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Art & Culture

1 month ago, by Voir Editorial Team Meet Adelina: The Almighty Artist Giving Afropop A Soulful Twist

1 month ago, by Voir Editorial Team

Meet Adelina: The Almighty Artist Giving Afropop A Soulful Twist

Meet Adelina – a powerhouse of a musician that proves the sky is the limit. Self-acclaimed citizen of the world, there is no place too big or out of reach for Adelina.

Adelina has been creating music for many years, but caught global attention when featuring on the 2018 FIFA world cup official anthem ‘One World’. Since then, Adelina has released a string of singles exploring different cultures and influences she has picked up on throughout her time living in various parts of the world. It is impossible to limit Adelina’s style to one genre, with elements of Jazz, Blues, Soul, Latin and Afropop all being incorporated into her unique and inviting sound. 

Her first single of 2022, ‘Butter’, delivers an infectious sound that is innovative and unique whilst encapsulating the joyous sub-genre of Afropop. This sound is accompanied by Adelina’s deep soulful vocals, creating a multi-dimensional soundscape that hits all the right spots. The self-directed music video, shot in Latvia, is classically Adelina, yet includes futuristic and digital elements, adding another string to Adelina’s diverse bow. 

Voir spoke to Adelina about her latest single, her love for mermaids and how being a citizen of the world enhances her music.   

We’ve been loving your new track ‘Butter’, it’s got such an infectious beat! How did you find the creative process when making the track?

The creative process started when I experimented with the beat two years ago, maybe even longer! I’ve had the beat for a long time, and I always knew that I wanted to do something with it. It now sounds slightly different than it did, to begin with, but the afrobeat groove is still there, and that was the basis for moving this song forward. 

I sent the beat over to another producer, and he put his magic on it! I didn’t see this coming, but we ended up going in a very unique angle which resulted in a futuristic sound that is slightly different to the usual Afropop you may hear.

It really felt like we created something I’ve never personally had before – in terms of fusing Afropop with a futuristic sound. It was a beautiful process. 

That’s great, you can definitely tell that it is slightly different to the usual dancehall/afrobeat style we usually hear, it’s cool that you put your own spin on that. Would you say the inspiration behind ‘Butter’ is the fact you had the beat for over two years?

I actually think I just really wanted to utilise one of the beats that I’ve had on my laptop for way too long! The main drum loop that you hear is what has stayed for two years, but what actually started driving the process is when we started writing it. 

When I got the modified beat sent back to me, I remember thinking it sounded so cool! Especially through headphones or speakers, it just takes you places. In particular the guitar, in the beginning, I felt like it was so interstellar! This made me really want to write something magical and romantic, something beautiful that would give good vibes to whoever listens to it. 

I’ve been creating all kinds of music – including sad and depressing. But, at this point I just really wanted to bring good vibes to the world, I want people to feel good. And that really was the inspiration behind it, as well as bringing a romantic moment.

The song itself is made up of so many interesting things – for example, the second verse has a reggae flow along with shamanic elements in my breath, which at the time I did randomly but it felt like my calling!

The track and the lyrics really do go hand in hand, it has those good vibes that everyone is looking for at the moment – we can already imagine this song in summer! As you had full creative control, how was creating the song independently? 

I think the beauty of being independent is that you have full control of the sound that you are trying to achieve. Honestly, it’s not easy! Working independently is hard, but it’s so rewarding because you did it yourself, and you create something you’re proud of.

It does take a lot of time- for this song I started it back in October. The process included things like songwriting, recording, producing, mixing, mastering, styling, creating mood boards and directing. Being independent takes time, but at the end of the day I’m really proud of it because everything you see is all of my creative brain and input, from the visuals to the song itself, it’s all me!

It’s really cool when you see the whole thought process come to fruition! Do you have any icons or any big musical influences? 

I’m a really old school girl, although I’m not an R&B or soul artist I’m really inspired by that sound. I think you can hear that soulful tone in my voice. I’m really influenced by 80s and 90s Soul music – people like Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson. 

But if you’re talking about modern-day icons. That person for me would be Beyoncé. For me, she is perfect at everything she does. She is a perfectionist when it comes to art, and I can really relate to that because that’s how I am. I feel like she is my main inspiration.

As you worked so independently on this track, how did this compare to collaborative work you’ve done, such as ‘Chicken Suya’?

You know, I really do love collaborating when it comes to having other artists on a song. But, I also love having the whole creative space to myself! Having the whole song to express myself is a really beautiful thing. For a while, I thought this song was going to be a feature but it ended up being a single and I’m really happy that it is.

It sounds unique, this is my little baby I worked so hard on and let out into the world, I’m proud of it!

It’s clear you have a diverse background, do you feel being a part of various cultures enhances your music?

Absolutely! I lived in three different continents, so I really don’t like labelling myself as something, that just isn’t who I am. I am a citizen of the world, I belong to every single part of the world, I can blend in everywhere and I feel like this is who I am. I don’t like saying “i am this” or “i am that” – I am everything! 

Having a diverse background and living in various places has given me such an open mind, and opened my eyes to so many beautiful things surrounding us. The cultures, the different sounds and the colours, really do influence me and every aspect of my artistry. 

As you’ve travelled a lot, do you have a favourite country or place that you’ve visited?

That’s a good question… you know what, I’ve been to at least 40 countries! Every country has its own unique thing, but I’d say one of my brightest memories was in Thailand. I’ll never forget this experience. I was swimming at night in Maya Bay and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was surrounded by millions of glowing stars underneath me, which were fluorescent plankton. 

