THRDS had the opportunity to meet up with Adam French in Kensal Rise. We were able to learn more about the “My Addiction” singer; covering topics like his origins, musical processes and inspirations. It was an amazing experience shooting and creating some beautiful imagery with him. Listen to his track “You From The Rest” here, coming from Adams upcoming EP by the same name in May. Read the full interview below.
Hey Adam, How is it going?
Hey! I’m doing well thanks. It’s just been a really cold but fun day.
How did you find the shoot with Brunel?
The shoot was great! Enjoyable, nice and easy, and relaxed. It was cool.
Your new EP “Weightless” has been released. It’s gaining traction and also a lot of new fans. Many of which are eager to know more about the man behind it all. What is the story behind Adam French? What made you choose to use your name instead of creating or using a nickname or moniker like so many others?
I came from a background of being in bands and used to go under different aliases, when I became a solo artist I decided to use my name as a fresh start, a fresh space to create music and a fresh outlook on music. At the time when I started writing as a solo artist there were a lot of artists who were using monikers and different names. I wanted to be different and keep things simple. People ask me if Adam French is my real name and I tell them, “Yep, that’s my name.” So yeah, it felt like the correct thing to do at the time.
I asked Rosanna how would she describe you in three words and she told me that YOU described yourself as Enigmatic, Emotional and Opportunistic.
Would you say that your life experiences and environment have played a major part in moulding you into the person and artist you are today?
Yeah definitely! I think that a lot of what I write is from personal experiences and things that I’ve gone through. I believe to some extent that you should practice what you preach. You have to be able to talk about things that you understand and have been through, and this is very important for me. A lot of my music is lyrically led so it makes sense to make sure that it is honest.
Being enigmatic, how do you overcome those awkward moments when working with people who may not understand you?
Haha. I try and take life as it comes, I cant be too serious about it unless I need to be. Just go with the flow and hope nothing’s too horrific or awkward happens when you do come to a clash of heads. I never have too many problems with that to be fair.
Growing up in Manchester and now living in London.
Would you say that there is a big difference between the two cities?
I grew up in a town called Congleton, which is roughly between Stoke and Manchester. Sadly, most people have never heard of it so if I’m asked “Where am I from?” I usually say a town near Manchester. If you were to compare Congleton to London there is a huge difference. For example, Congleton is so quiet. It’s your stereotypical market town with so many elderly people living there. In terms of opportunities for music, the creative arts or anything you want to get into you would have to move further afield into a bigger city. I spent a lot of time playing in Manchester where you get to know a lot of people from outside of Congleton who were interested in music. The natural progression of things once you start to take it seriously; whether it be music, fashion or film is to head to the city and try your luck.
So would you say that was your reason for relocating?
Yes absolutely! I moved down to London about three years ago as a student. All my friends had gone to university straight after college but I didn’t feel that I was ready at the time, I just wanted to focus on music. This decision left me in Congleton for another year or two until I reach the point where I couldn’t take it any further in a small town. I needed to get to where the people who could make things happen were. I went to university for a year, only for the purpose of chasing music. I studied Music Management to learn more about the industry, who runs it and how it works. It was definitely beneficial. I was able to meet a few people who are now working in labels but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing. It was a good thing to do overall as it meant I didn’t need a full time job and could focus on writing more songs, taking more shows and doing what was needed to get myself out there.
Do you ever regret leaving Manchester for London?
Nope. I definitely don’t regret it. I miss friends and family that still live there but I can always visit them and they make it feel like I’ve never left.
I’ve read that some of your fans consider your music as Rock. How would you describe your music/sound?
I think it definitely leans towards a bandy sound every now and again. It probably comes from where I’m from; which is bands and guitar music. I do always have a love for that and it has a place in my mind when creating music. Even if it’s subliminal it’s going to come through somehow as you always gravitate towards the music you enjoy listening to.
Are there any other artists that influence you?
It’s pretty varied. On the band side I loved Nirvana, Queen of the Stone Age and a few others. My dads record collection influenced me a lot as well when I was growing up like: Clash, Sex Pistols, Nirvana and all those bands.As I got older and started to discover music for myself I got into things like Bono, Johnny Hooper, Johnny Cash, Otis Reading etc.
Was there a moment in time that lead you to the decision that “Yes! I want to be a musician”?
