Photo: Shervin Lainez

Interview: French-Caribbean Artist Adeline Discusses ‘Adi Oasis’ and “Stages”

French-Caribbean singer, bassist, and producer Adeline recently released her EP, Adi Oasis, inspired by her personal encounters and growth during the discordant status quo of today’s world.

Adeline explains, “Adi Oasis is the artist who has been growing inside of me. Creating this EP during one of the weirdest times in our modern history — not just the pandemic, but these difficult political times, global warming, our ongoing struggle against racism, etc. has helped me find a deeper meaning for why I make music and what being an artist means to me. Music is my oasis, the stage is my oasis, the studio is my oasis. No matter what is going on in the world, I can always find a magical place to go to. No matter how dry the world surrounding me can be, I know where to find a source of fresh water and fertile ground where plants grow. And that’s within me. Adi Oasis is inside of me.”

A creative tour de force, during the pandemic Adeline directed and produced six music videos, along with producing KAMAUU’s YouTube hit “Mango,” under the aegis of her new production company Nightshade with her partner Morgan Wiley. She also appeared on tracks with Wax Tailor and Kraak & Smaak, while attracting 500,000 listeners per month on Spotify.

Adeline first burst onto the music scene as the frontwoman for Escort and has shared the stage with Anderson .Paak, Lee Fields, Chromeo, Big Freedia, and Natalie Prass, as well as performing at Afropunk, Funk on the Rocks (Red Rocks), and Winter Jazz Fest.

Her latest single, “Stages,” from Adi Oasis, blends funk-lite R&B with delicious harmonies, along with the smooth hip-hop savors provided by KAMAUU.

CelebMix caught up with Adeline to discuss the inspiration for “Stages,” her influences, and the evolution of her alluring sound.

What inspired your new single, “Stages?”

I wanted to write a song about the raw truth behind being a woman in the music business. 

I drew from my personal experience, hoping that other people can relate. Whether it’s in the music business or not, or whatever your gender is, we all have to fight against negative voices from the outside and from the inside. I needed this song for days when I doubt myself.

Who directed the video and where was it shot?

I directed the video. KAMAUU and his team filmed and edited it. He also helped me a lot with directing. He’s much more experienced than I am, but he let me take the lead and helped me bring my ideas to life. 

What do you want people to take away from the video?

That teaming up can lead to magic. 

How did you connect with KAMAUU?

I first saw him perform at a party called Everyday People in NY. From that point on we spoke about collaborating and finally made it happen with Mango. That was the first time we were in the studio together and we wrote the song in just a couple of hours. 

How did you get started in music?

I grew up with musical siblings. I joined a choir at 4 years old and started performing professionally right after. 

Which singers/musicians influenced you the most?

Prince, Chaka Khan, Curtis Mayfield, Earth Wind & Fire, D’Angelo, Aretha Franklin … the list is very long… 

Did your sound evolve naturally, or did you push it deliberately in a certain direction?

It’s a mix of both. I believe we don’t necessarily choose what we are attracted to. I naturally gravitated toward certain artists because of the way they made me feel and because I somehow could see myself in them. I definitely am not of or those rare artists who know who they are from jump, it took years of experiences for me to get to an understanding of who I was.  I’m still evolving every day.

What can you share about your writing process?

The first idea is often the keeper. 

You’re also a producer, using the name Nightshade. What motivated you to get into production?

Nightshade is a production duo I have with Morgan Wiley. I started to think of producing when I was still in my former band Escort. It sadly didn’t cross my mind before because I was never really told I could do it. The way the music business was structured when I got started was go see this producer (99% of the time, a guy) and he’ll make some songs for you. After a while I realized,” wait why am I waiting for someone else to do something that I could actually do myself?”

Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?

Nick Hakim, Amber Mark, Masego , Blu Detiger, KAMAUU.

What can your fans expect from you over the next six months?

Shows, shows, shows.

Follow Adeline Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Spotify

Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.