EP Walkthrough: Adrian Eagle breaks down his debut EP, MAMA
Mixing neo-soul and hip-hop with lyrical storytelling and rich emotion, Adrian Eagle's debut EP is a stand-out.
Header image by Clare Nica.
Adrian Eagle has come a long way. Whether it be personally (physically, he was pushing 270kg at just 17-years-old, and the mental repercussions of that included suicidal thoughts and depression) or musically, a word to summarise the past few years of Adrian Eagle's lifetime would probably be 'growth'. He's lost weight, become one of Australian music's most uplifting and authentic souls, and musically, he's carving himself a career amongst Australian rap's most exciting; seemingly going from strength to strength as he blossoms into something incredible.
Throughout his work, one thing that's stood out time and time again is Adrian Eagle's authenticity; his ability to carve lyrics out of his growth and personal evolution makes his music both anecdote-filled and empowering, regardless of whether it be his own work - his break-out single 17 Again a strong example of that - or whether it be his work with others, featuring on tracks by Drmngnow, Thundaments and Hilltop Hoods; joining the latter on their ARIA-winning Clark Griswold.
His debut EP, as expected, is six tracks that encapsulate Adrian's approach to music and the many forms his resulting sound may take because of that, with MAMA summarising his career thus far while opening a bright light into an exciting future to come. It's six tracks of resilience and empowerment, featuring Adrian Eagle open up with anecdotes and emotive lyricism front-and-centre throughout, platformed by swirling neo-soul and smooth hip-hop grooves that form somewhat of a distinct sound for Adrian Eagle, showcased through much of his work thus far and now, on his debut EP.
17 Again, his break-out single, is an EP highlight that shows how far Adrian Eagle has come over the years; his evolution as a musician and storyteller trackable through the tracks that follow the EP-opening single. Housing Trust, meanwhile, welcomes an ode to the housing estates in Adelaide from which he grew, while A.O.K., another Adrian Eagle career-highlight, is an empowering message of positivity that brings together everything we've come to love from Adrian Eagle and his music across the years.
"The EP has been a work in progress for the past few years of my life, and lyrically accumulating the lessons I learned throughout my entire life up until this point," he says on the EP, which was largely worked on alongside Jerome Farah (Kian, Baker Boy) in a production role - perhaps explaining the EP's hip-hop grooves and soulful flow. "MAMA is deeply personal for me and I can’t wait to share it with you all. This one is for all of the mama’s in my life and my gift back to the one mother we all share - big love!"
He's touring the country at the moment with chart-topper Tones & I, with an EP headline tour taking him across the country early next year - more information and tickets HERE. In the meantime, however, dive into MAMA below with a track-by-track walkthrough from Adrian himself, who walks through the EP's inner-themes and creation one track at a time:
17 Again is the song that started it all for me. It’s a personal song about my struggles. At 17, I was 270 kg’, mentally in the dirt and in a very dark place and the song is a reflection about how far I've come.
It’s also about me dealing with my ego, and how my ego at the time was very negative and I had to learn to drop the negative voices and teach myself to change the narrative in my head and learn to keep on living my life. Life gets better after 17!
A.O.K stands for Acts Of Kindness.
Produced by Jerome Farah and his brother Jacob Farah on the bass, this song is about getting out of a negative mind state by being kind to yourself and having good karma, believing what goes around comes around. If you’re kind to yourself and kind to others, that good energy will come back around and find you again. A.O.K is reflective of my life and upbringing, touching on being raised by a single mother but always remaining optimistic. It’s a feel-good gospel anthem meant to make people rejoice!
Be The Love
Be The Love is a pretty deep song about my Dad leaving me and being a little kid and not understanding where he went or why. My Nanna Gemma would say to me that I would wait by the window and wait for my Dad to come back - I wanted to include that in the song as it’s very personal to my story but keep it as uplifting as possible.
The second verse and the hook centre around my belief that if I don’t see no love, then I’m gonna be the love and take action upon myself to be that love that you’re waiting for. Don’t get caught up on looking for love where people don’t grant it, but just be the person you’re looking for.
Again, produced by Jerome Farah but inspired by Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice. That was the first beat I ever rapped over when I first imagined this song.
The is an ode to being from the public housing trust in Adelaide saying that I’ve unchained mentally from my hometown, but I’m unchanged from where I come from. I’m staying true to my roots and true to the person I used to be. It’s a hip-hop banger, it’s a crowd mover and something to dance to!
This one is inspired by the 80s and Michael Jackson, and is my favourite on the EP. It’s about realising that we are all connected and we are all earthlings. It’s also about not being caught up on material possessions or things that don’t really matter. When you’re younger you think the most unimportant things mean a lot more than they really should. When I was young I used to struggle with this but as I’ve matured I’ve taught myself to keep focused on things that matter.
I had an out of body experience in my early 20’s - I was about to spend half of my savings at the point on an MCM backpack, because I thought it was cool to have an expensive backpack. I had this out of body experience by myself that reminded me that stuff like that shouldn’t matter and that you're here on earth for a sort amount of time and you shouldn’t live beyond your means trying to impress others or impress yourself with materialistic possessions and goals. The lyric ‘I go ascend above the sun’ details my out of body experience!
Unconditional is the outro track which l I wrote for my goddaughter Nalia for her 1st birthday.
It’s me describing the way I love people, which, when I was writing it - I realised I got from my mum. The way she loved me, with no judgement or prejudice, though all my darkest times - unconditionally. And now that’s the way I try to treat people - with the same unconditional love and treatment that I was lucky enough to get from my mum. All the lessons on this EP come back to this lesson my mum taught me - to treat myself and others with love.
Friday, 31 January, 2020 – Northcote Social Club, Melbourne, VIC
Saturday, 01 February, 2020 - Rocket Bar, Adelaide SA
Friday, 07 February, 2020 – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD
Saturday, 08 February, 2020 – Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney NSW
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