Posted On 02 May 2017
Canadian-born (now Los Angeles-based) alt-pop artist Adaline, who is gearing up to release her new album aptly entitled Aquatic.
Check out her newest single, “Nostalgia” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1c6LM8MD4Lg
It takes only a few moments of conversation with the prodigiously talented composer/vocalist Adaline to be drawn in by her insightful intelligence and charm. It takes a similarly brief length of time when listening to the powerfully evocative, darkly cinematic and percussive poetic melodies of her music to experience another side of the artist – one that is intensely revelatory, emotionally unbound and searing in its honesty.
Adaline is a successful and prolific composer of music for film and television. Yes, the Canadian-born now Los Angeles-based songstress has had music licensed more than sixty times including multiple songs on Grey’s Anatomy, 90210, Ringer, Lost Girl, Flashpoint and The Samaritan starring Samuel L. Jackson. She also collaborated on the score for the Bret Easton Ellis written film The Canyons with Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene.
Adaline has returned with a new collection of songs aptly entitled Aquatic. Conceptualized on the ocean it lyrically serves as a metaphoric baptism – that of starting over. Aquatic is a journey through the darker side of love. It speaks to the unending search for real connections in a world where such a notion is riddled with cruel falsehoods and misplaced expectations. “We are living in a time where people are so afraid of connection. It makes them run and hide. Love can’t thrive in that kind of environment,” says Adaline. “I attempt to love freely. This is terrifying for people because I throw myself into it without overthinking. For me, it ends up in either a true connection, or in devastating heartbreak. But when the latter happens at least I can make some honest art,” she muses.
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Learn more about Adaline in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for you and your music? How is 2017 treating you so far?
2016 was a year of change for me in almost every way. It was a year where I had to take more responsibility for the life I had created and an inspiring year of creating the life I wanted. It was a scary year and an emotional one but also a year where I got to see what I was made of and see how strong I could really be. 2017 feels a bit like coasting on the changes I made and so far it’s felt incredible.
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it?
I’m at a little coffee shop in Toronto called Hannah’s Cafe and they are playing the White Ladder album by David Gray. It was his fourth studio album and his big breakthrough album. Always a good reminder that success takes time.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory? Could you see yourself doing anything else today?
I was very musical growing up because my family was very musical. I had my first solo on stage at 3 years old singing “Away in a Manger”. As long as I can remember I loved performing – to the point where I cringe watching family videos of myself growing up. I was quite the attention seeker. I’ve tried doing other things and music always calls me back. It’s really the thing I’m best at so I’ve taken time to make a career of it. It doesn’t happen overnight but it’s more satisfying that way.
I’m curious to know when you first decided to move from Canada to the US? Did your music have a great impact on that decision? How has this big move influenced your music and who you are as a musician? Do you ever want to move back to Canada?
Deciding to move to Los Angeles was just the next logical step for me. I love Canada but the market is small and I work mostly in songwriting for film and TV so LA made sense. I felt I had done what I could in my amazing country and knew to grow I needed to make a move. I feel like I live between the US and Canada – I’m back and forth all the time. To be honest, it’s hard to feel like you ever have a home doing music. It’s such a transitory lifestyle.
Let’s talk about your newest album, “Aquatic” which you will be releasing shortly. Can you discuss the theme of water in this collection and where the album title came from? What it was like putting these songs together?
The water theme really came from the fact that I wrote the lyrics for the album on the ocean. I find the ocean insanely inspiring. I’m almost too inspired by it to the point where I sometimes have to force myself to be inspired by something else. I think the ocean parallels life in so many ways. The way it sustains, the way it destroys. The way it pushes and pulls. It’s a metaphor that strikes deeply for me. These songs really just came easily. I think I was in a place that was ready to channel these songs into reality.
What was the inspiration for your already released track, “Entertainer”? How did this song go from just being an idea in your head to a full-fledged song?
Entertainer is a sort of anthem for those of us tired of cowardly romantic advances. I don’t need another person to merely entertain my heart. I’m perfectly fine with entertaining myself, thank you. This song came together in an interesting way. It was sort of a musical experiment with me and my producer. We decided to write separately from each other – we chose a key and a time signature and he worked on a groove and I wrote melodies and lyrics. The next day when we put the two together Entertainer was born and we never changed it.
Your music has been licensed more than sixty times on television shows and movies. Do you still get excited when you hear one of your songs on something? Can you recall the first time you heard something you created on TV or elsewhere? What did that feel like for you?
It’s always exciting. Always. And I feel insanely grateful every time because there are so many songs so to know that mine got the opportunity join the emotion of a scene is humbling. I remember my first license was a show called “The Best Years” and I got some friends together to watch. My first really big license, Grey’s Anatomy, was a surreal experience. To feel so connected to every viewer in that moment – it’s an insane feeling.
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
The band that really changed my life, (and many other musicians) is Radiohead. Their career and musical evolution is constantly inspiring. From a songwriting perspective I was very inspired by Leonard Cohen. I feel like I get to work with so many amazing musicians already! Obviously would love to work with the people who inspire me but I am always blown away by the talent around me every day.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs?
I hope that my songs connect with people on a deeper level than just style. My producer and I have a mantra we go back to all the time: “What does it mean” It is so easy to write songs that don’t really have much substance. Lyrics that don’t do enough emotional digging. Or get caught up in catchy production. Songs that change people’s lives come from a very honest place. I want people to listen and not just think “oh that sounds cool” but “I feel something”.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Just how honored I am to have an audience. I feel more responsibility than ever to write and say something meaningful. It is such a pivotal time and artists need to take this time to reflect back the thoughts and concerns of our generation. It’s an important time to create art and I feel lucky to be a part of it.