Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gorgeous new pic of Adele and interview

'I'll always keep feet on ground'

ADELE - 19
Rating ****1/2

IT’S been a whirlwind start to London teenager Adele’s career.

The 19-year-old singer-songwriter has already won the Critics’ Choice Brit Award before she’s even released her album.

She has also been invited to perform coveted slots on Later With Jools Holland and Friday Night With Jonathan Ross and has been tipped by absolutely everyone to be a star in 2008.

And sitting with Adele in a London studio where she is rehearsing for her forthcoming tour, I feel like I’m caught in a whirlwind too.

The girl with the power soul vocals has a big personality to go with it.

Adele chatters on like an old friend, and if I’m lucky, I can catch half of every sentence amid booming cackles of laughter and numerous slaps on my shoulder.

It’s clear to see and hear why Adele Adkins is going to be 2008’s breakthrough star.

She is the owner of a remarkably bluesy, soulful voice that has earned comparisons with some greats. She’s been called “the new Amy Winehouse” and has also been likened to Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald and Alison Moyet.

Adele tells me: “I mostly get compared to Amy Winehouse, which is great” — and she lands the third slap in a row on my right shoulder. Alison Moyet? Well, my mum loves her so that’s really nice and I can see the comparisons because we’re both big voices and both big girls. But it’s mainly Amy and I don’t mind that at all.”

Like Amy, Adele is a former pupil of The BRIT School of Performing Arts in Croydon whose other ex-students include Kate Nash, The Kooks, Katie Melua and Leona Lewis.

She laughs: “That Leona Lewis must’ve been a quiet horse as I can’t remember her at all. And I knew everyone there.

“I loved it there, it’s such a great place and the support you get is amazing. Some of the shows they put on are amazing — better than any of the shows on in town at the moment.”

But it was stumbling across an Etta James CD which launched her singing career.

She explains: “I was 13 or 14 and trying to be cool, so I hung out in the Classics section of HMV. Only I wasn’t really cool at the time as I was pretending to be into Slipknot, Korn and Papa Roach. So there I was in my dog collar and baggy jeans and I saw this CD in the bargain bin. I’d only picked up the CD as I wanted to show my hairdresser the picture so she could do my hair the same.

“Then one day I was clearing out my room and I found it and put it on. When I heard the song Fool That I Am, everything changed for me. I never wanted to be a singer until I heard that.

About heartache ... 19

“My first public singing was a school show where I sang Gabrielle’s Rise. Embarrassingly, my mum made me an eye patch with sequins, to look like her. I used to get in trouble and wear it at school and say, ‘I’ve hurt my eye.’”

And being the latest in a line of talented female singer-songwriters, Adele says it’s a great time to be a female in music.

She smiles: “I think it’s amazing. I used to think there’s not room for another girl. But all of us are doing so well. And there are loads of good ones to come. Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Kate Nash, me, Remi Nicole, Laura Marlin — when you look at all the girls they’re all perfect examples of what young women should be. Together, we’d be the best girl band ever.

“But the difference between me and all the other girls out there at the moment is that I’m just writing pure love songs. I’m a pop girl.

“Apart from a short stint of being into rock bands I was always into pure pop music. I love Destiny’s Child and The Spice Girls.

“East 17 too, I used to love them and I went to their comeback gig. It was amazing but the TV documentary was so sad with them all fighting. I don’t know what it is about that type of music and the effect it has on me. I just love entertaining people although obviously I don’t do dance routines or have a gimmicky look.”

Adele’s album, 19, is about heartache and “all the c**p a typical 19-year-old goes through,” she says.

Single Chasing Pavements is about splitting up with her ex and having her heart broken for the first time.

She says: “That song is about should I give up or should I just keep trying to run after you when there’s nothing there?

“I was only with him for four months but when I signed my record deal I had to write an album, as I hardly had any songs, so I wrote about him.”

