Transferring emotion from one human being to another is how Adam French looks at music
London-based up-and-coming singer/songwriter Adam French makes passionate, evocative rock built around his sanguine croon. His latest EP, 'You From The Rest' will drop anytime soon. Last month, French previewed the EP by releasing the titular song, a soulful track fuelled by dark guitar undertones that shifts between deep, rocky tones and upbeat, spirited ones within a matter of seconds, eliciting mixed emotions in the listener. The single was also followed by a music video. Check it out below:
French began making music in his teens, teaching himself to play guitar, piano, bass, and drums. By 2013 he accomplished enough to embark on an independent tour of Africa, a move that caught the attention of the British press and expanded his public profile.
The following year, he gained further attention after performing live at the Reading Festival. In 2015, French released the single, 'Hunter/Punchbag Love,' which helped earn him a spot on the BBC's annual Sound Of list. 'You From the Rest', French's latest studio effort serves as a follow up to his 2017 EP, 'Weightless', which received fairly positive reviews.
We caught up with French for an e-mail interview to discuss his latest project, his influences, musical tastes, songwriting process and a quick track-by-track breakdown of what to expect from the new EP.
What’s the story behind the name of your EP?
'You From The Rest' is about the emotional benefit of cutting toxic people from your life and learning to fully appreciate those who care about you, those who wish you success and happiness for the right reasons... I think that sentiment is important so it made sense to allow the EP the same name.
When did you first start performing?
I was in bands as a teenager, I think we formed when I was about 15... it was a huge part of my life and one that I have many fond memories of. Good times, with good people.
Who are your biggest influences?
I love Bon Iver, Burial, Johnny Cash, John Lee Hooker, Nirvana, Queens of The Stone Age, Frank Ocean... My taste is pretty eclectic, so I've always been keen on allowing as many different parts of it to influence me as possible.
What does your music revolve around?
I've always described it as lyrically led, when it comes to 'song songs.' I think that you should be able to remove all of the music and production and still feel something when you read into what's actually being said. Transferring emotion from one human being to another, that's how I've always looked at it anyway.
What kind of music do you like listening to? Can we have a link to a playlist that you particularly enjoy?
Sure, I add things that I love to this all the time, follow it here.
If you had to pick just one artist/band that you would like to collaborate with in the near future, who would it be?
Hans Zimmer... Imagine how amazing it would be to create music with somebody that talented.
Can we have a quick track-by-track breakdown of the songs from your EP?
'You From The Rest' - as mentioned is about taking a step back and assessing who actually cares about you, and putting distance between you and those who don't.
'Incompatible' - is about trying everything in your power to make something work when you both know its never going to, the denial that comes from a false sense of comfort within a failing relationship.
'No Cigar' - a cover of a song (by Millencolin) that holds quite a lot of nostalgia for me. I spent so many hours playing on Tony Hawk's games as a kid, just wishing that I could actually skate better in real life. I decided to put this out for everyone that loved the games as much as I did. Also, when you strip it back as a song, it's incredibly well written. Lyrically it's great, and there's an emotional depth that was often absent in songs like that at the time. I enjoyed pulling it apart and putting it back together again.
Who produced the EP? What was it like in the studio during the production of your EP?
A lovely mate of mine, Rich Cooper produced it. We have a lot of fun whenever we're recording together, and he's got a nice dog.
If you had to pick one favorite among all your tracks, which one would it be and why?
Probably the guitar intro to YFTR... It's sinister, and music doesn't always have to be love or happiness... emotion just needs to move or be created.
Any new collaborators that you’ve been working with/plan to collaborate with?
Yeah, but not that I can mention just yet... You'll be the first to know!
What was the greatest challenge that you faced while recording your music?
Deciding which songs NOT to record... I have a lot of songs so choosing which tracks to record and which ones not to is a little bit like asking a parent which child they want to leave behind at the supermarket.
Vinyl or digital? What’s your preferred format and why?
Vinyl for the fact that I'm an artwork lover, and I enjoy physically holding something. Appreciating the work that went into it, rather than just glancing at a thumbnail on your phone. That said, I stream a lot of music for the same reason everyone else does. It's convenient and I enjoy listening to lots of different artists.
What do you think about music streaming? Do you think it’s helpful or harmful for up and coming artists?
It has its pros and cons.. It's much easier to reach bigger audiences online now, and new opportunities exist through streaming... but at the same time that means more people have that access, so you've got more competition for people's attention that wasn't there ten years ago or whatever. You can lose your mind thinking about this stuff, you just have to focus on writing and creating great music, and then everything else will eventually take care of itself.
Any plans of touring soon?
Yeah, I have a UK headline tour starting on 25th April, then we're into festival season, so I've got a pretty busy summer.
BIRMINGHAM: looking forward to playing for you again... gonna be bringing @hungermoonmusic with me on 25th April. Check them out, get down early.🍊Tickets here: https://t.co/JKeVOoeVrL pic.twitter.com/ZkyVBaLnyz— Adam French (@AdamFrenchUK) April 10, 2018
What can we expect next from Adam French?
The YFTR EP, festivals, more shows... then more music. An album at some point, but we've got to earn the right to put that out first.