ADELAIDE’s Video Release + Interview

Visual from Adelaide self-portrait video cover of Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar”

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ADELAIDE (@meredithadelaide) shows many facets—many faces—in her cover of Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar”. We’ve been eager to interview ADELAIDE about her thoughts and about her new projects—this was the perfect opportunity to do so.

The layered vocals on this track remind me of the voices that often conflict in our minds — each voice trying to reign supreme. This multiplied duality is often a crushing burden to live through, yet your voice has made it a very soothing experience. In this video and your overall work, you experiment a lot with lighting. We can clearly see the same inner duality reflected outwardly as if they have physically become manifest. I hope I’m on the right track.

Damn that’s dope. You are.

Visual from Adelaide self-portrait video cover of Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar”

In your notebooks and on your media platforms, you often speak about what’s digging at your heart, speaking out about personal insecurities and this world’s social inconsistencies. You communicate directly with your followers by regularly setting up live videos. You aren’t interested in imposing your ideas. Learning is mutual, and this symbiotic relationship you have with the people surrounding you helps you grow emotionally and enables you to figure things out. This is evident in some of your work.

Well thanks, dude. That’s is a very lovely reflection of what I do.

I think growing emotionally is evident in my work because it legit comes from working through shit and putting what I’ve learned in each piece as I go. I create en vibes. Hah. But for real I’m always working through something personal (aren’t/can’t we all?).

My only other publicly-released video has a couple heavy real-life moments tucked in there, and from what I’ve heard there’s this intangible weight to the piece that viewers can’t pick out. So I’m finding that to be not only healing to release, but to know that the feeling continues through..

Lately, I’ve moved to Los Angeles and been presented with many options of How-To-Exist. In America, it seems there’s an industry for everything, and now, after my vagrant journey for 9 months, I feel like this feral animal that’s triggered in any type of structure.

I’ve been on this floating vibe, this follow-my-gut, and anything that threatens that I low-key freak out—all mentally, internally. But then something like this project zaps me into a new, specific focus and I hit the ground running because… I don’t know? Felt right? It is definitely showing me things about my current self—definitely showing me an example of what good structure can be, to be used to my advantage.

Visual from Adelaide self-portrait video cover of Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar”

Okay, so you blew full-steam into this cover of Selena Gomez. How did that start?

On release day, a friend said: “You wanna hear the new Selena track?”

I was all: “Okay.”

I was played the song in my bedroom, phone face-down on my bed. As the song kept going, I found myself physically inching closer to it.

I immediately looked on YouTube to see if there was a video already, which there wasn’t. Didn’t know there was an exclusive thing for Spotify, but I got an urge to message a colleague of mine who had taken Selena’s photograph before. I asked if he knew anything about her and her team’s process of hiring video artists and how I could possibly pitch to make a video. He was uncomfortable using his privilege of contacting them, and suddenly I realized I had created an unnecessary roadblock.

What do you mean unnecessary roadblock?

Like, this avenue was pointless from the start– I realized that I connected to the project enough to make it bigger than trying to “get in touch with her people” and instead do what I was driven to do– make visuals for the song. That was a good lesson.

And then I remembered why I liked the song so much in the first place: I could see myself doing it my own way. There’s so much room for interpretation. And it’s a crazy different song for a pop artist to do, which I admired. So I wanted to sing it, too. And then make visuals.

Actually, that process is the same as what I’ve been doing with my own music project. Well, mine goes: EMOTION creates self-portrait photos which influence my writing top-line to sounds which educate my films for video. It’s a big conga line of interpretations. All with specific intentions.

So I think I see now that I can use this piece to kind of get me to start letting down my guard in presenting my own, personal work. I have to trick myself to do shit like that.

Visual from Adelaide self-portrait video cover of Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar”

As we land on your website, we are instantly faced with the reasoning behind all of your projects—you want to give your emotions a place to survive. Do you absolve your mind of these narratives after finishing a new project?

With every project I create for myself a new understanding. It’s less like absolving and more like depersonalization.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that my concepts generally stem from false narratives I’ve created in the past and projected onto other people, and doing self-portrait art with those in mind I’m able to give myself the space and time to reflect within each particular feeling/thought to understand where that comes from and how to look at it objectively.

Visual from Adelaide self-portrait video cover of Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar”

How has using someone else’s lyrics impacted your exploration of your own story?

I think more than influencing my narrative, using someone else’s structure influenced my ability to open up about myself. I was allowed a limited space to create in, sonically and then physically, and on top of that, I gave myself a week-long time limit to finish this.

My true current narrative is I haven’t put any of my personal music/art out, so, using someone else’s project that is already established and sharing what I can do with that, for some reason, felt like the correct next thing to do.

I did want to mention: I decided to change some of the lyrics as I went along— “you’re taking the perfection of my mind”. “I’m the art.”

My story goes (for all those us weekly/people mag cover stories they’ll someday write about me) (just kidding that’d be awful): someone got in my head once, represented something bigger than the body they owned, gave me a space to reflect. I had never seen something that bold and beautiful and straightforward before. So, I thought about that person a lot. I thought I was obsessed with them. I thought I found an answer in them. What was occupying my mind was an idea of a person that didn’t actually exist, and how that person could fit into my future life — if you can see, I was living and dreaming everywhere but the present. Kind of felt like drowning. My perfect, beautiful, peaceful mind occupied by a story. But then my self-reflecting self is all “I created that for myself! AGHH.” What an art.

Visual from Adelaide self-portrait video cover of Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar”

Have your narratives impacted your engineering of your vocal performance in this piece?

Yes yes yes. When I’m singing and in it, it is entirely a feeling of “this doesn’t sound right” or “this sounds right” or “if this changes here it will sound right”. The narrative appears as I work through it.

In the verses I heard myself to be a bit robotic/basic, like, no inflection, no real character. Just kind of pretty sounding notes. I think the language in the song reflects that kind of vibe, which I don’t entirely relate to. So the disconnected me appears audibly as “these-are-the-notes-that-are-sung-to-tell-this-part-of-the-story”.

Then I started feeling once we get to the pre-chorus, “ooh, you’re taking up a fraction of my mind” it’s this different essence, like it’s naughty what’s happening or perhaps interpreted as sinister since there seems to be a lack of control happening, which you can either react to with fear or acceptance. It’s all encompassing. But it’s also an opportunity for clarity. I used a darker vibe in the production here, which audibly and visually relates to the way I feel and hear the world.

Then the chorus comes with a mix of layered selves with the performer’s truth: “I’m trying not to think about you.” Like, all of us have had a weight on our mind in some form or another, absolutely. But then I also sang it a little lazy cause it’s like fuuuck this feeling.

Then all this with visuals…well, you’ll see. 

Visual from Adelaide self-portrait video cover of Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar”

Having completed this new project, do you feel you’ve grown to appreciate your skills better?

So. Yes. What this project so far has proven to me is that I am capable:

1) as an interpreter of songs — I took their song and made it part mine

2) as a performer — I interpreted the song using my body

3) as a visual artist — I created the whole shebang (shebangs!)

And also as a way to show what resources I have available to me and what I can do within a limited time frame with a focus on a project that everyone on-board believes in.

I keep learning that it’s not so scary to share myself. In fact, doing so garners nothing but gifts in return. Perhaps it is time to stop lying to myself.

Thanks for the space to exist, team.

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