She reveals: “I couldn’t write songs for ages because I found it really hard writing songs for fun or writing them because someone had invested a lot of money and time in me. I just couldn’t do it.

“And then I met my ex-boyfriend and it was great to begin with and then it was really sh***y. And then I wrote about ten songs in about five weeks.

“I love him still and I got an album out of him. I used him more than he used me.

“And he loves it. It’s not bitter. He loves it when the song comes on the radio. He says: ‘It’s about me.’ And I’m like, ‘It’s a song about heartbreak, you fool!’

“But when I was a girl, I loved love songs. And I always loved the ones about horrible relationships. Ones that you could really relate to and made you cry.” Other stand-out tracks on 19 include the Bob Dylan cover, Make You Feel My Love from his 1997 album Time Out Of Mind. Faithful to the arrangement of the original, it’s beautifully and sensitively done and captures the emotion of the original. Bob would approve.

Then there’s acoustic ballad Daydreamer, a song about falling for a bisexual friend.

She explains: “It was about a friend of mine, who’s still one of my best friends and he was bi. I am so jealous of girls anyway that having to fight with boys as well, I just couldn’t do it. But I started falling in love with him around my 18th birthday. He convinced me that it would be fine but that night he kissed one of my best boyfriends and I was like: ‘Get lost!’”

Adele ... sensational album

Then there’s the funky Cold Shoulder, which she made with three-times Brit nominated producer Mark Ronson. “It’s about being cheated on. Wishing you were the other girl. I love the tune.

“I’ve loved Mark since his first album Here Comes The Fuzz. But I didn’t know he’d got into producing for other people.

“Then when Amy’s record and Lily Allen’s Littlest Things came out, I remembered hearing about his covers album. I wrote my song Cold Shoulder and my label XL were really keen to keep it how it was.

“But I thought it needed a beat because the album was lacking a real upbeat club tune. And I couldn’t think of anyone else but Mark Ronson to do it.”

When Adele was first signed to XL Recordings in October 2006 she had only written three songs, Daydream, two versions of My Same and Hometown Glory, which celebrates her hometown.

She reveals: “It’s about London even though I don’t say ‘London’ in it. It can be about anywhere, it’s just about cherishing memories.”

More naturally pretty in the flesh than in her made-up photos, Adele is a size 14-16 and says she will never succumb to pressure to change her body shape.

She says: “I’ve read some horrible things about me but my size has never been an issue for me. If I wanted to lose weight, I’d lose weight, it’s not that difficult. I don’t feel any pressure at all. I’m happy with the way I am.”

Adele says she owes a lot of her success to best friend Jack Penate. “I owe so much to Jack for this buzz. I met Jack at one of his gigs and it was instant. We went out and didn’t sleep for two days.

“We were wondering around Chelsea and the King’s Road looking for food, it was really fun.

“Then he took me on tour with him and had me on his record. He’s been there before anyone else.

“And the same for Jamie T, who I met on MySpace. I’ve always loved Billy Bragg and I thought he sounded like a street version of him. He emailed me to tell me he really loved Hometown Glory and that was it.”

Now Adele is set to emulate her famous friends when Chasing Pavements and her album 19 are released.

But does she worry about the attention and fame and seeing how things turned sour for Amy?

Shaking her head, Adele says: “No, I’ve got too many good people around me for anything like that to happen. I am enjoying performing as I was made to show off and sing but I hate the idea of being a star and chased by paparazzi.

“I’ll always keep my feet on the ground as I know how to take the p*** out of myself and I’ll never change — that’s a promise!”

Adele’s single Chasing Pavements is out on Monday and her debut album 19 follows on January 28.

Source [The Sun]

YEEEAAAH ... Amazon now lists a much lower and more reasonable price on the UK import CD ....
This title will be released on February 5, 2008.

Amazon is also now taking preorders on the Japanese import CD ....
This title will be released on March 11, 2008.

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