Interview: Adore Delano – 'My main motto is to not take things so fucking seriously'

RuPaul’s Drag Race runner-up talks new music, staying positive and his UK tour

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Interview: Adore Delano

‘It’s basically drug music. If you smoke some weed and listen to it, you’ll end up dancing whether you like to dance or not.’

In a hotel room in New York City, as he waits to board a plane to kick off his UK tour, Adore Delano is talking about how best to describe his sound. There’s pure pop, there’s hip hop, there’s dance music, backed up with unapologetic attitude. For proof, see first album Till Death Do us Party – a raucous affair which covers all bases from dirty electro in ‘I Look Fuckin’ Cool (feat. Alaska Thunderfuck 5000)’ to full-on ballad ‘I Adore U’. Then there’s album highlight, stalker love song ‘Hello, I Love You’, which pastiches the likes of the aforementioned ballad and cements Delano’s dark humour – its upbeat melody belying lyrics like ‘Kept a locket of your hair for my collection of you / when you say I’m fucking crazy I know you mean I’m cute’. Will his upcoming second album be a bit more serious?

‘It’s more about my life after Drag Race, the year that I’ve had touring and stuff like that. So it’s a bit more sophisticated and real, like human shit that happens to people. Hopefully it’s relatable to people.’

He’s in no hurry to finish album number two, a double album which will feature 22 songs. He’s only halfway through its production at the time of speaking, unsurprising really, given the year he’s had.

‘From January to May I did an American tour, a UK tour, a Brazilian tour, and Australian tour and a Europe tour. I was like, dude, I need a fucking sleep.’ Despite a work schedule most would balk at, the album’s slow conception is so that Delano can take time to gain more life experience. ‘I wanna experience more things so I can write about more stuff, cos I want it to be like real shit,’ he says. ‘So we wanna wait and see what happens. We wanna release some fun music too, of course.’

It’d be wrong to expect anything less than fun from Delano. The persona he courts is one of a hot mess who is just living life his own way and trying to enjoy it as much as possible. He’s probably known to most, in the UK at least, as a contestant on series six of RuPaul’s Drag Race, on which he placed second (missing out to Bianca del Rio), where his wing-it attitude and sense of humour made him one of the more popular drag queens to take part.

‘My main motto is to not take things so fucking seriously,’ he says. ‘When Ru says that it speaks volumes to me. Since I was younger, I was the first person to laugh at myself before other people would laugh at me, so we can all laugh together. Just shine light and just have fucking fun. You don’t have to be so serious all the time.’

The upcoming tour seems to be no exception. Hitting up most of the country (‘I have a lot of friends in Newcastle and Manchester and Glasgow so I’m really excited about that,’), Delano has some specific plans for what he wants to get out of his time here: ‘I just wanna get drunk and have sex with roadies.’ Anonymous shagging aside, Delano as a musician has no problems being taken seriously despite his TV past (as well as RuPaul’s Drag Race, he appeared on American Idol back in 2008, making it to the semi-finals. Seriously. Dude can sing.)

‘People have been like: “We didn’t expect this type of album from a Ru girl.” What should we expect from the UK tour, then? ‘It’s kinda like Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It’s unpredictable, very raw. We give these pop songs a rock, grungy sound. It’s interactive and intimate. Some days I’ll be more drunk than others so I’ll probably get naked. It’s all about having fun, man.’

For someone who prides themselves in living it up 24/7, it’s probably inevitable that it’s the little things about his new lifestyle that seem to bring Delano down.

‘So much of it is so positive, but when you’re incapable of meeting somebody or having a fucking walk on the beach, or going to the goddamn bank or seeing the lady at the gas station that you always see every day – when you don’t do that anymore it gets a little blue. But it resolves itself.’

Still, life goes on, and with a part in a TV show coming up in October, as well as continued work on his second album and whatever else life throws at him, Delano seems to have it all under control. ‘You’ve gotta keep the hustle on. Everyday there’s something that has to do with work, whether it’s getting shit together, making something or planning what to do. It’s my life now. It’s fun!’

The Best of Adore Delano

Adore Delano

American singer-songwriter, notable for reaching the semi finals of the seventh season of American Idol and getting to the final three in RuPaul's Drag Race season six, goes all out with a soundtrack of raunchy electro pop.

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