Growing up in Oklahoma but moving to Norway in 2007, Americana-soul artist, Adam Douglas, has taken inspiration from the deep melting pot of culture and music where he grew up, to the Norwegian mountains and fjords.
Artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Ray Charles, Tom Petty, and Bonnie Raitt have had a profound effect on his music, adding a touch of country to the mixture of rhythm n’ blues, soul, rock, jazz, and roots music. Creating his own genre, Douglas shared, “I’m not trying to be anybody but myself. I’m just Adam Douglas, maybe with a new hat once in a while”.
Although more shy and reserved in everyday life, Douglas never fails to bring energy and soul to the stage. The energetic and lively feel is fostered by his desire to never be the best in the band. Having musicians on stage with him who bring on the pressure and don’t let him rest is the spot where he is most comfortable. His main focus is to be the best he can, while providing unforgettable moments through constantly playing and refining shows.
Winning the nationally televised competition Stjernekamp, Douglas stole the hearts of Norway after a decade calling the country home. According to News in English, Douglas first visited Norway after being asked to step in for a band as a singer while playing summer music festivals in 2007. After falling in love with a woman who was standing before the stage, he flew back to Oklahoma to sell his stuff, and then back to Norway he went.
In 2013, he debuted his first EP, Your One and Only Man, stripping it back to a man and his guitar. The spectrum of vocals and genres is even more displayed in his 2015 project, I May Never Learn. Then going full analog in 2018 with his album, The Beauty and the Brawn, he found perfection in imperfection, revealing a passion for more honest tunes.
Giving a sneak peak into his newest album Better Angels, his new single “Build a Fire” oozes funk and soul with a perpetual groove. The falsetto-like chorus, horn-led jazz instrumentation, and dynamic production builds throughout the song, creating excitement and an intensity that is addicting. There’s a charisma and charm that introduces itself with Douglas singing, “Some dream of gold, some dream their name in lights/I dream of finding my way home tonight, gotta find my way home to you tonight”.
As the new album unfolds, it details a musician who is uncovering more about himself and his style of music, while evaluating his choices and how being a father and growing up in Oklahoma has impacted him. About the project, he explains, “The album is about me maturing into myself, mentally…It’s not that I haven’t been myself before, but now things are really falling into place and I’m doing what I’m supposed to do. I’m asking the questions I’m supposed to ask and they’re me becoming a middle-aged man”.
The album shows the process of Douglas finding his better self, or “better angel”, as he co-produced and arranged most of the songs himself, sneaking in a choir and horns that play nicely with his bold and vast vocal range. Although he wanted to record the album in America to get closer to his roots, the pandemic changed plans to recording in Norway. Douglas has many shows lined up in Norway after his album release, and along the way he hopes to encourage listeners to look ahead towards a brighter future.