Owl City’s Adam Young Tells Celebuzz About His Taylor Swift Crush & Crippling Stage Fright
His huge hit “Fireflies” catapulted him to fame, but he remains the same small town guy from Owatonna, Minnesota. In a revealing interview, he shares his fears, addresses the haters, and talks about his unrequited love for Taylor Swift!
Do you get stage fright?
I can barely walk before I pull back the curtain and make my awkward entrance. The pre-performance butterflies are incredibly potent but after touring non-stop for two years, I truly think I would miss them if this wild roller coaster suddenly came to a screeching halt. Once the first song starts, I’m usually a lot better regarding stage fright but those few moments before walking onstage are the worst — in a good way!
Who are some of your biggest influences?
Thomas Newman, Unwed Sailor, Boards of Canada, Telefon Tel Aviv, Hammock, Helios and Stars of the Lid have all been in heavy rotation on my iPod. I’m really into music that doesn’t tell you what to think but rather suggests how to feel. I’m hugely inspired by all forms of ambient music and I love the incorporation of natural sounds or field recordings in written music.
Did Taylor Swift ever reply to that love letter? (He famously penned an open letter on his website to the country cutie, professing his love)
Aside from Taylor, do you have any celebrity crushes?
Not really! She’s always been my celebrity crush because what she does is so genuine and real. I admire how she stays true to herself and writing songs about personal things is often how “she deals with things.” To me, there’s no better way to deal with life than by writing music.
“Fireflies” was a huge hit, but also mocked by some; how do you deal with haters?
Haters are inevitable no matter who you are or what you do, thus I merely mind my own business and don’t go looking for negativity. At the end of the day, I just do my own thing and everyone is entitled to their opinion of the art I create. The last thing I want to do is force people into listening/liking my music because that’s obviously not the point.
Do you feel pressure to top that success?
Not really, to be honest. Fireflies was an anomaly but I’m starting to get a handle on the music industry and it’s obvious that anomalies never happen twice. I played Madison Square Garden and that was a tremendously surreal thing but when I’m back playing coffee shops (because I know how the cycle goes), I’ll be that much more thankful for the amazing memories I’ve been blessed to rack up. Two years ago I was loading truck in a warehouse for a living. I’m just thankful to be allowed to create art.
How is this album different and what inspired the songs on it?
It’s a bit “older and wiser” you might say. A lot of influences from Ocean Eyes found their way into this new record but ultimately I wanted the new endeavor to feel much more dynamic and powerful when necessary. I spent a long time working in the studio polishing my craft as a producer/engineer/songwriter (I do everything must mastering) and I think the new album is a big step up in that respect. I learned a lot just by experimenting. A lot of the songs were written from the imagination but some were directly influence by personal relationships or specific life scenarios. I spent a lot of time traveling on tour last year and some songs are about some of the places I’ve been as well.
Would you let the Glee cast sing any of your songs? Do you watch the show?
Maybe! I’ve never seen the show!
What is some of the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
“Don’t put Twinkies on your pizza.”