Interview with Adam Mac

Divine Magazine
Divine Magazine 7 Min Read

Adam Mac shakes the country music scene, embracing its forward progression to introduce an artist never before seen in the genre.

Born Adam McPhaill in small-town Russellville, KY, he was raised on ‘90s country and gospel music, often being bribed by his mother to sing during Sunday service. He moved to Nashville in 2012 and after nearly a decade of paying his dues in Music City, Mac has had a series of recent successes in his career. The music video for fan-favorite track “Disco Cowboy” premiered exclusively with CMT and went on to take the No. 1 spot on CMT’s 12 Pack Countdown for 4 weeks.

Adam Mac - Disco Cowboy

Have you always been interested in music? Was there a particular song/performance that made you say “Woah! I want to do that!”?

I honestly can’t even remember a time when I wasn’t performing, if not for anything but attention. My mom has shown me videos I don’t even remember of me forcing her to sit down and record me putting on a show.

We love the double album concept for the album. What themes do you think represent the album as a whole?

I think the overarching narrative of the entire album is self love, acceptance and freedom of expression.

What was your creative process like for the Disco Cowboy album? Any fun stories you can share from the writing/recording process?

I created 90% of the album with my friend and producer Nathan Cogan. When we sat out 2 years ago to record this album we weren’t originally intending it to be a double album. I was just so passionately inspired by disco and funk music and what it would sound like to fuse the joy that is embedded into disco with the stories that are country music, and specifically country music from a queer perspective. I remember when we had nearly finished recording the disco side, I came into the studio and told Nathan my wild idea to casually record an entirely different album with an entirely different sonic landscape, and he didn’t hesitate to say “hell yeah, let’s get to work”.

“Boy Like Me” is such an inspiring song and the TikTok you shared made us all so emotional! What was your Mom’s reaction to the song after you performed it for her?

Lots of happy tears for sure. I usually always send my mom demos of songs I write because she enjoys listening to them and seeing them evolve as we record them, but I somehow kept this one from her until that show (the one from the tiktok) and that was actually the first time she had ever heard the song. It was so so special to me to have that moment with her and I’ll never forget it!!

What was the experience like getting to shoot the music video for “Chapel” with Jenna?

It was actually like 37 degrees that day. The breath you see in those chapel shots of me in red, was not special effects, we were just shooting in a 200 year old church that had no heat or electricity. Jenna was a total pro, down to gracefully floating in that river, which did I mention it was 37 degrees outside?!?

Adam Mac, DeVries - Chapel

This might be a hard one, but do you have a favorite track on the album? If so, what is it about the song that stands out to you?

Oh this is a hard one… okay I’ll pick a favorite from the disco and a favorite from the cowboy. For disco I’m going to give it to Heartbreak in Hindsight. I wrote this one with my friend Breann Young. Something about this song just makes me feel powerful. I think it’s in the power of owning your emotions. When you can finally release any negativity for someone and look back on it and appreciate it for what it was and how it led you to where you are. I think it’s called maturity? As for the cowboy side, this one’s even harder. So many of these stories are so deeply personal to me, but I think at the present That Ain’t Country has my heart. This song really changed my way of thinking, and that’s really only been in the past month or so. When I wrote this song and released it, I was in the midst of being viciously attacked online for putting out the Chapel music video, people sending me death threats and saying what an abomination I am. So to then record That Ain’t Country and throw it up online and immediately gain 300,000+ views and connect me with thousands of people who think like I do and just want a place to belong, in country music. That song showed me the power in speaking up for yourself, loving yourself, and rising above the hate.

If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title be?

Someone Definitely Helped Me Write This: An Adam Mac Tell All

You are a new addition to a crayon box. What color would you be and why?

Fuchsia Funk because how iconic does that sound?

What makes you nostalgic?

Aromas! My memory is literally sooooo terrible, but I can smell certain things like specifically this floral shop where my mom used to take me to buy beanie babies during the 90s craze, I can still walk into a floral shop and be transported back to that time.

If you could ask your future self one question, what would it be?

Have you met Geri Halliwell yet?

If you could learn any language fluently what would it be?

I would love to speak Spanish fluently, it’s such a beautiful language.

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