Hitfix Goes to the Grammys: Interview with Adele
As the Grammy glow grows brighter, I'm going to look at some of the best new artist nominees over the next few days. Today, it's Adele's turn.
The British singer shocked many folks when she landed not only a best new artist nod this year, but record and song of the year nominations for "Chasing Pavements, " a song written about running away from a club after punching out her cheating boyfriend.
Like "Chasing Pavements," much of Adele's debut album, "19," examines a troubled relationship. Her beautiful, jazzy voice explores every nuance of her pain, making her sound like someone far older and wiser than her 20 years.
I interviewed Adele for the Washington Post , but I saved some of the best stuff for Hitfix:
ON JOURNALISTS COMMENTING ON HER WEIGHT: "I think it would be weirder even if people didn't, to be honest, because society's so obsessed with image. You're accused of being too skinny or too fat.... It doesn't piss me off. I'm not [hung up] with my body weight or anything like that. I wouldn't encourage someone to be my size, I would never encourage anyone to be underweight, I just think be happy or whatever...It pisses me off that people I know, they look at magazine covers and go, "Oh fuck, I don't look like that. I'm never going to get married. I'm never going to have a boyfriend. I'm not going to be seen as sexy." But I've done [those] covers; you get airbrushed to shit. They're not real! They always make my thighs smaller, it's all airbrushed. If people want to judge my music before they've even heard it based on what I look like, they should go and get a life, really."
ON WINNING A BRIT AWARD: The buzz on Adele was so strong in her native England that the Brit Awards (the U.K. equivalent of the Grammys) saw fit to bestow upon her a brand new award-the Critics Choice Award-given to a promising newcomer. It freaked her out a little, she admits. "The Brit Award was amazing, it just confused me a lot and I was slightly embarrassed because I hadn't done anything yet," she says. "It's like we have these big tests in England in the schools, called like A Levels, and it determines if you go to college. I'm not comparing it to school, by the way, [but] it's kind of like being given an A before even taking your exams and I think it's cheating a little bit and I thought that it was going to kind of jinx it when I won the Brit Award. I was a little frightened at the time, but it ended up being all right."
OPEN MOUTH, START CONTROVERSY: "19" entered the British charts at No.1 last January and Adele became an instant sensation, under the spotlight's glare. That's occasionally led a little trouble for the outspoken artist. "I'm quite mouthy in my interviews," she says, "so I always ask to be put out of context, to be made to look like a bit of an idiot. If someone asks me a stupid question, I'll tell them it's a stupid question." The latest controversy came when she felt she was misquoted by the BBC over her Grammy nominations. "They asked me, ‘Would it be the end of the world if you didn't win a Grammy?' and I said it wouldn't be the end of the world. I'm 20. I'm on my first record, I've got plenty of time to write my second record and my third and my fourth and my fifth and I hope that I get nominated for a Grammy for my fifth album and so much has happened on the first record that I hope this isn't it." Although it reads fine, Adele felt the interview showed her as ungracious about her nominations, leading her to emphatically post on her website that she definitely wanted to win a Grammy and was thrilled by her nominations. "I don't know where it got taken out of context, but I was fucking pissed off when they wrote that....Here in the U.K., they think I don't want a Grammy and I don't need a Grammy. I don't need a Grammy, but I'd like one."
BLOG QUEEN: The aforementioned blog has become a way for Adele, as her fame increases, to communicate directly with her fans without the press as an intermediary. "No one can edit my blog for me... I don't want to be one of the kind of musicians that becomes a celebrity because I don't want to be a celebrity. I'm a musician. I don't want people always reading about me in a formal career way. I like writing about what I did at Christmas and how I feel about things and when something does piss me off. I like writing about it and telling people so they don't always think of me in the way I'm being portrayed in an interview. So it's really important to me and I love reading the comments as well that other people are agreeing with me or disagreeing with me."