“We Should All Be More Like Meryl”


DNA Magazine - - DNA SAMPLES - MORE: My Re­turn Ad­dress Is You is avail­able on iTunes, Spo­tify, Ama­zon, Beat­port and Ap­ple Music.

DNA: You’re gay, sexy and mak­ing elec­tronic dance music. We need to know more.

Adam Daven­port: I was a lonely kid who sur­vived bul­ly­ing by play­ing the pi­ano. My ears con­sumed ev­ery­thing with a beat from Janet Jack­son to Earth Wind And Fire. Dance music is part of the sound­track of my iden­tity and self-ac­cep­tance.

We love a bit of old-skool Janet Jack­son!

Janet’s al­bums Rhythm Na­tion and The Vel­vet Rope were mon­u­men­tal in my jour­ney to ac­cept my­self as a young, gay, black man grow­ing up in Chicago. She sang about ho­mo­pho­bia, racism, AIDS and self-love on pop/dance tracks and I was blown away to learn the genre could be used to con­vey a mes­sage.

How do your real life ex­pe­ri­ences in­spire your music?

My de­but, My Re­turn Ad­dress Is You was in­spired in the af­ter­math of a two-week ro­mance dur­ing my first sum­mer in NYC. Dance music has al­ways rep­re­sented free­dom and in­clu­sion. On the dance floor, all are wel­come re­gard­less of race, gen­der, re­li­gion or sex­ual iden­tity. The beat makes the peo­ple come to­gether. What’s your Bey­once con­nec­tion?

I sent Shan­ica [Bey­once’s cousin] a mes­sage on In­sta­gram af­ter I watched some of her YouTube videos. I pitched her My Re­turn Ad­dress Is You and she agreed to col­lab­o­rate. I would def­i­nitely work with her again. And Björk.

Is Frank Ocean a hero for you?

I ad­mire and re­spect what he’s do­ing but wouldn’t con­sider him an in­flu­ence.

Are you aim­ing to be the next Calvin Har­ris?

I’m aim­ing to be the first Adam Daven­port! I’ve loved Calvin since I Cre­ated Disco and his music has in­spired me but com­par­isons aren’t so healthy for the ego and ex­pec­ta­tions can be a trap that set you up.

When will we hear you sing on a record?

I sound like a Dis­ney char­ac­ter when I sing. It wouldn’t work for the type of music I’m mak­ing.

You’re also a work­ing ac­tor. How did you get into that?

I moved to New York two years ago, shot the cover of a lo­cal gay mag­a­zine, and that got me signed to a com­pany rep­re­sent­ing fit­ness mod­els. Within six months I was sup­port­ing my­self solely from act­ing and mod­el­ling. And now you’re in our favourite TV show, High Main­te­nance.

Love that! Look for me in the first episode of the new sea­son.

We hear you and Meryl Streep have a thing go­ing, too! I’m all about Meryl Streep! I wrote her a let­ter when I was in col­lege and she re­sponded with a hand­writ­ten note a week later. We should all strive to be more like Meryl Streep.

When did you come out?

I was 13 when my par­ents found photos of naked men I had saved on the com­puter. There were some ses­sions with a con­ver­sion ther­a­pist. Self-ac­cep­tance can be dif­fi­cult when your own fam­ily at­tempts to change you. I car­ried huge feel­ings of shame and in­ad­e­quacy and took nearly two decades for me to learn to love my­self. To­day, I’m happy my par­ents have come a long way in their ac­cep­tance of me as a hu­man be­ing.

Be­ing an openly gay artist, do you feel the re­spon­si­bly to be a role model?

Ab­so­lutely. All artists have an op­por­tu­nity to use their voices to in­flu­ence or in­spire in some way. Be­long­ing to two marginalised com­mu­ni­ties, I un­der­stand that our dif­fer­ences should make us feel beau­ti­ful, rather than be a rea­son to hate or be­lit­tle one an­other.

Are you ro­man­ti­cally at­tached?

Yes, I have an amaz­ing boyfriend. Ev­ery day I learn from him what it means to be in a mean­ing­ful re­la­tion­ship with some­one who you care about and who in­spires you.

Do you have a work­out regime?

I try to com­mit to 4 to 5 times a week, 60 to 90 minute work­outs, fo­cus­ing on a dif­fer­ent body part for each work­out. I don’t do car­dio be­cause I’ve al­ways been lean. What do you wear at the beach?

Shorts that are very short and bright with sun­glasses from Anne And Valentin.

Where’s the best place for peo­ple to keep track of your ca­reer?

Face­book or In­sta­gram. I try to be trans­par­ent, shar­ing my jour­ney on so­cial me­dia so oth­ers might be mo­ti­vated by the hus­tle.

Our dif­fer­ences should make us feel beau­ti­ful rather than be a rea­son to hate or be­lit­tle one an­other.

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