Welcome to The Drop, Refinery29's new home for exclusive music video premieres. We want to shine the spotlight on women artists whose music inspires, excites, and (literally) moves us. This is where we'll champion their voices.
Adeline's music video for "Swirl" almost didn't happen, because Adeline almost didn't release "Swirl" in the first place. The French-Caribbean singer produced the song entirely herself — something that's unheard of in the music business. Usually, Adeline explained to Refinery29, men are the gatekeepers to musical success, but she powered through and made "Swirl" happen all on her own to show young girls that they can do it too.
When it came to the music video, Adeline enlisted director Liza Voloshin as a part of her effort to keep things female-lead.
"Liza and I were so in line," Adeline explained. "She would take the words out of my mouth."
The song itself is about addiction, and the world that someone suffering from addiction can sink into. That's why the video is filled with colors, slow and soulful, to convey this heavy, mixed-up state of mind. Ahead, we talked to Adeline about the video, and her journey into the music industry.
You’re so many things — model, writer, singer — what came first and how did you get started in music?
"I describe myself as a musician in general. I’m a singer and bass player, those are the two things that I also produce.
I grew up in Paris and went to college for six months and I was gigging a lot at the same time and I was like, 'What am I doing here?' I moved to New York to check it out. I wanted to get better and find my sound."
How would you describe your style as an artist?
"Funk. You can find the funk in everything. My first single is a slap bass sultry kind of a ballad. 'Swirl' is very separate from everything I’ve done."
Do you make an active effort to include your French-Caribbean heritage in your music?
"I wish I sang more in french, but it does influence me with the lyrics. French language songs use a lot of metaphors, they're more daring. My father is from Martinique, that definitely influenced me."
Describe the process of the music video for me, what was it you were trying to capture?
"I’m learning as I’m becoming a solo artist that in the process of video it's very challenging to describe what I want. I don’t exactly know what I want, but for this I kind of had a specific idea in mind...The song is about something pretty sad...I wanted to come from a non-judgmental perspective."
Do you often touch on larger issues in your music, like addiction?
"I very often touch on larger issues, especially being a woman producing my music in 2018 I have so much to talk about. I try to always make it accessible and not impose. It’s still music and it’s still art. Nobody needs to know exactly what the song is about."
You're a singer in the band Escort. What made you decide to go solo?
"It’s something I always wanted to but was too afraid to do it. I didn’t always have the time. There was a combination of events — the passing of Prince is really what was a big wakeup call to me because I was just always convinced we were gonna collaborate and meet, and that’s the first time I ever had to face the fact that one of my dreams would not come true. So I was like, that can’t happen again."