By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Boston artist Adi Sun recently dropped her latest single, “Twin Flame,” which begins the phase of new music up until the eventual release of her debut album.
A month ago, she unveiled the ZIZZA (Nick Zampiello of Party Bois, This Bliss, New Alliance East) remix for her debut single “Bella Sun Lever,” which put a “John Hughes Bratpack film rolling credits” electro-pop spin on her typical alt-rock sound and ushered in a new era she’s ready to embrace.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with Sun about her upcoming music and more.
Music Bugle – What was the moment that made you want to become a musician?
Adi Sun – I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a musician. If you look at pictures of me at age three and four, I always have some kind of toy instrument in my hand, whether it’s a plastic drum or a horn or something. I’d bang on my grandmother’s piano until the grownups couldn’t stand it anymore. When I was about six, I received a toy drum kit as a gift. I knew it wasn’t a real one, but I still appreciated it. I remember sitting behind it yelling, “Mom, Dad, listen… I’m playing the Beach Boys”…. then, I’d just proceed to bang the crap out of them.
Music Bugle – What was your goal for your latest material?
Adi Sun – I want to connect with people. I want to share my soul with the world and be a part of building something from nothing. I don’t normally have a preconceived vision for the music I’m creating, but I think I’ve reached a point where I just want to be more open and vulnerable with others. There have been intense catalysts in my life over the last few years and this latest output was born from those experiences. I’d say 90 percent of what I write comes through in a burst of inspiration and passion while the other 10 percent comes through a more drawn-out process of contemplation and tempering. It’s been that way since I began writing as a teenager. I really can’t take responsibility for what I create, as much as my ego may want to. I think I’m just tapping into the creative force that lives within and around all of us.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your style of music?
Adi Sun – I don’t think about styles or genres. It’s the emotion that matters most to me, so I just follow what ignites my heart. I write mostly on guitar, so if it’s an acoustic, the songs tend to reflect a more sentimental vibe. If I’m writing on an electric, they’re usually more gazey and nostalgic. When I sit down at the piano, the songs tend to be more languid. I think what excites me most in general is the freedom that comes with being a solo artist. There’s unlimited room to grow and branch out in any direction I choose and that’s a very liberating feeling.
Music Bugle – How would you describe Boston to someone who has never been there before?
Adi Sun – I’d probably say that a lot of the clichés are true, for better or worse. It’s a small enough town that you’re always running into someone you know. It has just enough city and just enough green space to find respite without traveling much. The Charles River is never far away. Fenway Park is the legend it’s cracked up to be. There are 20 different ways to get from point A to point B. I can drive you anywhere in the city, but I’ll probably take a different route each time, depending on the time of day and how I’m feeling. We have excellent radio both on and off the dial. The music scene is very supportive and you might not think it, but the city is very forward-thinking as well. I think that has a lot to do with all the colleges and universities in the city and the influx of youth from season to season. As a trans woman, I find Boston to be very queer-friendly, overall. I mean, I don’t really frequent the bar scene much anymore, but just from your everyday being out and about on the street, people are pretty progressive and accepting.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Adi Sun – I’ve been on a steady diet of Bowie and Bjork for about 20 years. In my teens and 20s, I consumed a ton of music, rock, pop, folk, jazz, delta blues, metal, industrial, goth, you name it… but these days, I’m mostly just walking around working out bits and pieces of melodies and lyrics in my head, but I have been turned on to some new sounds lately. Back in February when I released my second single “My Fault,” I came across this track “Uie” by a band called Firstworld out of Miami and I’m still listening to it on repeat. A friend just introduced me to a dark wave band named Korine out of Pennsylvania that I’m really digging. On a local level, I’m excited about this new Boston band called Little Fuss and still spinning the Sapling “No Sequoia” album that came out pre-Covid. My bassist Kevin Boldwin is working on something really cool and my drummer Dave Falcone just finished an album under the moniker The New Colors. It’s not out yet, but I have an advance copy and I can’t stop listening to it.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Adi Sun – First of all, I just want to send my heartfelt condolences to anyone who has lost a loved one during the pandemic and a sincere “Thank You” to all of the amazing doctors and nurses and people on the frontlines putting their lives and mental health on the line for humanity each day. As for myself, the lockdown has given me a lot more time to reflect on what has and hasn’t been working in my life, which is a process I’m usually tempering with anyhow, but I was able to go far deeper with the extra time. Early on, I was furloughed and eventually let go from my long-held radio position, which was disappointing, but actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I absolutely love my radio family and I miss them and so many other things about the business, but I’m definitely ready to step into a new era of my life. I can be pretty introverted, so I was lucky in that sense. I’m perfectly comfortable being alone for long stretches of time, even though that was definitely tested over the past year. Other than that… hmmm, let’s see… I’m way better at cooking now, so that’s a big plus! One thing is for sure, if I was still struggling with alcohol and self-destructive patterns of thinking, I think Covid would have been a lot more dangerous for me. I thank God that period of my life is over.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you need a break?
