Singer/songwriter Adrian Chalifour introduced his first solo single “Open Heart” on June 21st.
With the help of long time collaborator and producer Ryan Worsley, Chalifour has created a catchy and colorful pop single.
“I wrote this song for a certain type of person that we all know. They’re the first to fall in love and the last to let go; the first to step forward and give and the last to ask anything in return,” says Chalifour.
Directed by Shiraz, the upcoming music video features a dynamic drag performance from JIMBO.
The Canadian artist was the frontman from one of the west coast's most notorious indie bands Towers and Trees.
Chalifour’s songs have charted on Canadian radio and performed at festivals like Canadian Music Week, Indie Week, Breakout West, Rifflandia, and Rock the Shores. Chalifour appeared on hit music-reality show THE LAUNCH alongside legendary mentors such as Scott Borchetta, Nile Rodgers and pop sensation Bebe Rexha.
The Canadian artist will start his summer tour on July 5th in Lethbridge, AB.
“Open Heart” is now available.
Introduce yourself - where are you from?
My name is Adrian Chalifour and I'm from Victoria BC.
What's your story?
I've been creating and performing original music for over 15 years, most notably through a project called Towers and Trees, which began as a solo, home-recording project in 2012 and grew into one of BC's most notable indie bands. This spring I had the chance to appear on National TV on CTV's THE LAUNCH, where I received some great reviews and advice from icons like Nile Rodgers and Bebe Rexha. That experience gave me the confidence to drop the 'Towers and Trees' name and release the new music under my own name.
When did your love for art and music truly begin?
If you asked my parents they'd tell you it was there from day 1. I was the baby banging on pots and pans, the toddler putting on shows for the grown-ups, the kid bopping and grooving away in the school choir, and on it went...
When did you start writing songs/making music?
I was 15 the first time I wrote a song I liked enough to sing more than once. It took me another four years to work up the courage to sing them on stage, where my mouth dried up, my forehead poured sweat and I forgot all the words immediately.
What did your experience in the band Towers and Trees teach you as a person and as an artist?
Oh gosh, too many things to list so I'll stick to the first and biggest lesson: to own and define my own terms of success. Before T&T, music wasn't a possibility because I was too afraid of failing, it was crippling. But T&T changed all that because I said "the goal of this project is just to create and share great music. If it lets me do that, I'll call it a success." That was a game changer for me because it freed me from worrying about so many external things I really had no control over anyway, and ironically it's what made any level of commercial success possible.
What gave you the confidence to be a solo artist?
On some level 'solo artist' has always been my default gear. I write songs on my own. I often demo and arrange the songs on my own too. Even in Towers and Trees there was always a question mark around whether this was a band, a songwriter-led solo project or something in between.... the fact that 6 years in we never fully landed on a solid answer was a big reason it was time for a change. Chalk it up to age, becoming a dad, going on National TV... any one of those things gave me the confidence to pull the trigger, and honestly by the time I did even for the other guys in the band it was a pretty natural transition. We all knew it was time.
"Open Heart" is your first single as a solo artist. How does it feel like?
It feels exciting! “Open Heart” is an upbeat banger that's dedicated to the givers of the world. Those incredible people who are the first to love and the last to leave, the first to give and the last to ask anything in return. They add so much colour to our world but it's a tough job that comes with a lot of hurt and heartache.
Could you describe us the songwriting/production process for this particular song? Who did you work with?
“Open Heart” was one of those songs that came spilling out. I wrote and demo'd it in one morning alone in Bremen Germany on parental leave with my partner and newborn daughter. I woke up with the chorus on repeat in my head so I used my laptop's built-in microphone to demo the guitar and vocals and pieced the rest of the parts together using plug-ins. Once in studio, my bandmate from Towers and Trees and Producer Ryan Worsley helped take it to a whole other level. We could all tell very early in that this would be one of the most special songs on the album.
What can you tell us about the upcoming music video? What was the inspiration behind it?
Very early into writing this song I had visions of a dance video starring a bright, colourful protagonist surrounded by grey, stone-faced dancers in a bleak, industrial surrounding. It fits the song's opening line perfectly: "does it ever seem like in a world made out of concrete you're a tangerine?"
Through happenstance and stars aligning, I was able to connect with Shiraz, Jimbo and Monique Salez (from Raino Dance) and the pieces all came together more perfectly than I ever could have hoped.
What made you want to pick JIMBO as the star of the video?
I think a better way to say it is that Jimbo picked me! The first words out of Shiraz's mouth after I pitched the video concept were: "I know who the star of your video is." He told me his best Jimbo stories as we scrolled through Jimbo's Instagram and I was smitten. From that point forward this really became a JIMBO video that I'm lucky enough to have done the soundtrack for. Jimbo designed and created her entire wardrobe just for this video, and even the chemistry between her and the other dancers is so joyfully authentic it's just the most incredible thing. I teared up the first time I saw the final product.
What message do you want to convey through "Open Heart"?
The message of the song is that the world needs more open hearts, even though it hurts. What Jimbo's done through the music video is elevate that message to a whole other level. In the video, his open heart not only survives, it thrives! Self expression, being your truest self, celebrating our wonderful, beautiful differences, these are all things that the video celebrates. It's a message we desperately need in 2019 and it's one I never could have fully told on my own.
What made you want to release "Open Heart" as your debut single?
You get one shot at first impressions and this song is one heck of a first impression. It's fun, it's got hooks for days, but it also has a message and lyrics I'm very proud of.
As an artist, what do you want to accomplish?
Something I've had a hard time coming to grips with is the fact that I'm no longer a 'young artist'. I turned 35 this year! I've been doing this for over a decade, so I'm not some young hot shot looking for his big break anymore. I've been reflecting lately on how I can play to that as a strength rather than something to shy away from. I want to spend as much time of each waking day being creative and trust me, there's a LOT of room for growth there. By the time I turn 40, I'd love to look back on my 30s and say I spent them being an artist more than anything else. That's the goal right now and I'm taking it one day at a time.
What appeals you the most about being an artist?
Haha well if I'm honest, most days I'm not sure it's all that 'appealing', it's just who I am and I'm a better person when I honour it. The 'artists way' is a tough road. But I never feel more like myself than when I'm creating heart-driven music and sharing it with people in a way that resonates.
What message would you give to younger generations?
Please continue to hope and believe. There are going to be plenty of reasons to not want to as the challenges to our planet and our societies get larger and more complex, but we need hopers and believers. We may still be able to right this ship, but not if we close up or shut down.
What are the things you are the most proud of?
Being a good dad to my daughter Violet. It's the only job I've had that I want to keep showing up to every damn day.
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