In a captivating interview with Patrick Adams, the music industry luminary, and visionary producer, he unveils his insightful take on the transformative power of his latest release, “If I Ruled the World,” and more about the artistry that makes him one of the must-hear multi-hyphenate talents out today.
In conversation with The Source, Adams delves into the inspiration behind the track, shedding light on his artistic process and the profound message he hopes to convey. Adams brings a wealth of experience and musical expertise to the table, making this interview a must-read for music enthusiasts and admirers of his work, and new fans that will join the journey.
How did you get your start in music, and what inspired you to pursue it as a career?
I had some relatives that were musicians, and they actually still are. So they’re all a little bit older than me. I was the little cousin that was always hanging around, watching everybody rehearse. And then the house next door to me was filled with musicians and they had a band. And so, during this time period, there were a lot of bands that were out and playing in Minneapolis. I was the little young pup that would hang around, and I got to hear it all the time. And so I just was like, you know what? I think that’s something that I want to do. I would watch and listen to them, and then I’d go into my own space and my own time to grab my little ice cream buckets and make me a little drum set. And that’s how I got started.
Can you describe what your creative process is and how do you go about writing and producing your music? Cause I know you do everything in-house.
The process has evolved over time. It got to the point where you’re just experimenting, and you just turn the mic on, like you do a beat, or you get on the piano or the keyboard, and you come up with something. You’re then writing in real-time without even using a pen. And so experimenting with that lately has been fun. It gives you this opportunity to be free and create on the spot. I love it.
You span different types of genres. Who are your biggest musical influences, and how have they impacted each era of music that you’re creating?
For sure, family members and then Herby Hancock as a child really sparked my interest. A couple of the albums that he had back in the day were major influences. Also, the Ohio Players, The Stylistics, and The Chi-Lites. Even listening to songwriters like Crosby, Stills and Nash, and James Taylor. And then evolving into Prince and Earth, Wind and Fire, and Stevie Wonder. Sly Stone, Babyface, Teddy Riley. And then, moving forward to current artists like Drake and how he would create his songs. That is parallel for me when I look at how Prince would write a lot of his music, they carry melodies.
Anybody could sing some of these melodies. A good example for Prince, even when he did the song, “Money Don’t Matter 2 Night,” the way that he sang it, which he did a lot of songs this way, anybody could sing that melody. And with Drake, they make it listener friendly where anybody can feel like “I can do that.” So just listening to and studying how they do that craft is a major for me. You listen to people like Charlie Wilson, and it’s like, nah, I could never do that. Stokely, you can’t, no, I could never do that. It’s some people who are just so ridiculous with their vocals.
What do you think sets your music apart from other creators?
I don’t really approach music thinking of genre. Whatever God gives me in that moment, I accept it. I can sit down and accept whatever is coming out, and I take that and let it go to where it’s going to go. I don’t sit down and say, you know what? I’m gonna write a song like this, or I’m gonna try to fit into this. It’s just being free and being able to create in a free space. Letting it happen organically.
If you are working in one genre and creative energy pushes you into another. How do you manage mentally? How do you make that shift or know when it’s time to go back?
For example, I could be working on songs for my gospel project, and then I may go down, and I get in the studio, then my keyboard and hands take me somewhere else to a different melody. I just let that take me where it’s going to go. Depending on how far I go in that moment, it could take me all the way through the arrangement, or it could take me through part of the arrangement, and then I just save it and table it for later and then get back into what I was initially working on.
Right now, what’s buzzing for you heavily is “If I Ruled the World.” You mentioned just having that energy that takes you away to places of creation. Do you recall what specifically was in your heart, mind, spirit, or musical energy when you started to work on that?
I’m from Minneapolis, and the neighborhood I grew up in was over where the situation happened with George Floyd and the riots. That was my neighborhood. And my kids grew up in that neighborhood as well. So, that incident and many other situations that have happened not only in our country but around the world was the motivation. The tipping point for me was the invasion of Ukraine, and that led me to enough is enough. I can’t take this anymore. And so I just started playing, and then those words started coming out.
We all just need to look in the mirror, and we can’t keep pointing the finger here and pointing the finger there. We all just have to look in the mirror and figure out what we can do to make this space better. And so with the creative process musically for it, that’s where that derived from. I wanted to go back into that neighborhood and grab some of the pillars in the community and others that grew up in that neighborhood and be a part of the video. We took over the square, and it actually was minus two out there. So we were hurrying up trying to get those scenes done.
You had the experience of seeing your graphic on display on a billboard in Times Square. How did that feel for you?
It was a humbling experience, and it was crazy cuz I got the phone call the night before the release of the single and the video, and I was asked how I would like this particular ad for that song to be displayed in Times Square. The release comes out, and someone sent me a clip of the ad being played in Times Square. I called this individual up and said, ” man, thank you so much. I really appreciate that. So long story short, I was out there that following Friday and actually got to see it in person. God is good. That’s all I can say.
You are currently working on your R&B album. What energy do you want to bring with that release?
It’s a mixture of uptempo and dance songs. Some ballads, some mid-tempo. It touches on a couple of different areas. As far as musically, it’s some stuff that reminds you of back in the seventies and some stuff that might be like in the eighties. We just wanted to touch on these different areas musically. I think it’s a fun project. I’m out here in LA, mixing one of the dance songs right now. It’s coming out really nice, man. I’m excited about it.
What challenges have you had as an artist, and how do you set out to overcome them?
The main challenge for me is creative control, which is probably a challenge for almost every artist out here unless you’re doing your stuff independently. The freedom to be able to release your own stuff and have the avenues to make it work is an unbelievable thing. I’m excited about that, and the challenges are staying on it from the advertising and marketing side. I’m not a huge social media guy, but it pushes you to do it a lot more. So right now, that’s the biggest challenge.