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Interview: Adam Cola brings honesty to pop music

Stay True

Adam Cola delves into being true to one’s self.

In a time when pop music feels so corporately manufactured and soulless it can be difficult to wade through the muck to find the diamond in the rough. Montreal born and current California based pop singer Adam Cola is doing his best to change that.

Currently Cola is in the process of releasing his debut album Flesh.Blood.Love. which will be out this Spring, but in the mean time he has released an energetic and addicting yet deceptively lyrically profound debut single “Be Free”, which is his opening statement as to who he is as an artist.

Salute Magazine managed to catch up with Cola to ask him all about his music, how he writes, his feelings on creating music, what his experience so far has been like, and more.

Salute: So you’ve got your first album coming out this spring. Do you want to talk about what it has been like to create it and what the experience has been like for you?

Adam: For sure. Yeah, so the album is actually called Flesh. Blood. Love. It was incredible and I feel so incredibly blessed to have gone through and found my voice in the whole process. We started almost a year ago. Basically I recorded basically 50-60 songs and it was really an evolution of finding my voice, finding my sound and seeing which producers and what I wanted to talk about with this album and I think Flesh. Blood. Love. really captures the essence of this first work that I’m putting out.

Yeah, I gotcha. Basically you’re figuring out what works and what doesn’t and at the end of the day what collection of songs will make the best opening statement for who you are.

Adam: Yeah, that’s exactly it. And, yeah. That’s really what happened. It was a blast. I mean like there were some songs that aren’t on the album that I really hold close to my heart. But I’m really proud of the work. I’m really proud of all 12 tracks on the album. So I’m excited for everyone to hear it.

I would bet. I’m excited too. And you know what? Honestly if you have a bunch of leftover tracks you can always use them on subsequent albums if you feel it’s the right time.

Adam: Yeah, definitely. I mean because there are some songs that have a little bit more of a trap element and some have like more of an urban element.

And there’s definitely songs on the album that have urban elements to it which I really wanted to add to it. Like some are straight pop and some are dance pop and then there’s some that are more like urban pop – like pop R&B.

And they all have a groove. They all feel good. They all want to make you move. That’s the whole point.

Yeah, essentially they have kind of a similar element to one another to connect them all together, but you don’t recognize it on a surface level.

Adam: Exactly. Yeah, that’s what music is about to me. It’s really about a deeper and more personal connection between the listener and the music that they’re listening to because everyone can relate in their own individual way.

So however the music will speak to them is going to be really interesting to get the feedback.

Well and you know and at the end of the day that really is the main purpose of music, is to connect with people on a deeper emotional level. Otherwise it’s just fluff.

Adam: I know and you know it isn’t really about me showing off. It’s more about me connecting and like telling a story and making people really feel something. I’m not here to be like “Wow, look at me!” and it’s all about me. It’s really not. It’s about what I’m saying.

And that’s kind of the impression I got about you from the get-go, especially when I was seeing like you kind of have mantra about you know embracing who you truly are. You know, living your life to the fullest and being who you want to be rather than just trying to show off.

Adam: Yeah, because people see right through that. No one will appreciate you to your fullest if you’re not really who you are because people will see through it at some point or another.

Well yeah. Anyone can be a flavor of the month, but if you want to have any staying power you have to have something real to you.

Adam: Absolutely.

How do you feel that influences your song writing?

Adam: About who influences it?

Er, no. How do you feel, you know the way you try to express yourself and live. How do you feel that influences your song writing?

Adam: I mean it totally influences it. Because every time I would come to the studio it would be pretty much me starting off with saying what I want to talk about.

It could have been an experience from that day or it could have been an experience from my childhood or could have been an experience with a past relationship, when I was in my teenage years, earlier teenage years, but some times it was really about something that was bothering me that day or something I was really excited about that day.

It often was like I wanted to write something that was like the medicine to what experiencing that day.

Like if I was dealing with heartbreak that day I really wanted to get it out and then getting it out made me feel better and actually come full circle on the issue to make me see it in a new way.

And the music is more poetic I would say than what you hear commonly today. I think the music is like pretty straight and not as poetic and metaphoric and I think I do more of that in my writing.

Right. Like I noticed on “Be Free” you definitely have a lot more stuff to actually talk about in the song itself rather than having it be just another top 40 party track.

And you managed to weave that into something where it was still fun and accessible but you’re still actually saying something.

Adam: Yeah! And I’m actually happy that you gathered that. That was my intention with most of the music.

Even though on the surface, like on another song on the album “Dancin'” it says “I just wanna dance with you” or you know it’s just about dancing and feeling good.

But really I always want to incorporate behind the whole thing that we all like to dance because it brings us together and it makes us feel like non-judgmental about others. And it’s just about having a good time and leaving the drama away.

It’s about letting loose. So yeah it always has that deeper meaning behind it.

Right on. So I think before I let you go I have just one more question. If you think you’re able to, what is one word you would use to describe your music?

Adam: One word… [pauses] That’s a good question. I think that the one word I would use to describe it would be ‘truthful’.

Beyond being edgy, being stylish, being groovy I think that the ultimate way to describe it is it’s really just me. It’s real. It’s me.

And that’s all you can really do and be as a musician. I mean, if you’re not telling the truth then what are you doing it for?

Adam: Yeah! Exactly. And people connect with the truth. People connect with the honesty. You know, people get really tied down by things that they may feel ashamed of or things that they can’t express themselves about.

And I wanted to express stuff that was true to who I was and talk about uplifting times and talk about heartbreak.

And through the metaphoric language and through – like there’s another song on my album called “Runnin'” and I say “You got me runnin’ away”.

Anyone can have that experience where they are pulling back from a relationship or running away from a relationship they feel trapped by. That’s another one I’m excited for people to connect with.

Keep up with music at Salute.

Listen: Adam Cola Be Free

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