Nigerian-born, Northampton resident Great Adamz has moved on from university life to shower NN and beyond with his infectious afro-pop sounds. New Boots celebrates his latest winner ‘My Heart’ by bagging an interview.
New Boots: How did begin on your journey of singing and writing?
Great Adamz: Well I was born into a musical family: my mum was a choir director in the church, and I grew up listening to gospel music. I joined the choir at 8 and didn’t do too well, so i decided to learn the drums instead. Tthen at around 12 my mum wanted me to do a solo in church to regain my confidence, so I did – and loved it. I started to write music from that age. I then self-taught myself the piano, only because the drums was too loud in the house and mum wont allow me have one, lol. She got a keyboard instead! I still think I was tricked, but that’s a story for another day.
How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
I call my sound ‘Afro Melody’. I love and breath melody. I see myself like a piano: it wont sound right unless various keys are played together. I feel I have to use every type of my voice to build a perfect picture. My influence comes from people like 2Face Idibia, Lucky Dube, and of course my mum.
You’ve been putting out music for three and bit years now, but 2020 – especially with the album release – seemed like a big leap forward.
Well the thing is in 2019 someone made a comment to me, said “no local African artist in Northampton have had a headline show before”. I felt that with the building presence of afrobeat in the town it was about time someone did it. So I started working hard, shooting videos etc., just so i can headline my own show in January 2020. And we did it to a sold out crowd too – and am forever grateful to Northampton for that.
Tell us everything about this new single, ‘My Heart’.
‘My Heart’ is actually a love song, but I didn’t want to make it too serious. I wanted it to be danceable and funny and relaxing. My character as a person can be very lively and loud, and I am the same when I fall in love or when am angry. So the song chorus actually says “You are disturbing my heart” instead of saying I cant stop thinking of you. The song just shows more how I express myself, and the fact that i don’t usually take things too seriously.
Using your neighbourhood as a backdrop, you make some smart videos! Do you work the ideas up yourself, or do you collaborate with others?
Well I had this idea that I will like to shoot 80% of my videos in Northampton, because I think this town tells a story and people should see it. The ideas come from me and my team, mainly my manager KAS. We work ideas together and sometimes I bounce off ideas with video directors too, as well as artist who are featured.
Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire? Any favourite acts/people you wanna give a shout out to?
I love the music scene in Northampton. I listen to Dreadz, Napps, Adri and also love to watch the House 27 series which is filmed in Northampton.
How have you coped with the lockdowns/restrictions? Does it help with your creativity?
I love the lockdown. Honestly I have made around 150 songs since March 2020, only because my production has gotten better since I have all these time in my hands now. So I am enjoying messing around with my vocals.
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
DaVido A Better Time
What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I want to perform on the biggest stages in the world, tour the world. And locally I want to share afrobeats with everyone in Northampton. I wanna show them a different melody sound that they are not used to. I wanna tell my story.
‘My Heart’ by Great Adamz is out now