For pop singer/songwriter Adam Friedman (AF), music is all about connection. It found him as a child when he needed it most and has resonated with him ever since. Now, Friedman has come to the realization that creating music is what he absolutely needs to do, as it has the power to connect with and inspire kids much like himself. Though he has thus far released only two songs and has a staunch, committed independent ideology, with a Mike Posner tour support slot in the bag and a Spotify-viral single, Friedman seems to be on the path of becoming the musician that he has always hoped to be.
Music has been a part of your life since your childhood. What first inspired you to get into music and what did it do for you throughout your childhood and teenyears? What does it do for you now?
AF — I remember three particular situations. The first was discovering the radio on a small tape player my mom purchased for me at radio shack to play my Hooked-On-Phonics tapes. I remember discovering Third Eye Blind, Lit, Blink 182 and other bands through that. It was my window to the world. The second was my older brother who showed me Dre’s 2001, Blink 182’s Dude Ranch, Eminem’s Marshal Mathers LP and Eminem Show. Those albums changed my life. The third was hearing Coldplay’s “Fix You.” Those songs definitely changed my life.
As an independent artist, how would you describe the feeling of rising to success so quickly following your song going viral on Spotify?
AF — It doesn’t feel like I’m rising to success very quickly. It feels steady. I still live on a tight budget and have a lot of talented friends that are further along than I am in certain regards. So, when the virality happened it felt great for a couple days but ultimately I knew that that’s just a short lived thing. I have a long road ahead of me of writing and performing so I look at things like virality as a guidepost that I’m on the right road.
You recently wrapped up a tour with Mike Posner. What was this experience like?What was your biggest highlight of the tour?
AF — It was incredible. I had never been on a tour bus, I never had my days so structured and scheduled before and I had never played venues with that many audience members consecutively like that. It was really special for me as well because Mike’s audiences really took me on and sang along and showed me a lot of love. The entire experience really lit a fire up under me. I want THAT. I want to sell out venues and have the bus and the team and discipline.
You are based in California and songs like “Lemonade” holds such a strong connection to the Golden Coast. What is it about California that is so romantic to you and why do you hope to encapsulate this feeling in your music?
AF — Going back to that little tape player, most of the bands and artist I loved were all in LA. From the music to the movies I was always under the assumption that for me, California was the promise land sort of speak. Also, growing up in AZ, my dad’s family lived in California so we would drive out to visit twice a year and every time we went I would beg my parents to move out there. They never did, so it’s been a life mission to live in California… Here I am!
The music video for “Lemonade” was shot with a budget of $0, but it still looks like you managed to capture the joy of a quintessential California day. What was it like shooting this video and what do you think the experience says about you as an artist?
AF — It was a blast! Six friends packed in a Denali driving up and down the coast camping with a bunch of cameras, skateboards and a drone. I mean, it was every kid’s dream and we lived it and caught it on camera! I think the fact that we threw it together within five hours before we left with zero budget sort of describes me as an artist. I’m about that moment. Whether it’s writing songs, performing or making videos stay in creation mode. I’m not one to discuss a “creative vision”. I make the vision happen to show versus tell what I’m trying to say.
You collaborate with a number of artists, like Mike Posner. What do you enjoy most about this and what do you enjoy most about working solo, too?
AF — Creating music with other people is way more enjoyable than doing it alone. When I work with other people who I really vibe with, it’s pure bliss. I love it. On that note, I don’t always have these people around. I started writing songs when I was eight or nine and I did that alone for many, many years until I started working with people, so it’s in my DNA to work alone a lot of the time. I find peace in that. At the end of the day, it’s a balance. I need both. I go insane when I̓m alone for too long or work with people too much.
“Pretty Things” has such powerful lyrics that feel as if they could connect with a number of listeners, but still feel as if they could be very personal. What was your source of inspiration to write a song with lyrical content such as this?
AF — First off, I was lucky enough to be in the room with Posner, Ilsey Juber, and Blackbear when this song was written. I remember very vividly when we got the groove down we were all like, “Okay sick, this feels really good.” Most of the lyrical and melodic content came from Ilsey and Mike. When I went home that night, I expanded the vibe and added guitars and drums and built the track into the ending section. Going back to when I discovered Coldplay, I loved how they constructed their songs. Particularly in “Fix You” they have that epic build to the end, that’s what I went for in “Pretty Things”.
You’ve said that you feel that nothing matters besides the fact that you feel that you are here to make music and share it with the world. How did you come to this realization?
AF — I moved to LA a little over two years ago. I made a good amount of money for my first year out of college doing what I love— I networked a lot, I met loads of people, I met famous people, I worked with famous people, etc. The point is that I dove pretty deep into a lifestyle while ignoring what actually mattered to me, which was making music. Fast-forward to this year — I was having this conversation with my friend Matt and every time I speak to him about this he tells me the same thing, “Stop being the person that everybody thinks you are supposed to be.” He couldn’t have said it better. So, I took his word for it and my life has opened up. I really do feel much better. I’m keeping it simple. All I have to do is make music that I want to make and share it because I must do it. That’s it! It’s beautiful. Of course it’s not always a walk in the park, but that’s life and that̓s where I find fulfillment. Everything else is a distraction to me.
What you are doing with music seems immensely important to you and sharing it seems equally as important, what do you hope the world gets from your music?
AF — It is. For so many reasons. I know that if I create something that really resonates with me, it will resonate with others. That’s it. So, I want to do that over and over again and build a community of people who resonate with each other over the songs. I love bringing people together. It makes me happy. It’s like when you can make a bunch of people laugh at the same time. I know for that moment, we are all on the same level. Whether it’s a fart joke or a song, we are all connected for a few moments and that’s such a wonderful thing. One of my goals is to extend those moments into longer periods of time.
You have only released two songs thus far, but your debut EP is coming soon. What can we expect from that? What are you most looking for to with its release?
AF — Well, expect releases before the EP, too. I plan on sharing my songs whether it’s a full-blown release on Spotify and radio and promo and all that or just a simple YouTube post. Regarding the EP, I’ve been exploring a more electronic urban vibe that I’ve really been vibing with lately. I’m excited for these releases!
What are your hopes for yourself going forward?
AF — I hope that my music changes people in a positive way. I hope that there’s a nine year-old kid laying in his room listening to the radio or scrolling through Spotify and iTunes trying to find something or someone to connect with and I come on and fulfill what they’re looking for. I hope I inspire more people to have the courage to do what they want to do in the face of a society that all too often accepts the way things are. I want to inspire people to walk barefoot when everyone has shoes on or love who they want to love when they’re expected to do differently. I want to help push people to find their own voice and not be the person others want them to be, but rather find it within themselves to be whatever it is they are compelled to be.