ADRIAN DANIEL: SOULFUL QUESTIONS WITH SUPERDRY
13th March 2018
Adrian Daniel has been slow-burning his soulful presence in Brooklyn NYC for a few years. Drawing comparisons to The Weeknd and giving retro R&B a revitalised feel, Adrian’s appeal has streamed to UK shores, and resulted in sold out gigs in London. Superdry jumped at the chance to chat to the man himself…
Q: You’re a Brooklyn boy – how has that trendy neck of NYC shaped your character, music style and ambitions?
Being from Brooklyn is like being on the internet – there is so much going on you have to be able to keep up and stand out to be heard. You have to be your true self in order to be respected. Those qualities translate into me and my music. New York forces you to be the best and aspire for greatness.
Q: You recently played a UK gig at Hoxton – the unofficial foreign sister of Brooklyn. How do the areas relate and differ?
I didn’t get a chance while I was there to explore the area of Hoxton but the venue was really great to play at and I love London and the people. It reminds me of New York in a lot of ways but it’s not as hostile. In New York you will see a fist fight happen because someone cut the other off at a light, haha.
Q: What did you get up to during your London promotional trip – outside of the actual promo?
I did some sightseeing, did the tourist thing. Tried a lot of the food. I make it my mission when I go to a new city or country to try the food from that area. I came and saw Superdry whom I love. I walked around your city a lot just taking everything in and talking to random people about the UK and just learning about your country. I think I might move here at the end of the year. Very strong possibility.
Q: Your latest album is called Flawd – what are your flaws?
I have too many to count haha. One thing I did a lot was to allow toxic people into my life too often. What made it worse was it felt like I, in someway, relished in people not valuing me because I kept going back. The thing about our flaws is being able to acknowledge them and actively work on them. I have better people in my life now that truly love and appreciate me and I’m blessed because of it.
Q: The album is chilled out whilst also feeling experimental – what’s the story of Flawd, and where do you see people listening to it?
Flawd is a representation of my personality. There are so many colours and layers all rolled into one that make this beautiful thing. The album is a driving record. Its best to be played whilst you’re on the go. It helps you really zone out and really take things in. Try listening to it on your cab ride anywhere, you will get what I mean.
Q: The album is a tour-de-force of R&B vocals – where did you learn to hit those Weeknd-esque high note notes?
I would call them Michael-esque vocals cause that’s who I learned from. I listen to Michael and Prince religiously. They are the foundation for what I do with my voice.
Q: We met your band, and we got on with them! How did they get the job, and what does it take to be part of Adrian Daniel’s entourage?
They didn’t get the job. I never hired them they just keep showing up uninvited, haha. They are really talented musicians and they are my friends first and my band second. That’s what’s it takes to be around me, I just want to be around people I can be myself with and who get a kick out life just as much as I do – and they are that.
Q: Any musical bucket list goals?
Album of the year at the Grammys and Best international artist at the Brits. If it happens it happens but if it doesn’t I’m still happy. I’m just striving to be as great as possible.
Q: Dream collaborator and why?
Kanye West. Because he is the Goat of course. I just want to talk to him. Pick his brain. Even if we don’t make a song I know that conversation will change my life.
Q: You mentioned your love of anime – if you were a Pokemon who would you be and why?
This question is legendary. I would be Charizard, because I don’t take nonsense from no-one, and if I’m bored somewhere I can just fly away. On top of that I will roast you if you try me!
Q: First cassette you ever bought?
N*SYNC– ‘No Strings Attached’
Q: Why N*Sync?
As a kid those guys were everywhere, you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing them, plus their songs were really good; cheesy at times but good. You saw legions of girls chasing them down the street or at concerts.
Q: Vinyl is enjoying a renaissance – does Adrian Daniel have any future trend predictions?
I believe that in the next coming years, you’re going to see more and more singles be under 2:50 seconds. People have really short attention spans and it’s only getting shorter and shorter.