Adam Young, the one-man phenomenon better known as Owl City, is terrified of phone interviews, but completely at home on-stage playing to crowds of thousands of screaming teenage girls (and their parents).
“When I step onstage in front an audience each night and begin to play, something comes over me and I don’t feel a single nervous pang,” Young told Christianity Today.
Young is a devout Christian, and in an interview – email, not phone – with Christianity Today, credited “faith and imagination” as the main sources of inspiration for his creativity.
And as if to prove that musical inspiration knows no limits, Young lists “Chronicles of Narnia” author C S Lewis and Hubert de Givenchy, who designed clothes for Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O, as his influences on his Facebook page.
“Coming up with ideas has never been a dry well for me; the real problem occurs when I must decide which road out of literally thousands I’m going to take,” Young told Christianity Today.
Melodies and lyrics come easily to Young, and at the crucial moment right before a performance, it is the music that rescues him from shyness.
“The music empowers me, and suddenly all the shyness and all the introverted whatever just goes away and I can just be myself and sing these songs that mean a lot to me,” he said in an interview with radio station 91.5 The Beat.
The ‘Fireflies’ singer will be bringing his whimsical brand of synth-pop to Lille Vega later this month. After the introvert’s breakout single became a sleeper hit on radio channels worldwide, the Owatonna, Minnesota native found himself thrust into the limelight – a big shock for the soft-spoken introvert who attributes his imaginative melodies and lyrics to growing up as an only child in a small town with a population of 20,000.
Since ‘Fireflies’ exploded onto the music scene in 2009, Young has come a far way from his parents’ basement. He has travelled the world, toured with Maroon 5 and John Mayer, sold nearly 12 million tracks worldwide and taken a walk along the Great Wall of China. But at the end of the day, he’s an ordinary small-town guy with a cooler-than-average job.
“The gratification you get from flying across the world and playing to a sold-out room full of kids who know all your lyrics, even if they don’t speak your language, is incredible,” Young is quoted as saying on his Facebook page. “It’s those times when you stand back and say, ‘I’m just a normal guy, I can’t believe this is happening.’”
Tuesday 20:00; Tickets 220kr;