Though the 54th annual Grammy awards did indeed have a somber undertone with the tragic death of magnificent songstress Whitney Houston: life as we all know it does in fact go on. And so it did for rising British pop star Adele, who took home six trophies including the prestigious trifecta of record, song and album of the year. The young British recording artist also gave a triumphant performance of her hit single “Rolling in the Deep” after having had recent vocal cord surgery. Other notable Grammy events include Katy Perry’s fiery post-breakup performance done of course with blue hair, and Nicki Minaj’s extremely bizarre and god awful ‘exorcism’ themed performance that was subsequently deemed blasphemous by the Catholic Church. Luckily Paul Mccartney closed the night off with some dignity performing some of Abbey Road with Bruce Springsteen and some others. Adele’s acceptance speech was brief, commenting that the album was inspired by something that we have all experienced: a ‘rubbish relationship’. And let’s be honest, nothing cures heartbreak like searing hot success. I don’t know who her ex is but let’s assume he’s having second thoughts about his decision right about now. Indeed Adele’s album sounds pretty good if you’ve ever experienced heartbreak, and we all have, so let’s take a look at this talented singer and songwriter from Tottenham.
Adele Laurie Blue Adkins was born in London, England to a single teenage mother and began singing at the age of four. Adele developed a passion for music early, and became ‘obsessed with voices’, citing the Spice Girls as early musical inspiration. Seeing her first live vocal performance, Adele was inspired, saying that the singer’s voice (Pink) hit her like she was in a “wind tunnel”. “It was incredible”. Adele’s early obsession with voices and singing paid off, as she practiced long and hard to finely tune her vocal cords. Her first album 19, named for her age at the time she started recording it, made quite a splash in the UK. Her second album 21, named to signify how much she’s transformed in 2 years, made significant headway in the States and achieved the feat of two top-five hits in both the United States and England simultaneously since the Beatles in 1964. Adele is characterized most notably by her contralto voice, something that she has admittedly worked long and hard to fine tune and perfect. Artistic, adaptable, and highly sensory with an undeniable passion for music Adele is undoubtedly a Composer Artisan. Indeed Adele is “friendly” and “soft-spoken”, but having found a “medium of expression, some art form,” she expresses her “character quite eloquently via that medium.” She prefers to have her finger on her “compositional tools and through them feel the pulse of life. That pulse must be felt–by touch, in the muscles, in the eyes, in the ears”. Certainly, singing is everything to Adele, and she does it quite well:
Although Composers often put long, lonely hours into their compositions, we must not assume that they are working on their art in the sense of careful planning and dutiful execution. On close observation, ISFPs prove to be just as impulsive as other Artisans. Indeed, they covet their impulses and see them as the center of their lives. They do not wait to act or to consider their moves, for to wait is to see their impulse wither and die; rather, they live intensely in the here and now, and as gracefully as possible, with little or no planning or preparation. Submergence in their artistry is not preparation for something later, and neither is it artful play, such as Crafters engage in with their tools. Composers are seized by the act of artistic composition, as if caught up in a whirlwind. The act is their master, not the reverse, and, in a sense, the doing is elicited by the action itself. ISFPs paint or sculpt, they dance or skate, they write melodies or recipes–or whatever–simply because they must. They climb the mountain because it is there.
—Please Understand Me II, p. 73
Heartbreak can definitely give you a deeper sensibility for writing songs. I drew on a lot of heartbreak when I was writing my first album, I didn’t mean to but I just did. — Adele