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Adiam Dymott was born in Uppsala, Sweden to Eritrean parents, where she grew up surrounded by strong women in the form of her mother and four sisters, to whom she remains inseparable from. The 80s baby was singing in the church choir from the age of four and went on to develop an eclectic taste for music, naming The Wu-Tang Clan, Biggie, Nirvana and Garbage as some of her favorite artists. She started working as a receptionist at a local music studio, where she began recording demos for the artists in need of her vocal talents. This is where she was scouted and signed to Razzia Records.

Her first album, Adiam Dymott, dropped in 2009 with standout tracks “Miss You” and “Pizza.” The tatted singer prefers to dress mainly in black and describes her sound as a mixture of post-punk and Hip Hop attitude, intelligent pop lyricism and soulful R&B vocals against an EDM beat. Her lyrics are often deeply personal and ominous, which are reflected in the monochrome strong visual identity of her videos.

HERSource is proud to premiere Adiam’s latest single, ‘Runaway (Exile Remix)’ featuring Blu, which will appear on her upcoming EP2 Quiet Desperation later this month. LA-based rapper/producer duo Blu and Exile flip this ethereal track into a gritty Hip Hop number, with Exile’s slick production and Blu’s conscious verse about aiming higher in life. Adiam’s hypnotic melodies describe escaping from a negative situation and being free to pursue whatever life has in store for her.

Advertisement Your music and videos tend to focus on darker subject matter and moody, mysterious imagery. Why do you choose to write about bad experiences over good ones? 

Adiam: I love the darkness. Maybe that’s due to my Swedish upbringing and enduring the darkness of the long, cold Scandinavian winters. Melancholy comes natural to us. I think, however, that my songs are not really about bad experiences, but about the reality of very basic emotions like love and hate, promise and despair. Complex feelings that we all know very well, but are often afraid to really express.

I read that your name Adiam was inspired by an Eritrean Queen. Does your Eritrean heritage play a big part in who you are as an artist? 

My parents moved from Eritrea to Sweden, where my four sisters and I were born. So I have been brought up in two very different cultures: the Scandinavian and the Eritrean. Nordic noir meets Habesha people. This has been equally inspiring, educational and at times also challenging for me.

What are the main cultural differences you’ve found between Eritrea, Sweden, Germany and the USA?

It’s impossible to define the cultural differences between all of these places. Let’s put it this way, Eritrean culture is family. Uppsala and Stockholm are where I’m from. Berlin is where I am currently living and Los Angeles is where I recorded the two EPs and my upcoming album with Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio.

Your previous EP, Dark Lake, was based around the concept of facing your fears and finding power in doing so. Was making that EP a therapeutic experience for overcoming your own fears and insecurities?

Yes and no. For me the process of song writing is basically some sort of storytelling. Each song is a story that’s based on real-life experiences and emotions. Things I have witnessed in one way or another. So they are very personal to me. At the same time, they are metaphorical. They are not to be understood literally. They are all open for individual interpretation.

I understand that you have a Notorious B.I.G. tattoo. What inspires you so much about Biggie?

He’s simply an incredibly ingenious storyteller. I love how he plays with different characters in his songs. It has an almost theatrical quality. And his lyrics are often not only pretty dark, but also brutally honest at times.

Who are you listening to at the moment? Are there any rappers you would like to collaborate with?

I am currently listening to a lot of Kranium and Young Fathers; completely different in style, but both absolutely brilliant. And naturally Blu, who is featured on Exile’s remix of my song “Runaway.” I have been a fan of Blu’s raw and gritty flow since his debut album Below the Heavens. His latest collaboration with Madlib and MED for “Bad Neighbor” is also amazing.

What’s next for Adiam after EP2 comes out later this month?

My entire album is scheduled to drop this summer. I can’t wait for it to be out.  Sound-wise it’s a mixture of electronic and organic sounds. Pretty brutal and dark at times, but also uplifting and encouraging at the same time. I recorded it with Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio in Los Angeles. I am also very much looking forward to playing live at a number of events and venues this year.