Interview by Miriam C.
Probably by proposing you this artist I’ll be out of line and out of context for what Femme Metal Webzine traditionally proposes but, you know what, I value our freedom of speech here in our zine and sometimes I take the poetic licence to go way beyond our imaginary and self-managed area of interested to invite you discover some interesting acts such the one I’m gonna introducing now. Adiam is Swedish-Eritrean singer-songwriter and she has recently published the single “Quiet Desperation” from her upcoming EP “EP2”. Adiam‘s music mixes efficiently “rugged post-punk and hip-hop attitude, electronic radiance, intelligent pop songwriting and distinctively soulful R&B vocals”. I’m aware that probably I won’t meet everyone’s tastes here but if you enjoy music in all its nuances that the right thing for you.
Hi Adiam, welcome to Femme Metal Webzine. How are you?
Very well. Thank you.
Before we start delving into your upcoming release “EP2”, would you mind taking a step back and telling us how your musical journey started?
My musical journey started with singing in the local church choir in Uppsala with my older sister at the age of four. Later on I was heavily influenced by my father’s extensive vinyl collection. I was extremely fascinated by the music, the photos, the album art. It’s what I started to sing along to: Sam Cooke, Bruce Springsteen and Lee Perry to Donna Summer, Boney M and Simon & Garfunkel.
You’ve recently released your first single taken from “EP2”. What insights can you share about “Quiet Desperation”?
“Quiet Desperation” is the second song we wrote at Dave Sitek’s place in Los Angeles. The title is basically inspired by a saying of Henry David Thoreau, the author of the book “Walden”, that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. I think this is still true today. What some people call resignation is nothing but confirmed desperation.
In addition, to this version you’ve unleashed a remix version of “Quiet Desperation” by future bass group from Berlin, Symbiz Sound. How was this collaboration born?
It was my manager in Berlin who introduced me to their work. I love what they did to the song. The original up-tempo track is transformed to slow-creeping yet equally pushing rhythm.
In your music you cleverly mix “rugged post-punk and hip-hop attitude, electronic radiance, intelligent pop songwriting and distinctively soulful R&B vocals”. Who are your most representative artists from which you’re influenced?
I listen to a lot of different music. Currently Telepathy, Ty Dolla $ign, Young Fathers and HNNY are on my playlist. The Hip Hop and RnB from the 90s I grew up with however still has the biggest influence on me to this day.
How was working with your producer Dave Sitek for the second time after he had previously produced “EP1 Dark Lake” last year?
It was great. Dave is an amazing musician and producer. I love his work with TV on the Radio and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. We’re a great match when working together.
I learned you have a Eritrean-Swedish background. Has your cultural heritage played a part, in some way, to help mold your musical style?
Yes, absolutely. Like everything else in my life. I am born and raised in Sweden, where my parents move to from Eritrea. So I have been brought up in two very different cultures – the Scandinavian and the Eritrean. This has been equally inspiring, educational and at times also challenging for me.
The visual aspect always plays a big part in your music and both “Dark Lake” and “Quiet Desperation” videos proved how the work behind the main concept is refined and meticulous. Could you tell us a bit about coming up for the concepts for these videos and share some insight about it?
Yes, indeed. We conceived these videos as a black-and-white series with a strong visual identity. We shot them on Gotland, an island off the coast of Sweden. It’s a very gloomy and magical place.
What’s next for you? Are you planning to record a full-length in the future?
Yes, I recorded my entire upcoming album with Dave Sitek. Soundwise it’s a mixture of electronic and organic sounds. Pretty brutal and dark at times, but also uplifting and encouraging at the same time.
So, Adiam, it’s time for parting words – I really thank you for your time – please feel free to greet our readers and your fans. Thanks again!
Thanks is all to you, Miriam. It was a pleasure talking to you. Come check out my music and follow me on Instagram (adiammusic).
Credit Photo by Marek Polewski