Now residing in sunny California, he got the ball rolling with his career by hitting the studio with the likes of Charlie Puth and The Chainsmokers. Upon releasing his debut album “Here Goes Nothing!”where he documents the perils of long-distance love with someone from London whilst him being in the States, the album received a slew of critical praise.
His arrival is felt instantly on the new song “Garment Bag” which spins the timeless
warning of Hollywood glamor and fancy lifestyle and how you sometimes don't want to be a part of it. He opens up to us backstage at his show in Brighton, on the south coast of England after a sunny day spent at the beach.
We discuss touring, hanging out with his heroes and his new happy music!
How have you been Adam?
Good, yeah. Just a little tired, but that's just any trip, any kind of touring is always pretty tiring, but it's been good to get on the road and just play in places that I've straight up never been before.
Do you get to go around when you’re on tour? Do you get to visit the area?
I always tell my mom that, like, a lot of touring is you've been everywhere, but you've seen nothing. You sort of see the venue; you see the restaurants that are around the venue. You pack up, you go to the next place. But lucky enough, we've gone a little bit early to some places, so going to the beach today was honestly amazing. It was really good.
It’s not the first time playing in the UK because you played last year.
I played in December. Yeah.
What has changed compared to playing in the States?
I think that the one thing I'll say for the fans in Europe is that they're very polite. In the States, sometimes, people talk during your set, it’s kind of normal. In Europe, everyone is very quiet, everybody really respects the headliner, but also the openers, too. Everyone's been very quiet for them too. In America, people will just not even face the stage of the openers sometimes it's been really cool to sort of see those differences
Do they wait for you after the shows to talk to you?
It’s funny, most people will wait for me outside in America – here I usually meet everybody at the merch table. They don't have to wait. But it's been really nice to meet all the fans at the merch table and whatnot. I get to talk to them and learn about them. Just like how they found the music. For me, it's like really learning how they found me – it is very helpful.
Speaking of, obviously music and you doing music, just want to go back a little bit. How did you start doing music and why music?
Well, my whole family is very musical, so my mom and dad are both music teachers, and my sister was a music teacher until this year, I couldn't escape. My mom was very nervous about sports. Anything that required a helmet. She was very much not into it. At least on stage, I don’t have to wear one.
But doing this took such a long time to get to the point where you tour and stuff like that.
It wasn't easy, and it's not like I didn't have options or whatever. I didn't grow up with a lot of money, so a lot of it was like most of my early days were spent playing covers at restaurants and pizza places and stuff. And then after I saved up what to me was like a ton of money, I was like, “okay, I'm going to go out to LA for a couple of weeks and try to make something happen”. And now I get to do this full time. But it's very touch and go. It's like you don't really make any money until you make a lot of money somehow.
Has there ever been a moment where you thought: “wow, people are actually listening to my music?”
Yeah, it was my first time, headlining stuff in America - that really felt the best. I played at this place called Baby’s All Right. Which is like, 250 people in Brooklyn. That was a place I used to go to all the time to see some of my favourite artists. To do that and then hear people singing the words to my music was really cool. Since then, I've been very lucky to continue this amazing career.
Do you write always?
I'm always writing, yeah. I don’t want to sound too cliché but I write about “living”, although I’m not living a lot. I try to go out and just do things like fall in love, make mistakes, all the things that you can do or think of. But even just going out and grabbing a coffee and even having a conversation with somebody is really helpful into writing. And I think those just stories, everybody's story, just sort of inspires me.
Is it what your latest album “Here Goes to Nothing” is about?
Oh, yeah. Well, the inspiration for the album is I was in a long-distance relationship with someone from here, from London and I was in LA. It was just so hard, the eight hour time difference. And I really think we loved each other, but it wasn’t feasible. The time difference is menace.
