Home / China / Newsmaker

A star in tune with his music

By Chen Nan | | Updated: 2013-08-07 19:58

The last time Adam Young, under his Owl City alias, performed in Beijing's live house venue in 2009, he entertained nearly a thousand screaming fans at Yugong Yishan.

The reaction of the fans "was definitely a culture shock. I couldn't wait to come back after that trip".

Since then his career has skyrocketed and Young is coming back to China with major concerts scheduled in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong this August.

He promises that even though electronic pop is his trademark, the concerts will be much more like rock‘n' roll.

His career started far from mega-venues and adoring fans. His parents' basement in Owatonna, Minnesota five years ago, was his training ground.

Young, 27, launched his career by uploading songs he recorded to the Internet and this led to a major label contract.

His debut album Ocean Eyes, including the hit single Fireflies, sold more than a million copies in 2009. The follow up All Things Bright and Beautiful garnered wide critical acclaim.

"I think they saw Owl City as representing the future of our business. A kid in a tiny town in rural US being able to make songs in his basement that sounded like Top 40 radio could never have happened 10 years ago," his manager Steve Bursky said in an interview.

Young admits he never thought his career would take off the way it has.

"In the beginning, I just knew it was something I was really passionate about. I wanted to create and do it all," he said. "I still don't consider myself as 'somebody' but I do have to thank social media and the popularity of MySpace for the reason why my music spread so wide and quickly. I never in my life thought I would be doing this as a career."

The musician is known for his shyness and he prefers doing interviews via email or phone. "I am definitely really shy still and introverted.

"Luckily I strike a healthy balance between touring and relaxing at home. I am the type of person that needs time to recharge so I take advantage of all the time I get to be home."

Each of Young's songs started out with imagination.

"When it comes to the actual song, it is always music first and then lyrics but I am always jotting down notes for phrases that I could use for choruses or titles and what not," he said.

In 2012, he released a new album, The Midsummer Station, which saw his first collaboration with other producers and songwriters. The collaboration, as he put it, marks a leap in his musical direction.

"That's a really good way of putting it. When you start working with others, people have to set their egos aside and really focus on making the song win as a song. It's easy to get stuck on something and beat yourself up when you are the only person," Young said.

Lately he has been into the Dutch dance DJ's ever since the electronic dance music craze exploded but he said that he has always been inspired by Enya and John Mayer.

"I am very proud of all the work I've done. I think I have come a long way in terms of the creative process and even collaborating with outsider writers and producers for the first time. I definitely think they showcase how far I've come in the production in anything."


Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349