need to go back to basics when it comes to the consuming and enjoyment of music.

+ Adele's TIME cover story can be read in full when the magazine hits newsstands, December 21st
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