With A Name Like Adam Prince King...
On getting discovered
I mean, I wasn’t inundated with offers, so I think it is still quite difficult. The amount of artists that are self-releasing on Spotify.. And then the label has to go through loads of stuff to find stuff they like. Or they just played Eeny, meeny, miny, mo, and I got the straw.
On Myspace and DIY
Now I’m showing my age, but I was really into Myspace and I remember burning CDs and sending them out to labels. But that was what you did. You sent stuff out into the ether, and no one ever got back to you. [Laughter] I used to make really bad music. Really bad, cheesy pop music. I went through a rapping stage, too. Thank God it was pre-internet, so you can’t find any of this shit online.
I think there’s a tendency to be programmed with this dream of, “I’m going to write a song in my bedroom, and all of a sudden this label is going to find me.” And then a few years back, I decided that, if you want a label to come to you, you need to act like a label yourself. You need to hire PR companies and promote yourself, and that’s what I started doing.
On Musical ADHD
I’ve got musical ADHD. I like to jump from one thing to another, so now I’ve decided that this is what I’m doing. It’s good for me because I get bored. To write a collection of songs that flows nicely together was kind of a challenge for me. If something’s not working out quite right, I’ll be like, “Oh, fuck it, I’m changing my name,” and start all over again.
It’s nice once or twice, but if you keep doing it, I think it can become too gimmicky or almost self-destructive. You put yourself back.
Now I won’t change it because I like my name. It feels stronger and more me. Before, I was Adam Near The Sea and The Adamski Kid. It didn’t fully resonate with me. Adam Prince King does. And this year I did three music videos for this project, so it’s a testament to how much I believe in it because it was a lot of work and I funded it all by myself.
On music video nostalgia
I grew up in the 80s when the music video was coming into true fruition—there was Kate Bush doing amazing videos, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince. I’m really influenced by that kind of old school artistry where the music video sold the song. We’ve lost that music video magic a little bit, I think.
I miss proper MTV, not this Kardashian shit. People have got the attention span of a squirrel nowadays. I meticulously make these music videos and make sure every frame is right in the edit, and then people will just watch 30 seconds of it or whatever. But if I think about that too much, I get a bit upset [Laughter].
“Run Up The Hill” by Kate Bush is my favorite music video. It’s a really simple, 80’s version of one of Sia’s music videos with the ballet and stuff, but Kate Bush is doing all the dancing, perfectly. She must’ve trained as a ballerina, I don’t know. And they didn’t have special effects in those days. They had to make the actual concept really strong.
Another one that comes to mind is “Toxic” by Britney Spears. Those really iconic music videos. That was by the director Joseph Kahn. He’s done a few good ones.
On a longing for deep voices
My voice doesn’t sound like other people on the radio, so I do go through phases of having a complex of, “I’m not selling records because I don’t sound like Justin Bieber." But who is a baritone or a bass on the radio? No one, really. Everyone is singing quite high in their range. Where’s the Elvis of today? People with strong, deep voices?
I don’t know why the radio favors higher voices. Even going back, pop music from the 90’s onwards has always been like that. There’s a sound. Look what they did to Britney Spears. They make you have this sound that appeals to a younger audience, I guess. Maybe a higher-pitched voice will psychologically appeal to teenager girls. Maybe I’m going too deep into it…
And for women, there’s not really someone with a deep voice, either—anymore. Who made this decision? The government has locked up all the deep voice people.
On staying creative
Drugs. No, I’m joking. I did used to smoke quite a lot of weed, but it doesn’t work for me anymore. Now, you’ll laugh, but I take 100% Cacao, and it helps with my creativity. I do yoga, and I meditate.
I do Kundalini yoga. It’s very LA, and they wear white turbans and stuff. It’s a lot of breath stuff. You’re basically hyperventilating while doing some repetitive movements. And you just feel high afterwards, a natural high. It’s on YouTube, man. There’s loads.
But inspiration just comes if I sit. It’s getting myself to sit, that’s the problem. I’m quite restless.
I work at a yoga center doing front of house, and I do some website stuff.
Listen, it’s in South Kensington. I don’t know if you know London at all, but this is like Money Land. I don’t know what the equivalent here would be. Where’s the Trump building? It’s lots of posh French and Arab women that come to my work. They’re nice as pie, but it’s not something I wanna do for the rest of my life. It pays the bills. I used to work for Apple repairing things, but I would go home and cry myself to sleep because it was such a horrible job. I had people throwing their phones at me, and yeah, I just quit one day. Then I found this job which gives me a bit of headspace. If you have a job that stresses you out and you want to be a creative full time as well, you can’t. Now I’ve found a balance. In an ideal world, I’d make money full time from my music. That’s my next step.