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Adele says 30 album is about ‘self-destruction,’ ‘self-reflection,’ and ‘self-redemption’

Adele says 30 album is about ‘self-destruction,’ ‘self-reflection,’ and ‘self-redemption’

Adele The 59th GRAMMY Awards - Red Carpet

Adele had her first sit-down interview in five years with British Vogue, to discuss her fourth studio album, 30, her divorce, and the inevitable return to the spotlight.

The 15-time Grammy winner, who gave her last one-on-one interview in 2016, said, “I have to sort of gear myself up to be famous again, which, famously, I don’t really like being.”

In the past five years, the “Hello” star has been raising her son Angelo and gotten married and divorced from her now ex-husband, Simon Konecki. Adele said the new album explains her life changes but is ultimately a letter to her now 9-year-old son. “My son has had a lot of questions. Really good questions, really innocent questions, that I just don’t have an answer for … (like) why can’t you still live together?… I just felt like I wanted to explain to him, through this record, when he’s in his twenties or thirties, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness. It made him really unhappy sometimes. And that’s a real wound for me that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to heal.”

But the article describes her as being “done with lambasting her exes in her lyrics,” quoting the singer as saying, “I have to really address myself now.”

She made the album with longtime collaborator Greg Kurstin, as well as Max Martin, Ludwig Göransson, and Inflo, a fast-rising producer best known for working with Little Simz and Sault. It contains no guest singers. “It’s not that I don’t want to,” Adele said. “It’s not calculated. It’s just never been right for some reason.”

The resulting record surprised Adele. “I assumed it would be about my divorce, but it’s kind of not.”

In part, that’s because she’s finally wrestling with issues that have dogged her for years, including her feelings around her estranged father. “Not being sure if someone who is supposed to love you loves you, and doesn’t prioritize you in any capacity when you’re little. You assume it and get used to it,” she explained. “So my relationship with men in general, my entire life, has always been: You’re going to hurt me, so I’ll hurt you first. It’s just toxic and prevents me from actually finding any happiness.”

Finally, and with great reluctance, Adele spoke about the lifestyle changes that resulted in her losing 100 pounds in two years. She said she was working out two or even three times a day as a way to manage anxiety, become “strong,” and stay off her phone.

“I needed to get addicted to something to get my mind right,” she said. “It could have been knitting, but it wasn’t. People are shocked because I didn’t share my ‘journey.’ They’re used to people documenting everything on Instagram, and most people in my position would get a big deal with a diet brand. I couldn’t give a flying fuck. I did it for myself and not anyone else. So why would I ever share it? I don’t find it fascinating. It’s my body.”

Not for the first time in her career, millions of people have opinions on how Adele looks. “My body’s been objectified my entire career. It’s not just now. I understand why it’s a shock. I understand why some women especially were hurt.”

She continued, “Visually I represented a lot of women. But I’m still the same person. And the worst part of the whole thing was that the most brutal conversations were being had by other women about my body. I was very fucking disappointed with that. That hurt my feelings.”

But in the end, she’s done valuing other people’s opinions, and she’s finished with self-doubt. “I was drunk as a fart on 21; I really don’t remember much, I just remember being really sad. On 25, I was obviously sober as anything, because I was a new mum. That one, I was sort of more in tune with what I thought people might want or not want. With this one,” she said of her upcoming album, “I made the very conscious decision to be like, for the first time in my life, actually, ‘What do I want?’”

Easy on Me” arrives October 15th.

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