When I first listened to Eritrean-Swedish r&b/post-punk singer (boy, isn't that an impressive mouthful?), Adiam
, I was immediately hooked. Her new album, Black Wedding,
is a dark, gritty fantasy, but her smooth voice brings a subtle sense of purity. Although her songs follow a strict pop formula, she effortlessly mixes R&B and punk genres with her cool attitude and pristine production. I truly thought, "Is this the next Rihanna?" I was so mesmerized by her sound, I had
to ask her some questions about the songwriting process and the making of her new album.
You just released your album Black Wedding,
what was it like working with Dave Sitek? What did the process look like between you two?
Dave is someone I admire and respect a lot. The process was intense, for six weeks all we did was basically lock ourselves up and work nonstop.
How does Black Wedding
differ from your first album, Adiam Dymott
Well the main thing is that I worked with a different producer on Black Wedding
which obviously made it different. I think red thread for both albums is that it's still raw and at times dark. The bigger picture is that it's a natural progression and binding it all together is my voice.
Your lyrics are unapologetically honest, something I think a lot of people are afraid of. Was there ever a time in your life where you struggled with being so vulnerable in front of your listeners?
I think what people consider honest and unapologetic to me is the only truth it is. I could never sing or stand behind something that I wasn't able to relate to. In my opinion, not staying true to myself in my lyrics or the way I deliver it would make the reason why I'm here pointless.
Which song were you most excited for people to hear when the album came out?
"Quiet Desperation" and "Black Wedding," they were the first songs we wrote and recorded and they really put the vibe on the whole album
How has growing up in Sweden influenced your music?
I think the diversity comes from my father's vinyl collection. But I've always had a fascination for Swedish folk music and I strongly believe that all sounds that touches you also inspire you somehow.
It's noted that some of your influences range from Bruce Springsteen to Dean Martin to Biggie, are there any modern day artists that you find yourself being inspired by?
Young Fathers, Ro James, Bryson Tiller, Telepathe, Jazz Purple, and so on.
You told your fans that making your album has been a "long and tricky road," can you explain that?
I think any creative person can agree that your mind is what you are constantly at war with. One day you feel like you are on the top of the world and you keep writing, singing, producing all at ease. Then there will be other days when you feel like every move or every word is forced. It's been a long road to come to terms with and allow myself that it's okay to not be on the top of the world all the time.