Interview: Adore Delano
After finding her fame on American Idol and RuPaul’s Drag Race, Adore Delano is quickly evolving into the pop star she always wanted to be. With two studio albums to her name and some of the highest sales figures ever within her niche, she’s slowly but surely blurring the lines between drag and pop with her relatable music and infectious attitude.
Following her eclectic debut album Til Death Do Us Party, she’s offering a more mature and accessible side on After Party. Given that the album recently topped the iTunes Dance charts in America, there’s no denying that the decision to switch the focus to subdued yet radio-ready dance numbers has been a successful one. With music videos for Dynamite and Take Me There already released and potentially more to follow, there’s a lot of love from Adore coming your way; it’s the perfect time for new fans to fall for drag’s biggest pop star.
To commemorate After Party’s thrilling success, we jumped on the opportunity to ask Adore about the album and her creative process. Here’s what she had to say.
Michael Smith: What’s currently going on in the world of Adore? How’s your day looking so far?
Adore Delano: I am in Belgium right now for the “Battle Of The Seasons” tour watching Comedy Central. It’s looking pretty chill today, might grab some drinks with the girls later.
AD: I just got wine girl wasted with a couple of my homies. Such a cool thing to see yourself at number 1.
MS: Your second album After Party has just been released. How did the process behind this album differ from that on Til Death Do Us Party? How do you operate behind the scenes and in the studio?
AD: The first album was super quick, I wrote it within a couple of months and recorded it in 3 days. This album took forever. I wanted to live. I wanted to feel. I wanted to share my experiences from the “touring & always be happy for the people” life. It’s real shit that we don’t talk to the fans about.
MS: Is there any special meaning or reasoning behind the title After Party?
AD: Absolutely. The year After the Party.
MS: What would you say is your favourite song on the album?
AD: I really love I.C.U. It was one of the first songs I started to write. I remember tweeting the lyric “Honey, I love the feeling that you gave to my sticky heart” about a year and a half ago. Now it’s the hook in one of my favorite songs. Super therapeutic to listen to.
MS: Between releasing your debut album Til Death Do Us Party and touring, you’ve definitely been making the most of your time out of RuPaul’s Drag Race. How hard was the adjustment period after the show finished airing, and how has it changed almost two years later?
AD: It was awful waiting for 6 months after filming; we had to stay quiet until the show was announced. After that it just all happened super quick. I call it Machine Mode. Although I love meeting the fans, you must realize we meet around 200+ people EVERY DAY. It started to take a toll on me because I’m super personal and that’s not ideal for meet & greets. I felt like a cardboard cut out for a lot of the time. It messed with my head a bit, but I’m good now.
MS: Of all the places you’ve toured, which surprised you the most in terms of fan reaction? What places were home to some of your favourite shows, or which had the best energy?
AD: It depends. I love a lot of different places for different reasons. Brazil is the most crazy about the girls, but I love Vancouver, Canada. It feels like heaven every time I walk about there. I wouldn’t mind moving to Seattle though.
MS: Was mixing music and drag always your main career goal? Would the music have existed without Adore, or Adore without the music?
AD: Both. If I wasn’t presented the right management I’m sure I’d be doing the lip-synching route (which I love/miss) but pretty much yes, my goal was to introduce my throat and make-up skills to the world.
MS: Who do you consider your biggest inspirations in terms of both drag and music? Is there anyone special or especially important that helped to shape the Adore that the world knows today?
AD: My mother. I remember watching her wing her eyeliner every morning before school. She taught me how to be respectful, professional and a pretty decent guy. Musically? I love Freddie Mercury. Super inspired by him.
MS: Queens tend to have a hit or miss relationship with social media after Drag Race has had its way with them. How does your experience stack up in comparison to the horror stories?
AD: I’m super into social media. It brings everyone together. Some people just think you get on TV and your following grows and grows and grows. It’s actually quite opposite: No work, no fans. Show them you’re interested without drowning them in meaningless pics. The attention spans kids have nowadays can sometimes be smaller than a Cheerio.
MS: Your first album also managed to reach the top of the iTunes Electronic charts in the US and reached #59 on the Billboard 200: Not exactly something to sneeze at for someone who’s a part of such a niche subculture. What do you think it is that makes your music so appealing or relatable compared to your peers?
AD: I don’t talk about makeup or how pretty I am in every song. My supporters know how beautiful we all are. Let’s move on and grow together. Let’s write about working so hard towards a goal that you lose sight of what’s beautiful in life. People buy my music because I listen to them. I’m growing with them. I want to create a movement with all of them and I believe we’re getting there.
MS: In comparison to your singles for your first album, After Party’s debut single Dynamite sounds much more mature and subdued, yet with a sexy attitude that really sells its lyrics. Was there a conscious decision to aim for a different sound on After Party?
AD: It wasn’t conscious. The songs we wrote were just that. I was super mixed with a million emotions. I went through shit that people go through in a few years all in one years time.. The songs naturally sound mature and grown up because I’m more mature and grown up now.
MS: You’ve said that After Party originally started as a double album, but eventually cut it to one so the other tracks could be used for a future release. Is there anything you can tell us about what’s happening with those tracks?
AD: I’m a liar. Especially when I drink.
MS: Do you have any other projects in the works outside of touring and recording music?
MS: Thanks Adore and good luck with the new album and your upcoming shows!
AD: Thank you! XXX Adore
Adore Delano’s new album After Party is out now!