Adi Sun – It took me years to figure out how important it was to center myself each day and I do that mostly through yoga and meditation. I’ve been pursuing those and other spiritual practices for some time now. It helps keep my body and vibration healthy, but when I really want to get away, I go to the water. My brother told me about this idea, that everyone has their water. Mine is a lake that’s located south of Worcester where I was born. I’ll wake up really early and sit beside the lake and just breathe deep and take it all in. The spring is my favorite time just observing the rhythms of new life. Schools of minnows will swim by and every morning around the same time, the turtles will peek their heads above water to check me out. If I’m lucky, a blue heron will find a place nearby to sit and meditate with me. That’s where I find my calm. Nature knows when to rest and when to take action. It’s the great teacher and healer. As technology advances, I think our need to connect with the Earth and all her magic is more important than ever.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Adi Sun – I see myself as an evolving soul here for lessons within the vast evolution of existence. It’s not so much quotes that inspire me, but mantras and teachings I’ve picked up along the way. For instance – “I am a center of expression for the primal will to good, which eternally creates and sustains the universe.” There’s another one that goes, “In all things great and small, I see the beauty of the divine expression.” Last one goes, “Of myself, I can do nothing.” These remind me to be a willing participant in life, to be humbled by and grateful for all experiences no matter what perceived polarity… and to remember there are greater forces at work. It’s not all about me.
Music Bugle – What’s something that people might be surprised to know about you?
Adi Sun – Fans may be surprised to find out how spiritually driven my life is. I’ve been a student of the mysteries for a long time. Ever since I was a young child, I had trouble accepting the visible world at face value. I knew that my connection to the unseen made me different. Searching for meaning has lead me to embrace so much more of who I am by forging an intimate connection with Source… a.k.a. the Divine, Nature, Energy, Science, whatever you want to call that eternal part of yourself. Somewhere along the journey, I began to resonate with seeing myself as part of the artist/healer archetype. I not only want express my creative gifts, but also share the tools and teachings that have lead me toward having more peace and abundance within my own soul. I use a crown – or – diadem in my logo because I believe that there is a sovereign being within all of us. The more I reclaim that sense of royalty within myself, the more I can radiate a positive example for others.
Music Bugle – What has been your hardest challenge lately?
Adi Sun – These last couple years have really been about cultivating and maintaining emotional balance. You don’t have to look further than my recent output – including my new single “Twin Flame,” out now – to see how I’ve subconsciously reflected those experiences in my writing. I thought I was stronger than I turned out to be. I lost myself in another and that really broke me down, so I’ve had to take a hard look at my tendency to become emotionally codependent in connections and build myself back up. Now, I’m stronger than ever. Before that, it was experiencing deep loss through death, letting go of destructive patterns and forgiving myself for repressing my own nature and desires. I’ve learned that in order to build a solid foundation based on self-knowledge, understanding and ultimately wisdom, you have to flow against the tide of narratives and programming and prejudices that exist within and around us. The more experiences I’ve had, the more my perspective has matured and evolved for the better. After all is said and done, it’s the painful experiences that I end up valuing most. Looking back with more clarity, I have a lot more gratitude for the pain and sorrow, so in that sense, I’d say patience has really turned out to be the underlying theme overall. I’m becoming much better at accepting things as they are when it serves me to do so and allowing life to unfold in its own time instead of trying to control outcomes. The more I let go and trust, the more love and abundance seems to flow.