Interviews Music

Interview: Adam Douglas Discusses The Release Of His Upcoming Album ‘Better Angels’!

Born & raised in Oklahoma, USA, Acclaimed singer-songwriter Adam Douglas lived in Chicago and Minneapolis before finding his way to Norway where he has lived for the past decade.

Since journeying to Norway, Adam has created waves with his vibrantly charismatic musical style that led to his victory on the 2017 edition of the Norweigan TV show Stjernekamp (Battle of the Stars) & became the first artist to do so with his own original song.

Fast forward to 2021, & following a string of critically acclaimed musical releases, Adam is set to release his third full-length solo album ‘Better Angels’ on March 5th. 

Adam has kindly taken the time to speak with Fierce & Fabulous Revolution about his forthcoming album & you can check out what he had to say below.

Hey Adam, thank you for this interview. Can you start by telling the readers a little about yourself?

Adam: Hello F&FR readers – I’m Adam! A little bit about me… I’m originally from Oklahoma in the States but I’ve lived in Norway for the last 13 years. Apart from climbing a lot of mountains and breathing in a lot of fresh forest air, I have been lucky to play a lot of shows across Norway and released two albums along the way. My third album ‘Better Angels’ is out soon and I’m so excited for it to come out!

When did you first discover your passion for music?

Adam: It was kind of an accident! I was 8 and I was the new kid in school. I was hanging out with this other kid who was also new and he was really interested in music. All of a sudden we found ourselves in a classroom with our music teacher. I didn’t know at the time but it was an audition for the school musical. Our teacher asked us if we could sing to a melody that she played and that was the first time I sang to anyone. I ended up getting the lead role…

It was so scary – I didn’t know anything about performing and all of a sudden I was supposed to sing on stage in front of everyone. I remember my knees shaking and nearly peeing my pants. But at the same time it felt amazing. I had finally found something I was really good at! And it had happened completely naturally. It’s a big moment when you feel like you’re mastering something for the first time. 

Since then being on stage has always felt like my safe place and I still learn a lot from it.

Have you always known that you wanted to pursue a career within the music industry?

Adam: Ever since I was introduced to music, I knew that it was what really made me feel good. I felt connected and part of something bigger than myself, and able to express what I felt in a way I couldn’t anywhere else. I was completely hooked and I constantly wanted to improve – sing better, play better, listen better and dig deeper…

There was nothing that drew me in like music so there was never really any question for me.

How would you describe your musical style to someone unfamiliar with your music?

Adam: A melting pot of genres… American roots music crossed with moments of soul, rock ’n roll, blues, country, rhythm and blues and jazz. It’s the sound of my upbringing in Oklahoma – a city that brings together diverse musical impulses and traditions that became part of me, evolving into a style that I now think I can call my own.

You are set to release the brand new album “Better Angels” on March 5th. How did the idea for this album come together?

Adam: Quite honestly, I’m writing songs all the time; collecting small thematic ideas and later diving deeper with them when the time comes.  The songs for “Better Angels” were on their way regardless I suppose. But after some pretty intense personal experiences in recent years, I felt almost obligated to target certain lyrical themes or topics this time around.  Music and performing has always been my own personal therapy. So, in a way, it was pretty natural for me to get this stuff out of my system and on tape.

I had initially planned to record the whole album in the US with American musicians, to get even closer to my American heritage. But then Covid-19 came knocking… So in the end the recording was moved home to Norway. Luckily I still managed to get a bunch of the best Norwegian musicians to come play on it and give the album its big band feel. So I’m really happy with how it turned out, especially considering the logistical challenges and restrictions that came with the pandemic. 

What are some of the main influences behind this album?

Adam: Growing up in Oklahoma I learned to appreciate a range of genres and musical cultures – from Howlin’ Wolf and Ray Charles to Tom Petty and Bonnie Raitt. So this album is definitely influenced by the sounds of my upbringing – mixed with my appreciation for the Norwegian mountains and fjords! Also, being surrounded by the people I truly care about and love – my wife and family – is massively inspiring.

How would you describe the creative process behind this album compared to your previous releases?

Adam: The creative process was quite different on this one compared to previous albums as I collaborated with more people. One of them was Cory Chisel who I knew from my time in Wisconsin. He’s an amazing musician as well as a Grammy nominated songwriter so it was great to work with him again! Also fellow American Jeff Wasserman who’s an excellent lyricist, and Bendik Brænne and Beady Belle who are both incredible artists in their own rights.

What are some of your favourite songs to feature on the album?

Adam: ‘So Naive’ – for me it sort of sums up the album’s lyrical theme. There are a lot of big questions in this song about my upbringing and the American ideals and ideas that I’ve grown up with.

In the chorus I’m expressing how painful it is to observe what’s going on in the world today. There are troubles everywhere and I feel the doors closing in on me, and it feels like I’m sleepwalking. I’m asking myself “could I be so naive in believing the things I believed before?”

It’s sort of finally waking up and opening your eyes, and seeing the world for what it is. And being worried. Especially as a father now. So this song is pretty relevant to how I feel waking up every day and my internal struggle to sort of become less naive.

What does this album personally mean to you?

Adam: This album is a collection of self-searching songs – a sort ‘midlife analysis’. I am turning 40 in a few weeks, so the album is about me maturing into myself, mentally. I’m exploring how my upbringing in Oklahoma has influenced me and how my experiences as a father have impacted the way I make choices for myself and my family. So it’s a very personal album.

Lyrically and musically it’s about combining the right genres, the right types of music, the right styles, the right everything. It’s not that I haven’t been myself before, but now things are really falling into place and I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I’m asking the questions I’m supposed to ask and they’re me becoming a middle-aged man.

If listeners could take anything away from this album, what would you like it to be?

Adam: I truly hope that this record inspires some deep listening.  And I hope that in doing so – folks FEEL something. Anything at all really 😉  I tried my best to really get it all in there this time if you know what I mean.  Feels like I’ve really found my stride, and with message that a lot of folks can surely relate to.  Who knows, maybe it can even help someone else to deal with their own personal demons and angels.

Finally, is there a message that you would like to share with the readers of Fierce & Fabulous Revolution?

Adam: Honestly, I’m just so thankful that this type of arena exists. F&FR is really about connection.  And these days, we could all use as much of that as possible.  I’m about as introvert as they come.  And I therefore tend to let my music do the communicating.  I hope that these songs can give someone a much needed smile, and I thank F&FR for the help in doing so!

You can pre-order ‘Better Angels’ by clicking here.

Adam Douglas: Website / Facebook / Instagram.

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