Photo Credit: Jim Trocchio
Written by Kelly Holm
If you’re looking for a dance/electro-pop vibe that’s truly out of this world, Nashville-based artist Adara is worth looking into. Her tunes are reminiscent of Cyndi Lauper, her biggest inspiration, and her galactic aesthetic has a unique twist, one that pervades everything she does.
“I’m putting this out into the Universe now!” she writes when visualizing her ideal collaborative album, which would, of course, feature Lauper, as well as other greats like Elton John and U2.
“Some of the best art has been created by long-time collaborators,” she said.
Developing her persona has taken time; it’s been a long road from the first time she played her original music at a family friend’s Christmas party at 16.
“It was incredibly nerve-racking but the response was so positive and it was amazing to be able to share something I created with people.”
But, after a warm reception from those around her, Adara immediately felt like that performance initiated her drive to actively pursue music. Her mentor and friend, David Pack, lead singer of Ambrosia, said it best when he told Adara that she had ‘this incredible light… and to never stop letting it shine.’
Adara tells Elicit that you might find her “frantically opening up voice memos on [her] phone and awkwardly singing a song idea full of gibberish in the public restroom, on the treadmill at the gym, or in line at the grocery store,” as part of her songwriting ritual. In other words, she’s inspired wherever she is. “I never know what is going to trigger a song idea, but they happen anywhere and everywhere.” She adds, “Songwriters are merely vessels for the music.”
The line complements her belief in something greater that is present throughout her lyrics, from “Death of a Star” about her relationship with her father, to the recent release “Alien,” a battle anthem about strength in the face of adversity.
“I incorporate outer space and futurism into my music and visuals. Those things, to me, represent infinite possibilities and hope,” she says. “We all have the ability to blast off into the stratosphere and accomplish amazing things.”
“Alien” goes hand in hand with the #keepgoing campaign, which was inspired by all of the messages Adara received during one of her darkest times. The idea to “keep going” powered her through to the other side. After realizing that so were so many people out there like her living with some sort of pain, she knew she had the chance to make a statement.
“I made a video on social media asking my followers to share their personal stories of pain with me, and promised I would then write all of their stories on my white bodysuit and wear it in the music video to show that they don’t have to go through their pain alone,” she said. “The response I got was overwhelming and heartbreaking.”
She admits to shedding many tears over the messages from followers.
“In some cases, I was the first person they had ever told,” Adara said. “I had stories of rape, suicide, mental illness, terrorism, bullying, the list goes on. I replied to every single post and message…”But, every time I feel overwhelmed, I remind myself of the positive impact I’m trying to make and that keeps me going.”
The journey as an up and coming musician can be difficult at times. “There have certainly been times in the electronic community where my songwriting and art were not respected and were only used for someone else’s gains,” she said. Although it is tough to never say no as a rising musician, Adara tells Elicit about the importance of the people you surround yourself with. “Find and build your village; The community of people that understand your vision and can be your trusted collaborators.”
So in the meantime, she’ll wait for the day when she can perform her songs at a “lunar base module on the moon” or that “fancy space hotel they are trying to build.” Having Rob Thomas in the audience singing along to one of her songs would be an added bonus. She gushes, “Rob, if you’re reading this I’ll give you a VIP pass to any of my future shows.” But, until that time arrives, Adara will continue to defy expectations and be nobody other than her true authentic self.
“Fire, they think it’s burning me down. / It’s just fuel as I’m leaving the ground.”