The Theory of Adele: Separation And Anticipation

November 18, 2015

After a three-year musical hiatus, Adele is back — and vocally polyp-free as ever.

In her first interview after those three years, she spoke to i-D magazine (which was just shy of a short novel) about how her newly anticipated album “25” was conceived. She covers everything from motherhood to fitness — co-writers to crap songs and everything that has prepared her to return to her previous reign in the music industry. 

So, how in three years has Adele kept everyone’s attention? How did she break the record for most downloads sold in a week — a mind-boggling 1,112,000 purchases?


For her, it starts with separation. “You’ve got to give people a chance to miss you.”

Adele has been relatively quiet on all fronts since her release of the “Skyfall” theme song in 2012. She and her small family are never seen and never heard. She doesn’t go to popular hotspots where celebs hang out, and she doesn’t indulge in fancy parties or product endorsements. She says that this is what gave her the ability to write the songs for “25.” She had to be secluded from the toxicity that fame brings in order to preserve her state of mind. She couldn’t let the fame taint her reality — the reality which has brought her and her fans two top-charting albums, “19” and “21.”

Adele is iconic, stunning and talented beyond measure, but one thing she isn’t is interested in is the game of fame. She figured this out quickly, unlike so many other celebrities — and one especially close to home for her, Amy Winehouse.

And that separation is complemented with anticipation. “Well, there’s this one album the entire industry is waiting for…”

With this one clip that was secretly released during a commercial break on “The X Factor UK,” she sent the Internet into a frenzy. Despite popular belief, Adele is not singing to a former significant other in her new single, “Hello” — she is singing to the other side of herself. The self that she left on the other side of becoming an adult — a sort of homage to making it out of her early twenties alive. Deep, I know.

She was found on MySpace, became famous, became scared of being famous, won a bunch of Grammys (10, to be exact), started touring, damaged her vocal folds, canceled the rest of her tour, had surgery, fell in love, had a child, stopped writing music, tried writing music and sucked at it, waited a while, tried again and wrote “25”… which bring us to now.

I don’t think this trend will stop. She wants to be a real person out in the world doing real things, so that means she’ll go back and forth between a public and private life in order to continue to grace us with her iconic albums. There is a decision she personally has to make: low-quality product, delivered frequently, or quality product over longer periods of time. She chooses the latter. Maybe she uses separation and anticipation as apart of her game plan, or maybe that’s just how she lives her life. Either way, it’s working for her.

Her new album (which I’m sure you already know, unless you‘ve been living under a rock) comes out November 20, and the world is ready for it.

Hold on to your hats, people: Adele and her immaculate eyeliner are about to make history, again.