Introspective and emotionally articulate, yet off-kilter and detached. Listening to Adam French is like pressing pause on a sunlit morning and letting your inner thoughts wash over the static frame. Minimal instrumentals and confessional lyrics meld together, projecting you into the singer-songwriter’s inner thoughts and provoking contemplation.
In a non-stop society, where information travels at the speed of light, there is a quiet rebellion to taking a minute to stop, breathe, and think things through. This is what gives French his force and his wide-spread appeal; evidenced by his sustained popularity as a live musician. In just the last eighteen months he’s appeared at Reading & Leeds, The Great Escape, Boardmasters, Festival #6, and Latitude. But has also provided support for acts like Jack Garratt, Rat Boy and Miles Kane.
He’s at it again with new EP ‘Weightless’, accompanied by a stunning video for the lead single, and has been tipped as ‘one to watch’ in 2018. We were lucky enough to sit down with French to talk about this new EP, his forthcoming headline concerts, and the time he literally brought the house down during a live set.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN MUSIC?
Initially it was my dad introducing me to his favourite artists and records; then I developed a taste for guitar music and wanted to write songs. I spent my youth in bands, but decided to go it alone when everyone in the band I was in went to university. I was always pretty adamant that I was going to be a recording artist. Even when I could barely play, I had faith (and delusion!) on my shoulder telling me that it would happen. If you don’t believe in yourself then why should anyone else?
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCES?
I love Hans Zimmer, Bon Iver, Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Johnny Cash, John Lee Hooker. My taste is pretty wide-ranging, but I think that what influences me most is great songwriting, and well-written music. I can lose myself in a great song, whatever the genre.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SONG-WRITING PROCESS?
I’m not sure I could, I mean, every song I’ve written has had its own little journey. I don’t have a set ‘lyrics first’ or ‘music first’ template… I might have a guitar or piano part that I like, or I’ll be thinking about life whilst on the tube, or walking somewhere at night. I have literally thousands of voice memos on my phone; some are full songs, others just clips of me humming melodies on the train like a weirdo.
WHO DO YOU MOST WANT TO WORK WITH IN THE INDUSTRY?
Hans Zimmer, or Ludovico Einaudi. Or both. Imagine that.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SOUND TO SOMEONE WHO HAD NEVER HEARD YOUR MUSIC BEFORE?
Lyrically-led, emotional depictions of my surroundings.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE NEW EP ‘WEIGHTLESS’?
Honest, and subtle. When it needs to be…
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TRACK OFF THE EP?
Probably ‘Weightless’ to be honest. I’m proud of that song, it’s the first time I’d tracked live and that was a pretty big step out of my comfort zone at the time. My producer, Rich talked me into it… and I’m glad he did. Genuinely pleased that we captured that moment and immortalised those three minutes.
THE VIDEO FOR SINGLE ‘WEIGHTLESS’ IS QUITE SOMETHING, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE IT TO OUR READERS?
A bit of a head-fuck to be honest, the whole thing was shot in reverse, and in one take… I love that video, hats off to the directors ‘Silent Tapes’ for pulling it off. It was a pleasure working with such a brilliant team.
YOU HAVE TWO HEADLINE SHOWS COMING UP IN THE NEW YEAR; WHAT ROLE HAS GIGGING PLAYED IN YOUR CAREER?
I think gigging has played a huge part so far, and I’m hoping it’ll carry on doing so. That’s the one time you get to go and perform for the people that make things happen. Record labels, radio stations and the music industry can champion you, shout about you until the cows come home, but the only people that actually matter are there at your shows creating their own memories to accompany what your songs mean to them personally.
WHAT’S YOUR FUNNIEST GIG STORY?
Wow, I have a few. Once upon a time in my hometown of Congleton, we were playing a packed show and the ceiling fell in on us and the audience. It made everyone look as though they’d spent the night at Pablo Escobar’s birthday party. Kinda messy, but a little bit of health and safely neglect never hurt anyone, right?
FINALLY, WHAT HAVE YOU GOT PLANNED FOR 2018?
A lot of touring, and a lot of new music… and of course my debut album at some point. Exciting times.