Striking fame originally as one-fourth of the UK boy band A1, singer and songwriter Ben Adams seems to have transitioned smoothly into adulthood.
Showing genuine gratitude for his early stardom, Ben Adams also continues to make a name for himself as a stand-alone artist and businessman.
Candid's Fashion & Entertainment Editor, Jeff Conway recently sat down with the musician to discuss his much-publicised past, his current projects finding critically-acclaimed success and the promising aspirations he has for his future in music and beyond.
You have performed for the Queen and the Pope. How did those opportunities present themselves to you and who was the better audience?[Laughs] Well, I started my career very early. We did like two classical albums where I was a choir boy. Those opportunities came about from that choir. We performed for royal weddings and met the Queen several times.
The Pope was kind of special. He came along and shook my hand and said, “You're a very good person.” I was very young at the time when I performed for them. I don't think I appreciated it as much as I appreciate it now, looking back on it.
You have been a part of the popular boy band, A1. What is the greatest reward you have taken from that ongoing experience?
Gosh, there are so many things. I am so grateful for everything I did with A1.
We still are touring now. We just did a massive tour of Asia. That's twenty years after we began, so I think that's a feat in itself to still go and sell out shows throughout the world.
When it comes to A1, Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls and more, why do you think people are so interested in these reunion tours and collaborations all over again?
It's nostalgia, isn't it? There's a lot of crap going on in the world and things people would prefer to forget.
When people come to see an A1 concert or a Backstreet Boys concert, it takes them back to their youth and a time when they didn't have responsibilities and didn't have bills coming out of their ears. It transports them back to a time to be a little bit freer and free to be happy.
Let's talk about Eugenius!, which you created. For those unknowing yet about this musical, can you explain to us what it is all about?
Eugenius! I co-wrote with a friend of mine called Chris Wilkins and we have gone to see a lot of musicals together over the years. We would critique them between ourselves.
For many years, we said we should write a musical of our own. Where do you start? It just so happened that we went to a pub close to me and had about seven or eight pints of beer and thought that would be a great time to start a musical [laughs].
We came back to my piano and wrote a very crazy song called Tough Man about a superhero who lived in a distant planet. We didn't think much of it when we went to bed and then we woke up and listened to it again and we're like “Oh, that's actually pretty great.” We took it to a producer and he instantly loved it. We just sort of took it from there.
We basically put in everything we love about growing up and life and popular culture and '80s music. It's an '80s-inspired musical. We've been able to put it on twice this year at Andrew Lloyd Weber's Theatre in London and it has got five-star reviews all over the place. It has been my favourite thing I've ever done.
Beyond music and lyrics, how do you decide upon your fashion looks today?
Nothing sort of too dazzling. I like slightly worn [clothes]. The jeans that look like they're old but they're not. Leather jackets and sort of a very classic look, really.
I'm not particularly daring when it comes to clothes. I have been in the past, but because I grew up in the public eye, I was 16 in a popular boy band and made some terrible choice, clothes-wise, and those pictures come back to haunt me all the time [laughs].
I'm always just conscious now to just go for simple and stuff that isn't going to date.
When it comes to songwriting, are you set on primarily singing your own songs or do you believe in simply accepting the best song possible to you?
I'll be honest, it's a strange one. I think it would be silly to turn down songs that are absolutely brilliant.
Some of the biggest artists in the world never wrote any of their songs.
I know the power of songwriting and the one thing I am so grateful for is I wrote all the big hits for A1 and I have written a lot of big hits for other artists.
What's one project you would love to take on, but haven't been able to find the time for yet?
I really love buying places that are kind of wrecked and making them look amazing. For example, where I live now, I basically came in and gutted the whole thing and started from scratch. I took three months off a music just to do this and I get so much pleasure out of doing that.
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Ben is currently starring in The Rocky Horror Show which tours the UK between December 2018 – November 2019. For tickets, click here.