Imagine you’re swimming in dark water and everything is glowing around you – it’s like avatar water! I feel like it has such a stamp in my memory, I really love Asia.

I am also really connected to Morocco, I am here a lot of the time. I feel like I lived in Morocco in a past life, sometimes I act way too Moroccan not to be!

What amazing memories! And, you’re now based here in London, how are you finding it?

London is a really beautiful city and it provides you with so many awesome sources of inspiration, creativity and artistry. It also teaches you a lot, it’s not an easy place to live if you come here without a family or a stable background. I’ve been through ups and downs and everything, but overall it’s been a beautiful experience and it’s taught me so much. It teaches you a lot of acceptance – of other people and their preferences – no matter if that’s sexuality, religion, culture or anything. There’s a feeling of unity, as a citizen of the world, London is a place where I have felt so free in that way, and I could connect with everyone.

Do you have a tip for anyone who is thinking of moving to a country or going to a place they’ve never been without any friends or family there? 

I think you’ve just got to follow your heart, whatever it is telling you, you have to do it! 

I remember I went to a party, I woke up feeling hungover the next morning and my friend asked me to move to London with her, and I literally just thought “Why not? Let’s go.”. It was so spontaneous, and a week later we moved to London! It was a really amazing decision because I just followed my heart. 

In the ‘Butter’ music video there was a hologram of me selecting a program of ‘following your heart’. This is really what I stand for! If you want to move countries, even if you’re not 100% sure or don’t have all the funds, just do it. Everything will work out and the universe has got your back.

You’ve achieved some incredible things, such as having the official anthem of the 2018 world cup! Is there an achievement you are most proud of?

One of the things I am really proud of is that I literally do everything, I sometimes call myself a ‘mini record label’! All the songs I have released are recorded and engineered by me. Or, for example, I could hire a graphic designer, but I prefer not to because they might not see or understand my vision. I like to take it into my own hands and create things myself. There’s so much self-sufficiency to me, from styling, producing a whole song, doing hair and makeup, I’m really proud of it because that is all me!

And having full creative control of ‘Butter’ must have felt great too?

Definitely! Like I say, it’s not easy and it can be exhausting doing everything yourself. But I’m such a perfectionist. I hate mediocre stuff – I cannot stand it! Even as an up and coming artist, I want to do everything to the best that I possibly can within my capabilities. I want to deliver content as good as those who are already out there doing amazing things.

We noticed that the ‘Butter’ music video was also really futuristic and digital, is this something you’re interested in going into?

I have really diverse visions, I don’t like sticking to something once. Lately, I know I have done a lot of Afro/Latin sounds, and I want to explore it further. But, I also know I can blend myself in everywhere and do other things too! I like the futuristic vibe, it’s very 2022 aesthetic wise with the whole matrix thing, it’s very different and I’m glad I got to execute this idea!

It’s definitely very on-trend at the moment, from lockdown we have seen things shift into a more digital world, so it’s amazing that you were able to incorporate this into your music!

We do live in a digital world – whether we like it or not, it is what it is!

We noticed a particularly cute video on your youtube channel of you singing ‘Born This Way’ to Lady Gaga, we’re guessing you’re a big fan?

I’m really a big fan of her personality and artistry. I feel like she is such a down to earth and humble person, especially in the way she treats her fans and the people around her. For example, when I asked to sing for her she got everyone backstage to turn the music off so she could hear me properly. It was such a small but amazing gesture, and I was really surprised. And, the thing is for me, I don’t get surprised anymore – luxury, flash cars and celebrities, I really don’t care about that. What really surprises me is an amazing character that you don’t often come across these days, and that is what I really felt from her. 

Who is your dream collaboration?

I would probably say Beyoncé! If Michael Jackson was still alive it would also be him, he is the king! 

We love how vibrant your Instagram feed is! It’s apparent that you are influenced by mythical creatures, specifically mermaids. Could you tell us about this?

I think I am a real-life mermaid, to be honest, I have all the characteristics! Weird fact, but my hands are always cold, and when you think of sea life you imagine them as cold creatures. Secondly, I have long mermaid-like hair. Lastly, I am a singer, and what do sirens do? They sing! 

I think if I was a real-life mermaid I’d be a good one, I’d be singing and having fish friends and dolphins, I wouldn’t be luring men into the sea! I really do love the sea, I could spend hours in there and I feel so connected to nature. When I go into the sea I become one, which is really where it came from, I didn’t just wake up one day and decide to call myself a mermaid, it’s like an inner calling and makes sense to my spirit and who I am. 

We know you don’t like to label yourself as anything too particular, but how would you describe your style?

I would say for music style, I do fall under the pop category but I cover a lot of pop subgenres, such as Afropop, Latin pop and dance-pop.

Fashion-wise, I think I’m like a chameleon because I have the kind of face that can transform into different things! I know I look different in a lot of photos, but there’s no photoshop involved. I love bohemian styles, with elements of hippie! But, I love a diverse amount of fashion, it depends on my mood, it could be classy, grunge or anything. 

A couple of days ago I did a photoshoot in an amazing abandoned castle in Morocco and I was wearing a grunge style outfit that was gladiator-inspired! So, as I said before, I like being diverse and not limiting myself to one thing. 

What is next for Adelina, have you got anything big in store for the rest of 2022?

I’m planning to work on my EP! This will be my first one, in the past, I’ve concentrated on releasing singles but I think I need to let a body of work come out and let the world hear it come together – it may sound a bit like a jukebox because I like having such a diverse sound but that’s who I am!

I also have some exciting collaborations – I can’t name any names yet as they are currently in the works it is going to be big!

Words By Nadia Clasper

Graphic: Gerasim Kutsarov

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