1883 Magazine

Born and raised in Congleton in North West England, singer-songwriter Adam French started making music from a young age. Following his move to London to focus on music full time, he today releases new EP Weightless which includes his latest single of the same name out now.

We chat to the self-taught instrumentalist about his approach to writing, performing at Latitude and what to expect from the up coming EP. 

First of all, how did you get into music in the first place?

I started playing music when I was really young, I got my first guitar when I was around eight and then ended up in a band, and we kinda fell into a gig circuit in Manchester, Liverpool and so on. I wasn’t really interested in University because I wanted to carry on with music so that’s when I stepped out and carried on with music.

Being from North West England, has it been difficult for you to break out as an artist there considering London is basically the music hotspot?

I’m from a little town nobody has ever heard of, its somewhere between Manchester, Stoke, Liverpool and Birmingham but not really close to any of these cities either. I mean, in those cities there are great music scenes but I think if you want to take it to the next level you kind of have to be in London or easy access to there. I moved here couple years ago, and started doing music full time. 

You are a self-taught instrumentalist, how many instruments can you play and how was the process of learning them?

I was always quite adventurous as a kid. My uncle and auntie have a piano so I was always messing around with it when I was really young. Guitar came still first but as time went on I was just curious about how many things I could pick up. I was just enjoying experimenting around with instruments, I play guitar, bass, drums and piano. 

Tell us about your new EP Weightless. What was your approach when writing those songs?

I’m constantly writing, so it wasn’t a case of sitting and writing an EP or anything... they’re songs that among others I’ve been sat on for a while, but it did feel right to release these songs before anything else. I’m pleased that we’re starting here.

Are they based on real life events?

Absolutely, I’ve always been a fan of honest lyricism. I think it’s important to write about what you know, or at least about something you understand, feel, or have a genuine connection to. I understand love, I’ve felt loss and I still have many worries. Maybe others can connect to that too.

What is your personal favourite song of it, and why?

I mean, The Rat is a cover of a song I fell in love with a long time ago, originally by a band called The Walkmen... I had fun flipping that song on its head and piecing it back together again, but also ‘weightless’ is a song that I put a lot of myself into.. It’s also a live recording, so it sways in and out of time etc which I like, I’m drawn to imperfection.

How long was the process of putting the EP together, production-wise and writing-wise?

Well alongside writing, I’ve been recording music for around a year, so it’s hard to pinpoint how long this EP took to be honest with it being part of the bigger picture. Let’s go with ‘a piece of string’

...and under which criteria did you select the songs for it?

I wanted to make sure that this first glimpse was reserved and reflected what I think is most important when it comes to music, transferring emotion from one human being to another. I want to make people feel something, like I do when I hear new music that i love. I didn’t want any of these tracks to feel throwaway, or an afterthought. 

Your music video for Weightless is a rather surreal experience, how did that idea come about?

I met with the directors a few weeks ago and we hit it off immediately. They’re an incredible partnership known as Silent Tapes ... they were passionate about my music, and they connected with my vision and ideas when it came to artwork themes and references and were able to create a world around that. Their initial treatment was just amazing. I remember reading it for the first time and just being like “great, let’s get this done.” The whole one take, reverse slow mo was pretty difficult and took quite a few attempts. I’ve had as many compliments on how consistent my orange throwing is as I have for the song itself. 

Seeing as you are now signed at Virgin, how come you didn’t want to stay independent?

I was independent for a very long time, three years I think it is a lot of stress that comes with it. It is different for everybody. When I was independent I was featured a lot on BBC Introducing and got a lot of attention from labels and industry people. 

If you have the right team then everything works anyway. 

You performed at major festivals already, which crowd has been your favourite?

Latitude, it is a really good festival. The crowd was crowd because I feel the people who go there are going to discover new music.

Whats next for you then? 

We are releasing EP today, and we are putting out the dates of headline tours soon. I guess just stepping up with new music. It has been a long time since I played shows so I’m excited for it.  

For the latest on Adam French visit www.adamfrench.co.uk

Interview Antonia Künzel

Photography Stephanie YT

Grooming Lynda Darragh

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