Audacy Check In: Adele says the raw emotion of '30' can be difficult to sing in a live setting

'It’ll be interesting to see if I have to switch off for some of them to make sure that I don’t just like, burst into tears'
Adele
Photo credit Getty Images
By , Audacy

The moment fans have been waiting a full six years for has finally arrived. Adele’s fourth studio album, 30, has officially hit shelves and Audacy’s Julia got a chance to discuss the album’s standout tracks, the singer’s recent One Night Only CBS concert special, and more.

“To be honest with you I was really hoping that the album would come out last year,” Adele tells Julia. “Obviously everyone’s plans got halted last year, so I’ve been sitting on it for what feels to me like an eternity. So, I’m just bloody glad it’s out!”

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The extra time that COVID lockdowns afforded her while recording and finalizing the new record ended up being a blessing for Adele, as it gave the singer time to truly get to know the record, rather than her past experiences of recording and heading straight into promotion.

LISTEN: Hear the full Audacy Check In with Adele below

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“There were some things that I couldn’t get finalized because of the pandemic, like the strings and orchestras and stuff like that, so it definitely wouldn’t have been the album I’m putting out now because of that, and I’m glad I got to do that,” Adele admits. “It was nice to get to know my album inside out… it was definitely actually in the end quite a nice thing. Maybe I would have written some more songs, I don’t know but they certainly wouldn’t have been in the same bubble of what all the songs of ‘30’ are. It would have been about things that weren’t quite in line with that, and maybe they wouldn’t have worked anyway. Everything happens for a reason.”

Jumping right into her incredible, Adele One Night Only CBS TV special filmed at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles on October 24, Adele tells us that the experience was completely “overwhelming” for her. Describing her ride up to the venue for soundcheck, Adele remembers seeing all of the security and park personnel and saying to her driver “‘what’s all of this? This is gonna get in the way of people coming to the show and stuff.’ He was like, ‘this is all closed off for you. What are you talking about?’ It was such a big, bloody production. It looked beautiful. It was wild. It was definitely very overwhelming.”

“My son was there,” Adele adds, describing her reaction to the first time young Angelo had seen his mom on stage. His attendance in the crowd “literally made me a nervous wreck. I was terrified about having him there but also so happy about it.”

Although just nine years old, Adele knows Angelo was excited about the affair. “He knew that obviously it was my show once I was up there, but I still think he thought someone else was going to be doing something.” After the concert, she says Angelo told her she did a job well done, “and gave me a cuddle and a kiss. I don’t think he was blown away or anything by it, I’m just his mum. He’s so chill, my kid. It’s wild, because I’m not.”

In all, the “intimacy” of evening is what Adele will cherish. “I think I would’ve probably thrown up had it been thousands of people. It was definitely an out-of-this-world setting, that’s for sure. I felt like a bloody movie star up there, I couldn’t believe it.”

Diving into some of the album’s song titles, “Oh My God” is an obvious standout, with Adele explaining that the lyrics are “about the first time that I basically left my house after my anxiety and stuff like that started to sort of subside.” She explains, “I went out with some girlfriends and my girlfriends are like, ‘you’re single, 30, and ready to mingle.’ And I was like, ‘I ain’t ready to mingle at all. What the hell are you talking about?’ It was just about the prospect of sort of dating and stuff like that in bloody L.A., which is not the vibe. I was terrified, I wasn’t ready to start dating anyway, but I was scared that if I did, that I would probably make some really bad decisions because I wasn’t ready. I remember the first time [someone flirted], and I was like, ‘do you mind? I’m married.’ And my friends were like, ‘but you’re not.’ And I was like, ’oh s***. OK, oh my God.’”

“I Drink Wine” is another title that grabs the eyes, for obvious reasons. Adele explains that the title was a joke initially, but it stuck. “The reason why I feel like it’s an integral part of the record is because it’s the beginning of me starting to really dig deep in myself and ask myself real questions and be able to focus my energy a little bit more.” Anxiety and panic, she says was making it hard to focus on her goals. “That song is basically like 50 questions I’m asking myself,” she adds. “It felt like it was the beginning of me coming out.”

“To Be Loved,” Adele says, was the hardest song to create, because of its rawness. “I’ve only ever sung it three times,” she admits, “and it’s hard for me to get through it… without crying. When I was writing and doing my vocals for it, I imagined my son being like, 30 or something, and being in the crowd and hearing my story in a different way than he does at this age, and it just turns me into a bloody wreck.”

While fans have already been given a taste of some of her new songs in a live setting, looking ahead to future performances Adele is not sure how she will handle some of the more emotionally draining pieces on the release. “It’ll be interesting to see if I have to switch off for some of them to make sure that I don’t just like, burst into tears or get triggered by anything,” Adele says. But the track “Hold On,” written for her friends who were there for her during her worst times, she believes will be the hardest to disassociate from. “It’s a keeper, that one. I do like it.”

Adele's fourth studio album, 30, is available everywhere now. Listen to the full interview with Adele above, and stay tuned for even more conversations with your favorite artists on Audacy.com.

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