21-year-old Llandudno singer, Adam Hender, possesses a voice that carries the stories of a young man with true soul and sensitivity, whose experience defies his years.
A former pupil at Ysgol John Bright, Adam is the first artist to be unveiled by Bristol record label 3tone Records, whose co-founder, Dean Roberts, is also from North Wales.
Dean said he hopes that Adam can do for Wales what Lewis Capaldi has done for Scotland, and feels strongly that fans at home in North Wales are going to love him. Dean adds that he believes Adam can follow all the great Welsh superstars and become an ambassador for us around the World.
What inspired you to pursue music?
I’ve always loved music and since I was little, all the family on every occasion would be signing so it’s always been part of my life. We loved going on the karaoke and when I found out I could sing well I learnt to play the guitar and started writing songs. I’ve always felt music is part of me and inevitable in my life – not specifically to get riches and fame but I’ve always done my best and worked hard at it. It’s what I’ve always done and I see myself doing it forever.
How did you get your start?
There was an open mic night in a pub called the Cross Keys in Llandudno near where I lived every Thursday night. I was only 14 so I wasn’t technically old enough, but I knew the guy who ran it and he would let me play as long as I left as soon as I was done. That’s where I built up my confidence in performing. Then when I was old enough, I started doing other open mics in places like Conwy, and the Alex in Penmaemawr and got some festival slots around North Wales. I just kept learning the craft and working hard to get better at it.
How would you describe your music style?
It’s pop music, but each song has its own feeling and atmosphere so I wouldn’t want to be too narrow about it. I always want a bit of kick to the music, and hopefully people will find an emotional connection with the lyrics.
Who do you admire in the music industry?
I’ve always really admired John Mayer, you can see when he’s playing that he’s doing it for him. Watching him, it’s like he’s the only one there and you get pulled into his world. I think Ed Sheeran is brilliant. He’s incredibly successful but he hasn’t let the industry change him at all, and he’s married a girl from home. He wears what he wants, there’s no smoke and mirrors with him – I really admire that. It shows you don’t have to pretend to be something you’re not to be successful and that’s important to me. There’s also a guy called Rhys Lewis who I’ve just discovered on Instagram who’s got some great songs and he seems genuine. I’m looking forward to hearing more from him.
When not performing, where do you like to go out in North Wales to listen to live music?
There are events around summer like Headstock in Llandudno which is a great couple of weeks in the sun listening to music. Right across North Wales, there are always music nights. I tend to go over to Conwy to the open mic at the Blue Bell on a Sunday, it feels like home; it’s nostalgic. I’ve always searched for music and I was constantly practising in the music department at school. The irony is I failed music in the end!
Favourite spot to write music?
If I’m writing alone, I like writing at home. Some of my best lyrics were written sat in the garden. I like being in the studio too, it’s nice to have a couple of heads together working on music and bouncing ideas around.
I’d have to say getting signed to my label 3tone. It was a shock to the system in a really good way. I drove all the way from North Wales in my beat up Corsa and played some songs for the guys there, and that was that! It was a real moment and it felt like I could really get going from there. I’ve progressed a lot from when I signed, we’ve got two songs released and loads more recorded and I hope there will be many more proud moments to come!
Who would you like to perform for in an intimate venue setting?
Oh, I might have to think about that one. Right, I got it. The cast of Friends, in Central Perk! It’s one of my favourite TV shows and probably the most famous coffee shop in the world, so that would be very cool. And Jim Carrey would have to be there, I’ve watched his movies a million times over and it’s pretty hard not to love that guy, he’s an incredible person.
Who would you most like to perform with?
It’s hard to pick any one person as there’s so many! I’d have to go back to the people I admire. I’ve always loved John Mayer so it would have to be him, his solos are wow. And to play with Ed Sheeran would be an honour. Or Cardi B! Can you imagine her singing with me on One Chance? Julia Michaels’ voice and song writing stands out to me as well and I feel like we’d work well together.
What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?
If you can believe it, you can achieve it. If I was going to give my younger self some advice, it would be that you just have to persevere; the world always needs more great music! We’re all different so everyone has something to offer… everyone’s mind is individually special and your music can be too. n