Her work is showcased on MTV's soundtrack for their original movie, 'My Super Psycho Sweet Sixteen'. Her stage shows are magnetically charged performances. And her wordplay, playful cadence, and quality of her voice is a concoction of splintering self-assurance and introspective balance. Adrift Da Belle is a rarity in the game as she not only writes what she spits, but she also arranges music outside of Hip hop. In this interview, Adrift talks to A3C about her latest album Garden State Parkway, being an 80's baby, and album titles her mother loves... or not.
A3C: I have a pretty good idea where you're from but for those that don't know, where are you from and what's your current location?
Adrift: I’m a hybrid...I was born in Savannah, Ga and moved up north when I was very young. I grew up in/around the East Orange/Newark, New Jersey area and consider New Jersey my home. I currently reside in the City of Atlanta...great place – but there’s no place like home.
A3C: How long have you been writing and performing music?
Adrift: I have been writing since I was taught to form complete sentences. Not sure what grade they teach you that in – but that long.
I have been performing for about 7 years. I just found my niche and/or comfort level with performing when I moved to ATL 5 years ago though. The ATL underground scene is like a bootcamp for up and coming artist. You will either learn and perfect your craft here or give up. There’s no in between.
A3C: On your album Garden State Parkway, the musical range goes from Breathe Breathe to DUN-EZ DUN-EZ to The Morning The Morning which is quite varied but all still very Hip hop. What sort of music were you into growing up?
Adrift: Growing up I listened to a lot of music. I wasn’t really into watching TV as much as listening to music. I would listen to Hip Hop during the day and R&B/Soul music at night (because my Mom would be home and didn’t want to hear Tupac or Group Home). I also listened to a lot of club (70’s disco) music growing up, that’s all they played at parties in NJ at the time.
A3C: How would you explain your style?
Adrift: I would say I’m three dimensional and every dimension is very honest. I’m an artist whose emphasis is making common sense music for extraordinary folks to love and enjoy and for extra-ordinary folks to figure out.
I'm what you need I'm what you like…(laughter).
A3C: The crowd at last year's A3C Festival was very receptive to your performance. What's the one thing you always make certain happens at your shows?
Adrift: My intention is to always leave an impression. Some will love it-Some will hate it. But no matter where you fall in regards to the “Love Drift/Hate Drift” scale – you will leave knowing my name and respecting my artistry. And, you’re going to have a good time. Life’s too short not to.
A3C: On your song 'Rejuvenated', you have a line that says 'I was a 80's baby/then a 90's child/it's 2000 something' I'm an adult now' do you feel those times influenced the music you currently make?
Adrift: I feel those times greatly influenced the music I make.
Musically, I literally grew up with Hip Hop (Hip Hop is older of course). And, as with any older person you grow up around you learn from them. Hip Hop over the years –if you do your homework and/or was paying attention – will teach you how to write a song without compromising your integrity as an individual or new artist.
Personally, as I grew from child to young lady to young woman, I became more aware of what I am, who I am and what I want to convey. The more I experimented over the years, the closer I got to what I am today. Which is great – because it’s evolution and I’m still pretty raw in form in my opinion.
A3C: When was the last time someone ticked you off and did you do anything about it?
Adrift: I mean – I’m always getting ticked off and I always say something about it. Sometimes I “go in” a little too much. So, I’ve been working on my temper and tongue. I have a very sharp tongue. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So lately I’ve been trying to remember how I feel about those that upset me (outside the unfavorable situation) before I speak. If its someone I don’t know its on.
It takes a lot to tick me off though.... a lot.
A3C: From an emcee perspective, you hold down about 95% of this project (I counted one guest rapper). What's the criteria for Adrift to put a rapper on her track?
Adrift: (Laughter) Wow! Well. You have to be dope. I don’t believe in guest appearance-heavy projects. Especially from someone looking to establish themselves as an artist.
If I do feature you – I have to be confident that you can hold your own on a track with me. I have to genuinely love your flow and style. And we have to have something in common. I believe in chemistry. No chemistry – no track. Period.
A3C: Any new projects on the horizon?
Adrift: I'm working on an EP with DRUGS the producer. It’s tentatively called ADRIFT on DRUGS... (my mom is going to love that title). I'm also building my R&B portfolio via songwriting and arranging. Musical diversification is on the horizon. No one trick ponies here.
A3C: Well Adrift, thanks for give me some of your time. Any final words?
ADRIFT: Garden State Parkway will be available 5/12/10 on iTunes. Support indie artists.
Catch me at a show or on the web www.adriftdabelle.com
Thanks for your time and enjoy the day.
Follow Adrift on Twitter
Adrift on MySpace
Props to Eljay