Here in this Creator Conversation Q&A, Grant Adams talks about his appropriately titled debut album, Beginnings. He also shares how a sick day from school got him into music, his favorite places for music in Oklahoma, what happened in Brooklyn, and more.
How do you describe yourself and your music?
I would say I’m naturally a pretty introverted person. I enjoy being the quiet one in social situations. I’m also extroverted when I want to be, but it doesn’t come naturally. As far as music goes, I like to describe my music as “Oklahoma pop/rock.” Growing up in Oklahoma I’ve been influenced by a lot of the great music that our state has to offer. In addition to that, I’ve been influenced by many of the pop/rock greats. John Mayer, Bruce Springsteen, OneRepublic, and fellow Oklahoman Ben Rector have been some of my major influences.
In the beginning, what got you interested in music and sharing it with others?
Well, one day in high school I was at home sick and I had had my fill of movies. So I decided to try my hand at playing my brother’s keyboard and I found that I had a decent ear for picking out tunes. A few months later I started taking piano lessons and joined a few bands at my church. Really, though, it wasn’t until I got into college that I started writing songs and playing shows. For me, the best part about sharing music with people is watching their reaction to songs at shows and hearing them tell me about how it impacted them. I love hearing people say, “Wow that song really meant a lot to me.” Or “I really connected to that song.” That’s really why I do music.
Use only seven words to describe your EP album, Beginnings?
Honest, whimsical, hopeful, fun, reflective, real, and energetic.
What was the greatest challenge you had when making the album?
“There’s lots of small decisions that go into making an album that you don’t even think about.”The greatest challenge when making the album was the many small decisions that had to be made. “Should we use this guitar part or that one? How long should the intro be? Is the bass loud enough?” There’s lots of small decisions that go into making an album that you don’t even think about. Thankfully I had a great team around me that guided me and helped me develop the album from start to finish. I really couldn’t have done it without them.
How do you stay in a positive direction when negativity surrounds you?
I think it’s all about who you surround yourself with and who your closest friends are. If you have a great group of close friends you can rely on and trust, it’s a lot easier to keep yourself headed in the right direction and doing the right things. If you don’t have that, I think it’s much more difficult.
What helps to see the good in people?
All of us make mistakes. I do every day. I think seeing the good in people is all about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and looking at things from their perspective.
What’s some beauty seldom seen in Oklahoma?
“I would also say that the beauty I think we often take for granted is the people.”That’s a great question. I’ll answer it in two parts. First, I got to visit Portland, Oregon over Christmas and I loved it. At the same time, though, it also made me appreciate Oklahoma for what it is. We may not have huge mountain ranges, but our state is very diverse and offers a handful of different scenery options. I would also say that the beauty I think we often take for granted is the people. There are some humble, hard working people that live in this state and I think that’s also what makes it beautiful.
What are some of your favorite places to perform or listen to live music in Oklahoma?
One of my favorite places I’ve played at is called The Basement. It’s fittingly named that because it’s the basement of Crestwood Vineyard church in OKC. There’s some great people that organize the shows there and the atmosphere is great as well. As far as seeing shows, The Criterion in OKC is a fantastic new venue. It’s top notch. Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa is also hard to beat. The history that you feel when you walk in is something you only get when you watch a show at Cain’s.
What happened in Brooklyn?
I got to visit Brooklyn, NY a few years back and absolutely loved it. I know that’s not reflective of the song much, but I’ll try to explain. Brooklyn is actually is more a metaphor for a past relationship that didn’t work out. Often times people ask me if I’m referring to the place or a person, and I usually tell them it’s up to their own interpretation. Just for the record, though, I love Brooklyn, NY!
How can one live like there’s no tomorrow and live today?
You know, we live such busy lives. We’re always going and going. I don’t think it’s bad to be busy, in fact, I enjoy being busy, but I know that I often get so concerned with what I’m doing tomorrow or next week or next month that I forget to enjoy today. I forget to enjoy where I’m at in life and I take for granted the opportunities I’ve been given right now. We aren’t promised tomorrow, and I want to try and appreciate each day that I’ve been given.
Anything else you want to say or let people know?
Sure! If you go to my website, grantsadamsmusic.com and sign up for email updates, you instantly receive a free acoustic version of the song “Direction.” My album “Beginnings” is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Apple Music. I look forward to meeting you at a show sometime!
For more question and answer sessions with creative people in Oklahoma from the Creator Conversation series, click here.