Photo Credit: Shervin Lainez (@shervinfoto)
By Alissa Arunarsirakul // July 10, 2020
When Adeline isn’t touring with CeeLo Green’s band, the French-Caribbean artist directs her undivided attention to her solo career, which has proven to be incredibly successful. A relentless workaholic, Adeline self-produces her irresistible R&B soundscape that’s drizzled with funk influences. To end our week in the most mesmerizing way, Adeline is treating us to her stunning new EP, Intérimes.
On Intérimes, Adeline shared,
“This Friday, July 10th at 9pm I’ll be playing a show from my living room to celebrate the release of my EP ‘Intérimes.’ The show will be hosted by the amazing Elaine Welteroth, streaming directly through her IG LIVE. I can’t wait!”
To celebrate the release of her new music, we recently chatted with Adeline about quarantine birthdays, heavy metal, and of course, Intérimes.
HH: You recently celebrated your birthday while practicing social distancing. What did you end up doing?
A: I took a day off! It might sound crazy but I have been working so much since the beginning of the quarantine. Preparing the release of the EP has put a lot on my plate, which I am so thankful for. So for my birthday, I wanted to have a day of rest and reset. Some of my close friends who live close by (the few that stayed in the city) came over and we hung out on my rooftop for a couple hours. We kept our six feet of distance plus masks. It was nice to be around loved ones. After everyone left, I treated myself to an evening on the couch and watched The 5th Element (my favorite movie) and the Prince and The Revolution concert that was just made available for streaming.
HH: What do you like about producing your own music as opposed to letting someone else produce?
A: Producing my own music is when I feel most complete artistically. I don’t really consider myself a “singer;” singing is one important side of me but so are the bass player, the composer and the lyricist. I didn’t always produce my music, mainly because we don’t tell girls that they can. I realize that I didn’t have any examples of women making their own music growing up so it sadly didn’t come to mind until a few years ago. Playing bass has opened me up to so many possibilities. Once I discovered the freedom of creating my own artistic vision, there was no going back. I am not saying that all singers should produce their music and neither do I see a hierarchy in the different musical processes that exist. Everyone’s process is the best process as long as it’s true to them. Producing is just the way that I love to make music. And the biggest part of it is that it’s fun! I am like a kid in a playground in the studio. Coming up with parts, playing instruments, laying down a groove, creating a story with sound, that’s just what I love spending my time doing! And it’s even more fun when you find people to share that with. I don’t do it alone, this EP was entirely produced in tandem with Morgan Wiley. We‘ve been working together since my first solo album and we’re now a full on production duo and go by the moniker Nightshade.
HH: If your listeners could take away only one message from Intérimes, what would you want them to know?
A: Each song tells a different love story. The common thread of the EP is centered around love and the multiple different shapes it can take. Whether it’s a whimsical summer fling, a long-term marriage, whether it’s straight or gay, there is no wrong way to love.
HH: “Twilight” is a delicate track that genuinely leaves us speechless. How exactly did this song come to be?
A: Wow, that’s a great compliment, thank you… It started with a chord progression that partner Morgan Wiley had. It immediately caught my ear and I said, “Let’s do something with this!” We put down a beat quickly. Then I grabbed the bass, Morgan sat at the piano, and we jammed for a bit. We developed the chord changes and then spent some time working on the bass line. I knew I wanted to create a bass line that was super melodic and slightly busier than usual. Once we had the skeleton of the instrumental down, we called in my friend Jonathan Singletary for a writing session. I felt a little too attached to the track from a producer perspective to work on the lyrics on my own. I love working with Jonathan because somehow he finds a way to bring my ideas out while adding the perfect amount of stuff I would never come up with. Jonathan reacted to the instrumental right away. I put down a couple vocal freestyles and we wrote lyrics to it. The chords and the melody evoked a nostalgic feeling. The word “twilight’ came easily, we sort of extracted it from my vocal freestyle. I knew this wasn’t meant to be a happy song, we did some research on the word “twilight” and brainstormed on different subjects and then got to the break up story. The funny thing is that Jonathan and I are both respectively in happy long term relationships, but everyone can relate to that feeling of loss, facing changes, and making important decisions. We used a lot of my personal past experiences to write the song.
HH: Intérimes features a funky, psych-soul cover of Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan.” Other than heavy metal, which other genres would your fans be surprised to know you listen to?
A: I think my fans should be surprised to know that I don’t listen to heavy metal at all! Haha, the idea of this cover actually came about while in the van with my bandmates on tour. We spent a lot of time on that tour sharing music with each other, going through the different genres that shaped our respective musical journeys. Turns out Morgan and I had very limited knowledge of the heavy metal world so Jaleel Bunton (guitar player) and Jim Orso (drummer) decided that it was time to give us a little lesson. I knew “Planet Caravan” already but hearing it in that context, after discovering so much about Black Sabbath felt like I was hearing it for the first time.
I’m sorry I realize I didn’t really answer your question, to name some other genres: I like listening to everything! Mbira music from Zimbabwe, Cape Verdean music, lots of Brazilian music, lots of West African music, lots of Cuban music, some Turkish psychedelic, lots of Haitian Kompa, and of course the genres from my island of Martinique Zouk, Gwoka and Bélé. Also, I have the biggest crush on Burna Boy’s voice!
HH: What’s it like playing bass in CeeLo Green’s touring band?
A: It’s a dream come true. For a girl who grew up in the projects in France and picked up a bass in her early twenties to end up playing on stage for one of her idols, it’s completely surreal.
HH: If you could collaborate with anyone in the music industry, who would you pick?
A: Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, André 3000, Lianne LaHavas, Michael Kiwanuka, Nick Hakeem, and Khruangbin.
HH: What are your three hidden hits?
A: “Bag Away” by Harriet Brown
“Raise Up” by Denitia
“High Horse” by Jonathan Singletary