Hello from the outside

Adele’s latest music video Hello smashed records at the entertainment platform Vevo.com, delivering more than 25 million views on the day of its release.

The extremely talented artist certainly does not fit into the typical pattern of a pop star ( ..wonder if she still secretly smokes). There aren’t many divas out there who can afford a 4 year break from the industry and then make a come-back the way she recently did.

Apparently, and unlike other singers from her generation, Adele also tweets in a rather unconventional way and in an inconsistent manner. However, she recently took to her Twitter account a personal letter, trying  to explain her soon to be released album, 25. A letter which is beautifully written, almost as beautiful as her songs are; a letter whose words make you wonder about the real age of 27 years old Adele’s mind. And it goes like this:

When I was 7, I wanted to be 8. When I was 8, I wanted to be 12. When I turned 12 I just wanted to be 18.Then after that I stopped wanting to be older(…) I feel like I´ve spent my whole life so far wishing it away. Always wishing I was older, wishing I was somewhere else, wishing I could remember and wishing I could forget too. Wishing I hadn´t ruined so many good things because I was scared or bored. (…) and wishing I didn’t know myself so well, because it means I always know what´s going to happen in the end. Wishing I hadn´t cut my hair off, wishing I was 5´7”. Wishing I´d waited and wishing I´d hurried up as well(…) I miss everything about my past, the good and the bad, but only because it won´t come back. When I was in it I wanted out! So typical!”

Even the video for  Hello has people talking: sepia tones, a new and apparently unorthodox tea-making technique( if you´re British I guess you can´t miss this watching the video) and last but not least the persistent use of a flip phone, instead of a…smartphone. Yes, Adele is, at least in this video, smartphone-less.  She “seems to have resisted the trend towards touchscreen smartphones, although fans pointed out she could probably afford a top-of-the-range device” (The Telegraph).

There were even some publications half-joking and predicting that the old flip phones will get to experience a new era and we´ll soon witness a come back. As much as I would really like this, I´m not sure the loyal smartphone users (myself not included) are ready to do that just yet. What I can say, without trying to complicate, nor  dramatize too much, is that the symbolism is not lost – on me, at least.

Jokes aside, puns aside, Lionel Ritchie´s Hello aside, tea rituals aside, the message that I want to read into it is: There’s nothing wrong with not desperately seeking to ‘fit in’: trends, fashion, technology, social media …you name it. Maybe you being on the outside can be somebody else´s inside.

Way to go Adele! I know, she definitely does not need my praise, but I´ve always been a fan of paying compliments to another woman (maybe we should all try and do it more often), so I`m not about to stop now!

Musical musings by Sorana Popescu, October 2015

For more on being smartphone-less, read here.

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