I remember going to see the Sex Pistols with my dad just before my 14th birthday. We came down to Brixton Academy and there was just loads of people going absolutely mental. Johnny Rotten was leading a crowd of five thousand people through their catalogue of music and the crowd were screaming the lyrics back, it was amazing. It was the first time I had witnessed at that scale the connection between the artist/ song and the fans. It showed how much people care about these songs and that i would love to be able to do that.
What is your favourite part about being a musician?
The connection. When you get to the point where you’re performing shows in countries that you’ve never lived in, cities you’ve never been to and there’s people that make an effort to buy tickets and see your show. That’s one of my favourite parts. Where the song means something and it relates to something they’ve been through. I think that mutual understanding through a song is power.
If we went back 5 or 6 years and told your former self that in 2018 you would be signed, on tour and have released the EP “Weightless”. What would’ve been your reaction?
Hmm I don’t know. I think he would have liked to have believed it anyway. I think he’d be sitting there saying “I knew it was worth the slug and hassle, the awful shows and promoters letting you down.” It’s difficult when you’re at that stage there’s so many rogue promoters and “industry guys” everywhere. So to be able to get past that hurdle the former me would be like, “Thank god! There is a light at the end of the tunnel.” However, you also have to consider the butterfly effect. One little change of anything and it could screw up the whole thing.
From chilling with friends and making music in bedrooms and make-shift studios to performing live shows in front of thousands of fans. How have you adjusted to the spot light? Are there moments when it can get a bit too much? or that you wish you could’ve remained unknown?
I don’t think so. The whole known thing is a by-product. I think that if that’s the thing that you’re doing it for in the first place then you’re probably not in the right career. That’s for reality TV stars. I don’t in any form regret starting music, I enjoy it, I love it from performing on stage to recording in the studio. There is not a day that goes by where I am not grateful for my position.
So your EP is called “Weightless”. What was the thought process behind choosing this for its title?
The song means a lot to me. I remember stepping out of the recording and being the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s a live recording where you play everything in one take (multiple times of course); something that I hadn’t done before and it was out of my comfort zone. My producer Rich was like just do it, we’ll take 3 takes at the end of each night and then select the best one at the end of the week. The imperfections made it feel real and emotional which led me to push for it’s release first as my introduction to the world. It gives a hint towards how the album will be but also the ability to go in different directions.
I’ve always wanted to ask this. If you’re traveling or during your day to day do you listen to other artists? If so, who and If not, Do you listen to your own music and how does it feel listening to yourself sing?
Haha I don’t listen to myself. I can’t do it unless it’s at a recording after the studio. If anyone puts me on while I’m there I get really uptight and awkward. I listen to other artists all the time. I actually enjoy putting on a pair of headphones and just walking around the city at night or traveling on the tube and zoning out. A really good way of appreciating music is having it on while doing something else. I do that a lot when I have to listen to mixes of my own songs. I’ve recently put some Radiohead on my playlist, everything they’ve put out over the last two decades is gold.
If you’re not making music what do you get up to?
Photography. I’m very much a learner but I have a big love for it. I love film photography, I find it really satisfying especially with either a 35mm or 120mm.
When buying new clothes or getting ready to go out do you look for comfort or style?
Hmm, depends how cold it is. If it’s freezing then I am wrapping up but as long as it’s black, all black. I’m always at a funeral as far as everyone else is concerned. I don’t know why but I just gravitate towards black clothes.
What are you favourite brands right now?
I love a bit of everything to be honest. I like Nudie Jeans, Levi’s, Converse, Dr Martens so many honestly. Also places like Uniqlo if you want something plain cheap and simple. Brands like Gucci, YSL and Prada but only in really small doses, dark colours and if it’s free haha. I prefer simplicity where I don’t stand out too much.
Do you have a favourite item of Clothing?
It would have to be my jacket I love it and it seems to follow me everywhere. I am sure at some point it will end up in the graveyard because I’ll just wear the elbows out.
What’s the next step from “Weightless”?
It would be to put out more music. We’re about to release a new EP which is led by a track called “You From The Rest”. It should be out mid to late March and then we move towards festival season. I have a headline tour in April/ May which is all over the UK then straight into Hit The North Festival and Live at Leeds. It should be cool man, I can’t wait!