The fact that Raphael Saadiq is his mentor is only one of the interesting things about this young singer.
We caught up with singer Adrian Marcel at the ESSENCE Festival Ford Hot Right Now Superlounge to find out more about this rising star. Here are 8 things that got our attention.
1. Adrian Marcel reps the Bay area.
“I come from East Oakland, California. I studied music. I went to high school for it at the Oakland School for the Arts.”
2. Raphael Saadiq is his mentor.
“Raphael Saadiq, he’s like big brother to me and one of my biggest mentors. One of the biggest things he’s said to me is the greats don’t celebrate their work, and it’s okay to go back to the room. You don’t always have to be in the spotlight. Don’t fall in love with yourself, stay in love with the music, and that’s how you continue to grow.”
3. He was named one of Rolling Stone’s 10 Artists You Need to Know.
“That was dope. It’s what we all work for at the end of the day, especially new artists on the come up. To have any type of recognition like that, especially from Rolling Stone… it’s a blessing.”
4. He’s often compared to R. Kelly, Al B Sure, El DeBarge, and Frank Ocean.
“It took me a while to actually be comfortable with my voice and in my skin. As artists, especially coming up, you see artist out there doing their thing and you want to mimic that. Then, you learn that’s not for you and that’s not the way to go… I trust that God gave me a gift for a reason, and I take it from there.”
5. His brother inspired him to pursue music.
“My older brother used to sing a lot and I was always infatuated by how the girls just went crazy. I wanted that feeling. When girls walked passed, I just stated humming. Then after that, I figured out that I’m actually kind of good at this!”
6. He likes to take an emotional journey with his audience.
“My goal when I get on stage is always find someone to connect with. I want somebody to leave and be inspired. We gon’ laugh a bit tonight, we gon’ dance, we gon’ turn up. You may cry. It’s just going to be a lot of emotions and you’ll go on the journey with me.”
7. Ladies, he’s single!
“I’m single here! I am here by myself. Come rock with me! Come kick it, it's cool.”
8. He uses his music as his diary.
"I like to write as if I have a diary and I give it out. I let it go. My father always told me when go through a heartbreak, or anything like that, don’t dwell on it or hold it against the next person. You write it down, and put it out to the world, and let it go. Let someone else be inspired from it.”