Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Mar 5th 2009 4:00PM by Dan Reilly
A few months shy of her 21st birthday, Adele is still trying to find the right man while she flies around the world, meets new fans and celebrities, and works on her second album. Speaking from her London home, she told Spinner about just how crazy life has become and just how normal she's trying to stay in spite of it all.
What was your first Grammy Awards show experience like?
It was just the weirdest thing. Normally, awards ceremonies look so glamorous, but when you're actually there, things are made out of cardboard and it's not as amazing as it looks on television. With the Grammys, everything was just so over the top and gold and amazing. They were very strict about people walking around the auditorium since it was broadcast live, so if you were out the in hallways, you couldn't come in until commercial break. I was standing out there with my manager just s---ting myself with nerves about walking in there, and Neil Diamond, Jay-Z and Diddy were all out there. I was waiting for someone to come and throw me out of the event, saying, "You're not supposed to be here." I never thought I would have anything to do with the Grammys. I didn't even think I would know anyone that would know anyone else who would be nominated for a Grammy, let alone be nominated for four and win two. It was the most amazing night of my life ever, ever, ever.
Did you bring a camera or try to get any autographs?
I never ask because I'm always scared that people will get upset. I don't know if it's OK for artists to ask other artists for autographs. I did meet Miley Cyrus, which was a huge thing for me because I love her, and I met Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers and Alison Krauss -- who's my new obsession. I want photos of everyone just so I can show my kids when I'm older, but I never ask for them.
Kanye West has sung your praises in the past. Did you get to meet him?
Kanye presented me with the Best New Artist, so I met him very briefly. I was just so stunned that I went and faced the corner in the area where you give the statue back, so, no, I didn't get to hang out with him and say, "Thank you." I think he's an amazing artist and it was so nice when he wrote about me on his blog. He's not going to get anything out of bringing up some random girl from London, so that was really, really lovely. It means a lot when someone does something like that for no reason.
How did you celebrate after the ceremony?
Well, I've stopped drinking, so first I went to In-N-Out Burger -- I love it -- with a friend. Then I went to the Sony party for about half an hour and then left for my hotel to watch a movie. We had 'Tales of Despereaux' on in the background -- it was s---, actually. I was in bed by twelve.
Why did you stop drinking?
It was a health thing. In the summer, I had a lot of time off, so I was always going out with my friends to the pub. When I started working again, my voice would never be in form because I'd be hungover. I wouldn't wake up on time for things, miss work and be late for things, so it was just affecting my professionalism. I hate being late, and I don't want anyone to think I'm not professional.
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How has your rise to fame affected your life?
I'm a lot busier than I used to be, a lot busier. It's affected some of my friendships, and you kind of learn who your real friends are. Like, some friends tried to sell stories about me and other friends were really impatient with the fact that I was away a lot. They'd get annoyed when I couldn't really help it because I was in Norway or something. I don't get to see my friends that much, but, you know, I'm living a dream and I have to give up a lot for it. I get recognized a lot here in London and in America. I like it. I still love visiting America, but when I used to go, it was like a holiday because no one knew me. Now I'm a bit more full-on in America and the fans get so excited, so I don't get to just go out and wander anymore.
What was the weirdest fan encounter you've had?
I finished a gig in Chicago and I came straight offstage to my tour bus because it was so cold. If it was the summer and warm, I'd be happy to stand out there and sign autographs and take photos with the fans, but it was so cold and I just couldn't get ill because it was the beginning of the tour. But this one girl kept banging on the bus door for ages and my mate went out and was kind of s---ting her, saying, "Adele's on the phone. She's about to fall asleep." But she kept screaming and said, "I know everything about her. I have to meet her! Adele! Come out!" I thought, "This girl is proper intense," and I opened the door to say hello and she just jumped on the bus and wouldn't get off. I was smoking and she asked for my cigarette butt, so I gave it to her. She didn't even smoke. I've never experienced anything like it before. That was hilarious.
I know you've said that Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James are big influences on you, but who else has inspired you in a way that's not so apparent?
Billy Bragg. I love Billy Bragg. The Spice Girls for the entertainment factor. I mean, obviously I don't do those huge dance routines and I don't think I do shameless pop, but I certainly like catchy songs. I like Carole King, Karen Dalton, Bruce Springsteen -- proper singers. I just love Fall Out Boy. My friends always cuss me and say I shouldn't listen to them, but [Patrick Stump's] voice is amazing. I've never seen them live, but on record I love his voice.
Do you think you'll ever try writing political stuff like Billy Bragg?
When I was in America, I started blowing up around the election, especially when I did 'SNL' and Sarah Palin was there. I get asked about it a lot, but I don't think my political view is that valid. As a person, it is, but as an artist, I don't think it's that good for someone in the public eye to go around telling everyone what they think. I just heard a quote from Kid Rock saying he doesn't think musicians have any right to try and persuade people, and I really agree with that. Even though I was for Obama, I wouldn't want to go around saying, "Obama, Obama, Obama" and make a McCain supporter feel like shit, so, no, I don't think I will go down that route. Even if I do, it won't be for a long time, not until I'm proper political and really know the facts.
Your first album was about a bad breakup you had. What's inspiring you now?
Boys, again. I'm having the most fun ever with my career, but I still have the same f---ing problems with boys I've always had. I've got about half the record written and those songs are about a relationship I was in during the summer that I wanted to get out of. It's not a pathetic "please love me" kind of record like '19.' It's more, "F--- off. Get out of my house." But that's over now, and I'm in love with this boy at the moment, but I don't think he thinks of me like that. I'm f---ing driving myself insane, so that's what I'm writing about on the moment.
Does he know you like him?
I don't think so. I'm the worst person to try to have a relationship with because I never say how I feel. I don't want to be asked how it's going to be -- I like to be told. He's exactly the same. He doesn't talk about his feelings, so it's just like some vicious circle that's driving me insane. I fall in love every day, whether it's a crush or a fling or whatever, but it's a good distraction. It's healthy to have normal things going on in my life. My work life is just stupidly bizarre at the moment.
You get compared to Amy Winehouse, Duffy and other female singers often. Does that get on your nerves?
It doesn't annoy me. I'm a huge fan of both of them and I can kind of understand why it's happening. I'm so brand-new in America, so I think the comparisons are inevitable. If it's still happening on my third album, then I'll be devastated. I'm hoping to really come into my own on my second record and then onto the third.