The Heat interview
"I want to tear South African stages apart with no restrictions"
Sexy singer Adam Lambert chats to Heat’s Sonja Raath exclusively about his upcoming trip to our shores…
Most local Glamberts would sell a kidney to see their idol live, but luckily they don’t have to - Adam Lambert will be in SA, performing in Cape Town on 13 November. Having broken his American Idols runner-up stigma, the Grammy-nominated star is proving that even though he didn’t win the crown, he’s highly capable of making a name for himself without any help. As one of the most successful contestants to come out of Idols, and in light of his SA tour, we decided to sit down with Adam and chat about everything that makes him the fabulous superstar we know and love today… Here’s a hint: he’s as humble and down to earth as you think he is, if not more!
We’re stoked that you’ll be in SA next month. What are you looking forward to experiencing most in South Africa?
I’ve heard the nightlife in South Africa is pretty wild. I can’t wait to hit the town and experience the culture.
You’re guaranteed to have a good time here! Tell us a bit more about what your fans can expect with regard to your performance…
Well, you’re already a fan then you’ll hear all the songs you love. I want to tear the stage apart with no restrictions. I’ve got a whole new set-list and it’ll be a completely different vibe. A lot of the audience will be really surprised by what I’ll deliver. I can’t wait!
Neither can we! What song are you looking forward to performing for us?
Pretty much all of them… but the one that stands out the most is “Trespassing.” I really resonate with the lyrics and the bass has such attitude. It’s my favorite song to perform these days because of what it means. It’s also the title track off my new album.
It’s one of our faves too. Our local artist, Toya Delazy, will be opening for you in SA. Have you had a listen to any of her music yet?
Yes, I actually saw one her music videos last night. It was adorable and she’s super-talented. I’m stoked she’ll be opening for me.
"Trespassing" has made waves worldwide and especially here in SA. A lot of our readers want to know: are you working on another album?
[Laughs] No, not yet. But I hope to have the opportunity to make another one soon. Hold thumbs.
Thumbs held! We watched you on American Idol and now look at you. What was your biggest turning point?
Well, it pretty much came in chapters. There were so many different highlights after the show, but I could never have imagined how fast things were going to accelerate, especially with the whole American Music Awards controversy [when Adam kissed a man on stage] and the explosion of my first single, For Your Entertainment. I was also nominated for a Grammy and got to perform with Queen, so the job comes with a lot of cool perks and I’m very lucky. That’s not to say it doesn’t take a lot of work, but it all paid off in the end.
Yes, seeing you perform with Queen was incredible. What about Freddie Mercury makes him one of your biggest influences?
The first time I heard Freddie, I was floored. He’s so intense and flawless, with a dynamic stage presence. But I don’t consider myself to be on par with him. He’s a legend and an icon. I’m really honored to be able to sing his music and perform with the rest of the band. It’s my tribute to him, really.
That’s awesome. Like Freddie, you’ve always been open about being fay, even throughout American Idol…
I figured it wasn’t an option to keep anything a secret. I’ve lived openly and comfortably my whole life. If I were to hide something like that, it would have stayed hidden. And it’s just not my style. I’m a very open book. But also, I understand the reluctance for people in the public to come out of the closet because all of a sudden that’s what it’s all about - and it can easily overshadow whatever else you’re in the public eye for.
Having said that, does it ever irk you that you’re still sometimes introduced as the “new-out” or “first gay runner-up on American Idol,” instead of “Grammy-nominated” or “Billboard chart-topping” Adam Lambert?
Yes, I have my frustrations about that. I guess it us a topical and interesting thing and it’s inevitable that the media cling to it because of that. It’s a part of me that’s definitely a focus point. But hey, you can’t reinvent the wheel so there’s no point worrying about it too much.
We couldn’t agree more. You’re world-renowned; was it hard adjusting to the fame and onslaught of fans, or did you get into it easily?
Well, it certainly had its hard parts. But I’m an extremely friendly guy: I’m easy to deal with and my fans know that. They do fuss over me and it can be really overwhelming at times because I’m like ‘Wow, I’m just a normal guy who wants to do his own thing.’ I’m still not used to the strangeness of it all yet.
You must have had a few bizarre fan encounters…
There hasn’t been a weird one, but I get a lot of crazy presents from my fans. I’m always blown away by them and the fact that they’re so incredibly creative. My fans are truly amazing!
They can’t stop talking about your Pretty Little Liars debut on Twitter. Did you anticipate that playing a “Glampire” would get such a massive response?
I didn’t know what to expect, actually. I’m overwhelmed by the response. It was really cool and the actors and actresses are stunning. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous they were in real life - as you see them on the screen is exactly as they are. It was a great experience and something completely different. It also gave me the opportunity to get my new music out there and I’m blown away that people enjoyed it so much.
Well, we can’t wait see the episode when it debuts in SA. Do you plan on doing more acting gigs?
Well, if the opportunity comes a’knocking, I wouldn’t say no. I’m at a place in my career where I’m open to anything. Music is my first priority and always will be, but I’d love to do more and acting would be a great place to start.
We’ll be on the lookout! We’ve always wanted to know: how do you get your eyeliner to look so flawless?
[Laughs] Well I just put it on and smudge it and there you go.
Did your make-up artist Raja (Sutan Amrull), give you a few pointers?
Yeah, she did. Raja was responsible for making me look like me every night when I first the scene and I love her for that. We’re super close ad I’m so proud of her that she won the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Not only is she the prettiest queen, but she’s also the most creative and resourceful.
We couldn’t agree more! So, will she be accompanying you on tour?
She probably won’t be on as a make-up artist because I’m kind of going down a different route. We talked about her helping with the art direction for my world tour but unfortunately she won’t be coming with me on my mini-tour to SA.
Boo. We were hoping to see her. And your love life: are you still dating Sauli Koskinen?
Yes, ma’am I am.
How has he adjusted to your fame and the fact that you’ve become quite the sex symbol?
[Laughs] Well, that you’ll have to ask him.
Ha ha. We will. How do you deal with all the rumors linking you to other men?
It creeps me out because they always show me having relations with someone I never had - and never would have - relations with. I find it funny that the fans get wrapped up in those myths, but if they want to, they can go on fantasizing about it.
*Adam’s hit new album, “Trespassing”, is available nationwide! Get it now!