The man’s a lone wolf, a poet, a multi instrumentalist –– a South African b-boy / house-head turn singer songwriter. A master of his craft! Some say he’s ornery, others that he’s just hella determined! But few could dispute that the man’s got a gift with words, and that his voice feels like home when you hear it. B. Adams (fka Brendan Adams) is many things to many people, but one thing’s for sure: he’s a force, whether in person or on “tape.”
Earlier this year, the artist embarked on a journey to cut fifty three songs! The idea was to let the music flow and keep the operation light and independent. The songs were uploaded regularly to his website, all with an accompanying music video. Slowly, but surely, the project is coming to a close, as is this monster of a year! The latest song added to the catalog is an infectious little number called You Are My World. The tune hijacks the chorus from the Around The World, the hit single from early DAFT PUNK. It’s a wonderful rendering of the song – very personal, very intimate and extremely catchy! To find out more about this piece and the project, we reached out to Mr. Adams for a little back and forth.
A fan of daft punk across the board, or just the older stuff?
I think that I am a fan across the board, but am more drawn to their older stuff because of the memories that come with specific songs. Generally, I find the warmth that they bring to their sound aurally pleasureable.
I remember when Around the World dropped, it was a part of this whole new wave of electronica, it was really progressive for the time. This was also a time when all these new labels were popping up, left and right, and vinyl was making a comeback. What do you remember from this time? And where were you?
I was completely into deep house around the time that I first heard the song. I had just started visiting smaller underground type clubs in Cape Town. I remember that a friend of mine had fulfilled his dream of having a huge sound system in his car. He popped around to visit my cousin and me, and we drank vodka and put that song on repeat for an entire Saturday afternoon.
You know what’s funny? This old school electronica almost sounds like analog music compared to the production aesthetics and the dominant styles dominating the airwaves today…
I agree. I am going through a phase right now, pondering on how sound ages to individual people. I sometimes get the opportunity to hang out with folk a lot younger than me. I find it extremely interesting to watch their reaction to music from the late 80s or 90s, and whether they listen to it comparative to music from now or independent of time. Especially, how the quality and colour of the sounds affects their perception. So, this doesn’t make me determine anything about the listener. I find that some music, or even specific songs and sounds, are like a leather jacket, it gets a little faded and softer over time, but time doesn’t let it betray its essence. It’s just a dope piece of clothing to have as part of your wardrobe. I think a lot of new music creators have that old leather jacket in their bag of tricks, too, though.
So what made you dust off this song and cut your own version?
I was looking for an old house tune, all that I remember of it is in my head. The hook-line is “Who da Animal?”. So, after a fruitless search on the internet, I thought that it would be funny to take that hook and build my own song around it using my own voice, and clothe the song with what is in my wardrobe, so to speak. I then started doing this with a bunch of songs – that remain unrecorded – that in their original form were far from being singer songwriter music. It is still interesting for me to reach out into the ether and see if there are joints where this type of fusion works to create a way to experience an old song anew.
Is this really just a cover?
Honestly, I do not know what to call it, maybe a re-imagining of it? It could be a sequel to the original, the same main character just a different story.
The song is a part of a larger project, which will come to fruition towards the end of this year – can you tell me a bit about it? What made you decide to embark on this journey?
I am recording and producing 53 songs and videos this year, 1 release each week, and releasing them on my homepage www.badams53.com. Last year, I wanted to record an album, but it was just not happening. I had a lot of roadblocks and not enough money or resources. So my wife had an idea: why not take everything into our own hands and just do things differently than everybody else who’s doing it the “right way”, get the songs recorded, involve as many people as possible and build a foundation from which to create other things. In the beginning, it felt like I was planning a grand finale but now, after the halfway mark, it feels like a new beginning.
What have you learned from the journey thus far?
The most important thing I learnt thus far is humility and thankfulness, that I get to do it. Also that I’ll be slightly crazier after this year has ended…
What can we expect from B. Adams in the coming months?
I am planning an album that consists of some songs from the project and some newer unheard songs. This is set to be released early in 2021. I have a few other ideas up my sleeve and I hope to bring them to fruition next year, as well. To stay up to date people could check out my webpage www.badams53.com.