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Adele Discusses Amy Winehouse, Her New Album ’30,’ Her Divorce, And More
Lifestyle & Pop

Adele Discusses Amy Winehouse, Her New Album ’30,’ Her Divorce, And More 

She also speaks about the difficulties of being single and dating, not appreciating celebrity, her message to other artists, parenting after divorce, Amy Winehouse, and more.

By Omotayo Olutekunbi

Adele, a popular English singer-songwriter, joined Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1 on November 17, 2021 to discuss her highly anticipated fourth studio album, 30.

The singer opened up to Apple Music about the emotional rollercoaster that led up to the album’s release, including losing and regaining her connection to her own music, the anger she felt after leaving her marriage, and how making ’30’ helped her and why she believes it can help others.

She also speaks about the difficulties of being single and dating, not appreciating celebrity, her message to other artists, parenting after divorce, Amy Winehouse, and more.

Adele Tells Apple Music About Initially Wanting To Release ’30’ Earlier…

I wanted it to come out last year, obviously. And, when I drunkedly announced it at my best friend’s wedding on the stage. Expect my album in September, to a room full of people I don’t f***ing know. But, I wouldn’t know I’d be announcing it to everyone that already pretty much knew anyway. Who the f**k did I think I was? It would’ve been done by then. I hadn’t done the orchestras yet.

And, I hadn’t finalized all of my BVs and stuff like that. But, it would have, had the world not shut down. And, it’s such an integral piece to my life story over the last few years, that I wanted it to come out. Because, when it does come out, it’s the final door closing on that chapter of my life. So, it feels like it’s dragged out for me a little bit.

Adele Tells Apple Music About Losing and Regaining Her Connection With Her Own Music…

I don’t think there’s any expectation of sincerity left in music from artists. And, I believe that artists are sincere. And, I think to be an artist, like an actual artist, it comes from deep within us.

And, it’s a necessity that we have to put it out. And, I don’t just mean being an artist as a singer or a writer. It could be a painter. It could be a photographer. It could be a chef, an architect. Someone that’s creating something. And, I just feel like it’s just a transaction now. And, that’s not why I got into music.

It’s just not my vibe. But, I’m not in it long enough at a time for it to really take me off of music at all. If I was doing this every year, I mean, I’d just be a zombie I think. But, I definitely did lose my connection with my own music and with how it made me feel and stuff like that. But, it came back to me on this album because I needed it so badly.

Adele Tells Apple Music About Her Anger After Leaving Her Marriage…

One thing that did happen, which was sort of going… It’s not really a song about it on this record. I got really angry after I left my marriage. It was really interesting because I never had arguments with any of my boyfriends, let alone… My marriage was very calm, you’ve seen us together.

We never got into a screaming match and if we disagreed we’d figure it out, very quickly, there and then. I got this rage, a lot, afterwards. And I think it was frustration of me ignoring myself for such a long time. And me feeling like I was falling back into my old habits and stuff like that, but it was scary to me.

That was very… I mean… I can fight. If I need to fight, I’ll fight. But I don’t start arguments. I don’t scream and lose my voice and stuff like that. Once I realized what it was, why that would happen, everything really started changing.

Adele Tells Apple Music How Making ’30’ Helped Her, Why She Thinks It Could Help Others, and Maybe Even Save a Few Lives…

It was like it really helped me, this album. It really, really did. And I truly do believe, like when we started the interview where I was like, “There’s not an occasion or a scenario or a feeling where there is not the perfect song for it somewhere.”

I really do believe, and I’m not being arrogant or anything like that here, it’s just like, it was my hell, but I really went to hell and back. And I realized, I actually didn’t like who I was. And I think I just really got, like most other human beings, especially of my age, really just got into that thing of just going through the motions.

Like I’ve got to get over there. And wasn’t opening my eyes, and seeing what was actually happening at the time, and enjoying the world around me and stuff like that. And I really think that some of the songs on this album could really help people, really change people’s lives. And I think a song like Hold On could actually save a few lives. I really, really do.

Adele Tells Apple Music About Being Single and Dating…

Adele: I’ve never been this well known and been single. So I was with someone most of 19 and then I was in the studio. It wasn’t with anyone, but I was in the studio writing about who that album is about. And then straight after 21 I got with Simon. So I hadn’t been… so I didn’t… I don’t- I just never experienced, A) dating as a grownup really but also everyone knowing who I am and then…I didn’t want to date anyone.

Zane: Are people giving you advice? Are the like, you go on Tinder or something?

AdeleNo, but I would try and be like, “how did you meet so and so,” and they’d be like, “On an app.” But I’m like, “Oh fu** I can’t do that.” But what it was, I wasn’t interested in men at all. But what it was was that it’d be like… I was at my friend’s birthday party and people that I had just met in LA since I moved there or whatever, I was always married. I was always taken, suddenly were trying to chirps me at the bar.

And I’ll be like, “Are you flirting with me? Don’t you…”. I’d be like, “I’m married.” I’d be like, “No, I don’t want to f***ing go out of you, I’m married.” And I wasn’t anymore. It was very, very strange. But “Oh My God” was sort of that and just being, please don’t let me voluntarily put myself in a f***ing situation that I’m going to regret.

And also I’m grateful that I didn’t date for most of 25 and 25 because I feel like I’ve really gotten away with it. I’ve not had any horrible people come and tell stories about me or anything like that.

Adele Tells Apple Music About Considering Not Releasing ’30’, Not Enjoying Celebrity, And Her Message To Other Artists…

There were moments, when I was writing these songs, and even when I was mixing them and stuff like that, where I was like, “Maybe I don’t need to put this album out.” Like maybe I should write another. Just because music is my therapy. I’m never going into the studio to be like, “Right, I need another hit.”

