Artist You Should Know: Adam Jensen

With an addicting new single out, and the ability to beautifully pair alt, pop, and electronic sounds with emotionally raw lyrics, Adam Jensen will be one of your new favorite artists in no time. We chatted with the Boston-based artist/producer about his major influences, production style, and more.

Hey Adam! What’s your story?
Hello there! That’s a tough one. My story is equally everything I am, and everything I am not. In short, I’m just a ruffian from Boston who was lost until I found music as a means of staying out of trouble.

We must admit, we can’t stop listening to your new single “Drugs.” Tell us about the track.
F*ck yeah! Appreciate it! “Drugs” is a multi-layered song, metaphorical as well as literal. Like a lot of my songs, I like to mix upbeat productions with darker lyrics. But the song could be many things. It could be a parallel between love and drugs, a juxtaposition. It could be a social statement on the drug use, both prescribed and unprescribed, by the youth of the world and how it affects our social interactions. It could be about a guy who wants a girl but he can’t ever seem to have her, and the parallel between needing that girl and drugs i.e. love addiction is the same as drug addiction. It could be an anti-drug song. Or it could just be a song about getting f*cked up on drugs. I forget…

How did you get started in music?
I started taking piano lessons when I was 8 years old.  I started on the classics like Bach and Mozart but quickly refused to play anything except The Beatles and Billy Joel. Then when I was about 12 I saw Kurt Cobain on Nirvana Unplugged on MTV and I was like “oooooooo shit that guy is the f*cking man.” I started teaching myself guitar the next day. I wrote my first song sometime around then and I got my first gig when I was 15 or 16 playing at a bar in Southie.

We read that some of your major influences are The Beatles, Kurt Cobain and Stephan Jenkins. How have they impacted your style?
I’ve been borderline obsessed with The Beatles since as early as I can remember. I would sit in my chair and have my mother put on Beatles and Beach Boys records and I would belt it out. The Beatles are the greatest band of all time so there’s no real explanation needed there. Stephan Jenkins is the best lyricist of this generation. He has a flow, a style that can only be him. I hope my lyrics have that same effect so that when people hear my music, it can only be me. The Kurt Cobain influence is all over my music, especially in my guitar playing and lyrics…and even song structure. That being said I don’t want to sound like any of my influences. I want to sound like me.

You beautifully pair pop, alternative, and electronic sounds with emotionally raw lyrics that aren’t only relatable, but give us a glimpse at who you are. Where do you draw inspiration from?
For my project, I only draw inspiration from my life and the things I’ve seen and done. I don’t feel right singing other people’s words or other people truths. I sing and write what I know. I’ve had a ton of crazy shit happen in my life so I have plenty of fuel.

Describe your production style?
I usually start with my acoustic/piano and write the song first, well at least a verse and a chorus. If the song sucks then the production will suck. Then from there I start with the beat. And then the fun begins…guitars, keyboard, pedals, stylophones, mandolins, sitar, basses, pedal steel…you name it and it’s probably somewhere on one of my tracks.  But then again sometimes I’ll start with the beat and the production. Sometimes I’ll start with just a guitar melody. It’s all different. Whatever it takes to get the song out of my head. I have millions of voice memos and notes and notebooks and shit, I’m always writing and thinking about music.

What was the inspiration behind the music video for “Numb?
It’s meant to be metaphorical. The song itself is about my life but I really wanted a video that captured the essence of the song in a non-literal way.  I came in contact with an awesome videographer in Miami named Ivo Raza and we went back and forth on ideas until we had something dark and weird. An iceberg with just the peak showing through the sea.

What are you currently working on?
New songs New songs New songs.  All I do every single day is work on new music and try to not die.

Dream collaboration – ready go.
Paul McCartney. Didn’t even have to think.

Tell us one random fact about yourself.
My great great great great great (not sure how many greats haha) grandfather was Myles Standish, the Captain of the Mayflower. America!!

Anything else you’d like to add?
Shout out to Boston, the greatest city in the world.

Listen to Adam Jensen:

MikeArtist You Should Know: Adam Jensen

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