Passion is a driving force for young dreamers, and with it they can overcome any obstacle or doubt. Adriela Inniss, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter has fought to overcome her own personal difficulties and doubt through the power of music. Her politically conscious record Inaugurated, touches on the disorienting times that we are currently facing with Trump in power. In the record Adriela channels her frustration with the election, singing “I am standing here with my hands in the air, you see yet you turn your back for my life you don’t care.” Through her empowering lyrics she proves that music can serve as an escapism from strangling affairs. Read below to find out why this 24-year-old has zero fucks left to give.
We thank you Adriela for standing in your truth and contributing your gift to the world, we hope you continue to create inspiring music.
I don’t make music to satisfy other people or with intent to touch on social issues, but because I feel strongly about these issues I will sing about it.
When did you realise music was your passion?
I’ve always had a strong love for music. I’m pretty sure I came out the womb singing. My house was always filled with music growing up, from caribbean music to pop, hip hop and jazz etc. Any genre of music you could imagine has been played in my house aside from heavy metal.
My first big recital was during first grade when I attended the Montessori school in Brooklyn New York. We had performed a selection of songs from The Sound of Music. The moment I hit the stage I knew that was where I belonged. At that moment I realized music was my passion. Although I realized music was my passion at a young age, I didn’t start taking the necessary steps to accomplish my goal until I was in college. Throughout my life I had always been diffident when it came to my voice. I was never afraid to tell anyone how much I loved singing and that I would be a star one day, but as soon as they put me on the spot I would shy away giving every excuse in the book as to why I couldn’t sing right now. A lot has has changed since then.
Do you have a particular routine that you undergo in your writing process?
I do have a routine when it comes to my writing process. It all starts with finding the right beat. I don’t play any instruments yet so I rely on the beats that I find on youtube. The process of finding the right instrumental can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple days. Once I’ve found a beat that makes me go “oooo”, I know I’ve found something good and I just start free styling.
I make sure to record myself every time I freestyle to the beat and then I listen to the recordings, take notes on parts that I really like and use that as the framework for my song. Most of the time the chorus is what comes to me first. I use to think that I should only work on music when I feel inspired and something comes to me but now I designate a certain amount of hours per day that I am required to work on music.
How do you find the strength to be vulnerable and open in your lyrics?
I don’t have to find the strength because my music comes from the vulnerable side of me. If that makes any sense. I get this weird feeling in my gut when I hear a beat that really moves me and when I start to freestyle its very raw uncut emotion. My lyrics come straight from the heart. However, I do get a little hesitant when it comes to the more personal songs that I’ve been working on lately, but I know there is someone out there who needs to hear it.
I get this weird feeling in my gut when I hear a beat that really moves me and when I start to freestyle its very raw uncut emotion.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
Some of my musical inspirations include Janelle Monae, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Lauryn Hill, Michael Jackson, Billie Holiday, Badu, and Jhene Aiko. All of these artist have played a role in my growth as an artist. Janelle Monae was there during my big swift in focus in college. I had listened to her music before, but I became a big fan after Electric lady. I would listen to her album every day throughout the day and I would fantasise about me being on stage singing them.
Listening to her music, in addition to other factors, motivated me to really start focusing on my career as a musician. I had always thought that one day I would go to an open mic, perform one song and get discovered, but that’s not how it works. You have to really put the time in to see results. These artists, their stories and their music have all helped me to realize how possible it is to make your dreams come true.
In your song ‘Inaugurated’ you touch on current political affairs. Do you think that it is artist’s responsibility to reflect controversial/social issues in their music?
This question brings about a paradox because I do think it is the artist’s responsibility to reflect controversial/social issues in their music because when you have a platform you should try to use it for the greater good. At the same time, I don’t think it should be forced, it needs to be genuine. I don’t make music to satisfy other people or with intent to touch on social issues, but because I feel strongly about these issues I will sing about it.
Inaugurated was written on the night of Obama’s farewell address because I was in a very emotional and fragile state. Like many, I took Obama’s presidency for granted and when it was time for the Obama’s to leave it really hurt, especially with Trump taking his place. Writing Inaugurated was my way of coping with the travesty that the US has been burdened with.
What advice would you give to young aspiring artist?
Just follow your dreams and be true to you. Make music for you and just be glad if one person listens and genuinely likes it. I’ve spent so much of my life being insecure and worried to much about everyone’s opinion rather than my own. Three days away from 24 and I have zero fucks left to give. Be happy, be you!