So that was the toughest part for me. So just writing songs about that was pretty cathartic. And it came naturally because it was just experience. I was just writing enough songs to have an album worth of songs, and then I just put it all together and it made sense. It was a story and that's sort of how that came about. There were parts where it was more difficult. But I think that for me, writing is always something that makes me feel better, even if it's something sad. It's more of like a journal entry, and it feels good to do it, even if it's a sad thing.
It’s a way to let it all out …
Yeah, exactly. With yourself or with your guitar or something. It was really cool to make that sort of thing. But it's funny because my music beforehand and all the music afterwards is fairly happy music. This one was like the breakup album, whatever. And now going back to just having more positive experiences.
You’re a sort of Taylor Swift!
Yeah, exactly. It's just like to be able to have the balance of it is good. Whenever I go and play the shows and stuff and I'm singing the sad songs, I always try to tell some jokes in between. It just lightens it up.
Your new single “Garment Bag”. What is the song about? And why did you decide to release this track now?
I love writing about sort of like these mundane moments. It was about a person I was seeing. She was going to go to a party for the Emmys - this is Hollywood. I've been in LA now for about five years, and she was visiting. And a lot of it is like, people love the Hollywood sort of limelight. It looks great and everything, but then once you start living there, you're like you can see past it a little bit.
Is that a good world to live in?
Yeah, because once you start finding the real people who you really connect with there, it's like very deep and very great. And so, she went to the party and then she texted me and she was like, “you were right. This is not for me, so can I come back?” And it's basically just about it's being okay to be yourself in between your street clothes and your ball gowns. You can let all your walls down with me - I thought that's sometimes a reminder of things I need because our lives are so intertwined, you have your physical life and your digital life. Sometimes it's hard to figure out which one is what.
So that's a song about sort of just being present. And I thought that the track was really fun, we've been playing it live, so we'll play it tonight and everything.
What is next for you? Are you planning to release any other songs are you working on?
I’m planning to release a couple songs this summer and then ultimately like an EP, which is like, I think it's five songs in September, I’m working towards that. I have just about a million songs recorded already, so it's weird to not put them all out. I'm used to just putting them all out. I guess it's taking my time with it.
All one by one out instead of just putting them all out together.
Yeah, well, in some cases that's a good point, because I think a lot of people do listen to one song at a time. But this new EP has the songs make sense together to me, kind of as a project, and they all have a pretty similar vibe, so I'm pretty stoked about it. And it's really nice to be able to sort of make music that sounds more live as we do with play.
Whereas “Here Goes Nothing” was very intimate - it's very kind of shut the lights off, go to sleep sort of vibe. But the vibe of the new stuff really feels like it's meant to be played live and stuff. And it's more how my live shows are, which is where I have the most fun.
So it’s not a sad EP.
No, definitely not as sad. Some of the lyrics are, like, a little sad, but the music part is a little more positive or just like, you can jam to it.
And if there was anyone you could collaborate with, who would that be?
I mean, my number one artist, I think, of the last five years, like, Rosalía. I love her so much
I saw you hanging out with Jeremy Zucker too ...
Jeremy was in the “Garment Bag” music video, it was really cool. He's been a pal and he's also from New Jersey, so we share the same experiences and we both moved to LA. He's so much fun. We toured in Australia together and that was like the first time we started hanging out with him. We are very close.
Is it difficult living in LA if you’re in the music industry? Because obviously you have so many artists and so many people and you befriend people, and you just want to do stuff with them.
For me, I actually find just as much joy in just being friends with somebody as I do in working with them. And some people who I've worked with, who I've dreamed of working with, they end up just becoming a friend and you don't even work with them anymore. That it's like the relationship that feels the best. So that's what I like the most about living in LA. And feeling like you can just be friends with your heroes, which is really cool. One day, hopefully, Rosalía will come to Los Angeles. We'll become friends at a party or something.
I hope for you that it happens.
Oh, I hope so, too.
Garment Bag is out now.
Follow Adam Melchor here.
Words by Sal Fasone