Songtrust Spotlight: AdELA

AdELA is a triple threat. She’s a singer, songwriter, and rapper reaping the benefits of pursuing her dreams of stardom. The tenacious South African-born, Atlanta-based artist got her resolve for pursuing the life she wanted from her parents, who left lucrative careers in South Africa in order to escape apartheid in the ‘90s. AdELA’s family first settled in Miami exposing her to all styles of music from Miami Bass, Nas, Tupac, Royce Da 5’9 to Frank Sinatra – artists she describes as “timeless and an inspiration for her own creativity.”

AdELA earned her first RIAA Certified Gold credit as a co-writer and performer on Meek Mill’s “Made it From Nothing.” In 2015, AdELA made her official debut with Off the Burner, followed by her EP Dreamers and Thinkers in 2017, where she decided to feature a well-known rapper on every track. AdELA landed collaborations with Royce Da 5’9, Skyzoo, Torae, Fat Joe, and Kool G Rap just to name a few. Dreamers and Thinkers peaked at number 21 on the iTunes Top 100 in the United States as well as breaking the Top 100 in the UK and France.

AdELA’s last EP “On The Line” made the top 30 on the US iTunes charts. She has recently released two singles “Pretty Girls” and ‘My Green” and made her directorial debut with two stunning music videos amid the pandemic.

“Becoming a mainstream artist is super possible for me. I have my own sound, and my own style, and my own name, so it's possible, and that's one of my goals.”

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What or who inspired you to get into music?

It came so naturally to me at a young age. I was the kid in all the school plays and singing in the choir, so I knew this was it for me.  I didn't in my wildest dreams think it would become my actual job!

How would you describe your style of music and performance? How would you describe your philosophy and style as an artist?

I make music based on what I am feeling at the moment. My biggest rules are there are no rules, and create your own lane. I want to leave a legacy behind so when I make music, I think to myself... Is this timeless? Will it still be dope in 10 years, 20, 30? My performances are full of energy and a level of bossiness. When the mic is in my hand, it's my job to control the crowd. I take being the MC seriously whether I am singing or rapping.

Knowing what you know now, if you could go back and give your younger self advice, what would you tell them?

Just go for it. Don't listen to what anyone tells you. Some people are blind to your vision. 

A recent study revealed that 80 percent of independent musicians aged between 18 and 25 years old said they had suffered from stress, anxiety and/or depression in relation to their music creation. How do you make sure to take care of yourself? 

I am part of that 80%. I live with anxiety and it's insane to think about but, I have lived with it my whole life. I look back in retrospect and I see all the signs. I have never had anxiety making music or being in the business. For me, I feel like it's sort of hardwired into me. I will feel anxious about things that are completely out of my control and then it can absolutely affect my mood in general which is never a good space to be in for creatives. And now that every piece of news is at our fingertips, it's become a breeding ground for anxiety and stress.  Things I do to alleviate this are yoga and talking to my friends. I let the people in my circle know how I am feeling and that really does help. Friends are amazing therapy!

How do you think the music industry’s approach to ensuring the mental well-being of artists has changed since the beginning of your career, or should change going forward? 

It's so difficult when you experience a mental health situation. It's not like breaking an arm where people can see it. It's in your mind which might be worse. Most artists don't share what they are going through but I see that changing. When we share, we allow people to not feel alone and we normalize the fact that this is a thing. It's not something invisible that you have to deal with alone. 

What's next for you? Any upcoming projects or plans for 2021?

Always dropping new music and content and staying sane in this crazy, mad world! Stay tuned!

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