It’s not like that for me. When something is more powerful and overwhelming than me, I like to go to a studio because it’s normally a basement and there’s no f***ing windows and no reception, so no one can get ahold of me. So I’m basically running away. And no one would’ve known I’d written that record. And it’s like maybe I just had to get it out of my system and stuff.

…I think it’s hilarious, that I’m an artist for my f***ing job. But celebrity comes with it, and I’m not out for that. I don’t like being a celebrity at all… And this is my story, and I feel like it’s me taking back my narrative. I was on my own. I did it all on my own. If I’d like to thank anyone, it would be myself.

Because I really, really committed to myself. And yeah, I think it’s an important record also for other artists to hear, those ones that I feel like are being encouraged not to value their own art, and that everything should be massive and everything should be, get it while you can. Because that’s not what artists are. And I know a few of them that feel this pressure. To be like… All the time.

And I just wanted to remind them all that you don’t have to be in everyone’s faces all the time. And also, you can really write from your stomach, if you want. So yeah, it definitely, definitely is my album. I don’t think I will ever be like, “Oh, here you go, it’s yours.” Never.

Adele Tells Apple Music About Her Song “My Little Love” About Her Song Angelo and Parenting Through Divorce…

I was in LA and I went to Greg’s house to write it. And I didn’t know what kind of vibe I wanted to get, but I knew I had to tell his story in a song because it was clear that he was feeling it, even though I thought I was doing a very good job of being like, everything’s fine.

But I also knew I wasn’t being as present. I was present in real life, but I just wasn’t really there. I was just so consumed about her… by so many things, to be honest with you, so many different feelings. And he plucked up the courage to very articulately say to me, ” You’re basically a ghost.

You might as well not be here.” When he said, “I can’t see you.” And I’m like, what kind of poet is that? For him to be little and say, “I can’t see you,” to my face broke my heart. And I just… that was definitely one of the things I was most scared of when I left our… I didn’t leave our family, but left that structure, was just what if he hates me forever? And it didn’t take him long to ask me why we weren’t together.

And I said, “I left, it wasn’t your dad,” and stuff like that. And it’s a lot for him and I just feel like him sticking with me, not asking to not stay at my house, not asking to not spend time with me, still always saying, “Dad, I want to go and see my mom now,” and stuff like that meant that he was being my friend and he had some empathy for me. So I really felt like that side of his story but through myself, I can’t tell his story actually for him. But I can speak about where he was finding himself in it.

And it was really, really beautiful. And while I was writing it, I just remember thinking of any child that’s been through divorce or any person that has been through a divorce themselves or anyone that wants to leave a relationship and never will. I thought about all of them, because my divorce really humanized my parents for me. And that song, writing it, made me just be… kind of get over things that my own parents did or didn’t do for me.

And we all have our own expectations of our parents. Once we become a parent ourselves, I feel like we tend to be like, oh they did a s**t job.But in reality it’s f***ing hard. And then you’re like Jesus. Yeah of course. I feel like it was important for me to tell Angelo’s story and belike, it was hard and I wasn’t doing a very good job at the most wild moment of his life probably.

Adele Tells Apple Music Music Was The Most Reliable Friend She Had Growing Up…

I was an only child. And, I was lonely a lot of my childhood, whether it be actually, or just felt it. And, I was just always very available to the way that music made me feel, from a very, very young age. I was lucky that my mum was really into music. And, she was so young when she had me that she was still at that point of being somewhat fanatical about music, or an artist.

And, that really rubbed off on me. It was the most reliable friend I’ve ever had in my life. There is a song for every emotion. There was a song for every feeling… and that was just that consistency.

Adele Tells Apple Music About Working With a Small Crew and People Who Make Her Feel Safe…

I worked with a lot fewer people than I normally do. And, it was all with people I knew, other than Flo. The first time I met him, I felt like I’d known him my whole life. And, because he was a north Londoner, we’re the same age and stuff like that, it was just very, very natural.

And then, I went back to the UK for the summer and I texted Jonathan and I was like, “I want to work with Flo.” Just me and him in a room. But, he’s also an integral part to my survival emotionally over the last few years. He’s been so careful with me. It was really, really amazing.

But, other than that, keeping it with people I knew felt safe to me because I knew I could tell them things and it wouldn’t leave the studio. But, also they’d been through it with me. So, as long as I’m doing things that make me feel safe, then I’m up for doing it. I feel like what I’ve done and the record I’m putting out, when I say dangerous, I don’t mean it’s actually dangerous. But, I go places on it.

Adele Tells Apple Music About The Meaning of Her Song “Can I Get It”…

“Can I Get It”, obviously it’s got this massive pop chorus and stuff-… but the lyrics in the verse that I just love, and that one is about, when I was, oh, okay, I could be open to dating.

First of all, LA is not the f***ing place to go dating when you’re Adele, I tell you that. It was like watching my friends, it was all casual sex. And everyone had slept with each other. And I was like, I’m not doing that. I’m not, I’m not, that’s not… I’ve left my marriage to go forward, not to f***ing go backwards. So that’s what that’s about.

Adele Tells Apple Music About Amy Winehouse…

I definitely didn’t take direct influence or inspiration from her, but you know how much Amy means to me. Like ‘Frank’, that record is more important to me than Back To Black is for most other people.

It’s the whole reason I picked up a guitar. And it’s one of the most heartbreaking things of being an artist of never, ever being able to hear one of your favorite artist’s voice… at the time again. But I definitely, I can totally see why I remind people of Amy. But that’s nice for me. She’s one of the greatest British artists of all time.

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