The Washington Examiner had a chance to sit down with Adam Young, better known by his electronica project Owl City.
There's something incredibly endearing about the humble attitude Adam Young, who records under the moniker Owl City, projects when he discusses his work.
n a world where style is often touted over substance, it's refreshing to find a musician who takes joy in crafting music that echoes the title of the his latest release, "All Things Bright and Beautiful."
"Early on it was a bit tricky to try to not overthink it," said Young, whose self-released 2007 EP, "Of June," charted on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums and was just a warm-up for the kudos that would be heaped upon his subsequent recordings. "The first record was far more successful than I ever anticipated. I try to write very pure, very heartfelt songs, not for Billboard or anyone else."
That began when Young took to the basement of his parents' Minnesota home and began to create music that he shared on MySpace. Who can blame him for his surprise at the almost immediate wave of accolades he received? His self-released "Maybe I'm Dreaming" reached No. 13 on the Top Electronic Albums chart, and his major-label debut, "Ocean Eyes," went platinum, bringing with it a host of critical acclaim including from such musical luminaries as Taylor Swift.
It's not those high-profile laurels that Young speaks about, though, except when prompted. Instead he outlines his music process, which is to create about 99 percent of the music before he turns his attention to lyrics.
Considering that just the album title of his latest release come from the Anglican hymn and also a book by James Herriot, you begin to understand the intelligence and artistry with which he approaches his work.
"The title nicely sums up if there was an overlying message in the song I wanted to create," he said of the book and hymn that were among his inspirations. "[The book is] an innately fascinating piece of work with an overly optimistic vibe that is very cool."
Magically, Young transformed his perceptions into music that works on several levels as both high-energy pop and inspirational perspectives.
"I think I was playing a show in Florida when I was walking back to the tour bus and a fan came up and asked, 'Do you have a minute?' " he said. "A few months prior to the concert she was ready to take her life and she had a handful of pills [ready to ingest]. She said she turned on the radio and 'your songs made me think that there was more to life and I was going to live.' It was so surreal and humbling and moving."
"For me I've really truly always had the same goal since Day One, to inspire people. ... I hope they leave the concerts and feel really, really content just to breathe the fresh air."
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