Local Weather Report: Moody Beats with a Chance of Rap.
The Fringe Festival is on, or so the giant banner behind the Beer Tent says. Bad Weather, Hadi Adel’s solo project, is on at 7. Ironically, the weather is stellar and St. Laurent is buzzing with energy. I’m sipping a St. Ambroise in the second row and waiting for the show to start, while Bad Weather is sound-checking on stage. If he’s nervous, his sunglasses hide it. But he has no reason to be.
Bad Weather’s music is like a vivid dream – it sticks, and the more you pay attention to it, the deeper you delve into it. With a little charm, I was able to get an interview, to find out first-hand what the local stages of Montreal’s music scene are like for the artist himself.
OCR: Describe your music in one sentence.
BW: Moody trip-hop; moody vocals over trip hop, whether it’s spoken word or sung…moody vocals and soothing trip hop, relaxing trip hop. They’re all synonymous.
OCR: Bad Weather has been around for a while – you’re celebrating 6 years this July. How has the Montreal music scene changed in the last little while?
BW: There has been a lot of new bands, and a lot of new artists who have emerged recently, and who come to Montreal because here it’s easier to do what they do. The flipside is to see how long they’re in it for, whether they’re just hopping on the trend of “Oh, rapping has become accessible” or “Playing music has become accessible.” You know, everybody’s got a Macbook, they can make beats and be a producer with very little background in actual music training. I am all for people creating, I’m all for anybody picking it up and making music. The danger for me as one of the people who are actually working on it as a life form and as a full time thing, is being hurt by the abundance and just clutter. I really do love the idea of being able to walk into any club or any bar and having all these festivals and having a ton of bands to choose from and just hearing new stuff, because that is also what inspires us. The music tapestry only exists because over the last seven years everyone is blending in all sorts of stuff – I am not reinventing any sort of wheel. I was one of the first people in Montreal to do what I am doing, as one-man beats, rap and vocals. As far as the scene goes, it is a beautiful thing, there is an abundance, there is a lot to choose from and it’s healthy.
OCR: What do you want your audience to walk away with, after your shows?
BW: I want them to feel the same way I feel about shows when I leave shows; I walk away wanting to enjoy life more, they put a bounce in my walk. The moody live experience for me is overwhelming, but it’s also a trance-like connection that is captivating. Obviously, I would want the audience to want to check out my tracks later. My biggest challenge has been figuring out how to make my music more accessible live – I want it to be visually enticing, so I’m thinking about VJs, and other collaborations. I want people picking up on my raps, maybe picking up something that is a landmark of music that they like, if they go home and say, “That dude made me want to listen to Portishead, I’m going to go listen to Portishead.” Those inexplicable connections are a beautiful thing.
The live show for me is always a learning experience. A lot of my friends who play music are always super shocked: “How are you up on stage, with unfinished material, you’re singing off key, it’s unrehearsed, what are you doing.” But it’s the only way I know how, because I learn so much from it. We learn from each other.
OCR: If music had one job to do, what would you say it would be?
BW: My personal feeling is that I lean more on the therapy side, where music is just therapy. You listen to something and it hits a spot, or it is nostalgic and brings you back, or makes you love life. For me, the sole purpose would be to soothe.
OCR: Is there a vital ingredient to your creative process?
BW: I think the common denominator between when I first started, and till the day I die, will be this idea of setting a mood and having this vibe and taking you to a dark place without being negative, looking for lessons, looking for the positive in the negative. The idea of “Bad Weather,” as a name, is a focus on tensions and a focus on moods – with the sky as an analogy for whatever situation you’re going through, whether it is relationships or paying rent, it’s a yin-yang where without the bad weather you can’t see the sun for what it is.
As for the process, there is a healthy balance of trained and non-trained, emotion and the editing part of what works and what doesn’t musically. There is a harmony of the dude who needs to get something off his chest and knows nothing about the rules and the dude who spends six hours a day learning about editing and production, reading a thesaurus in his spare time.
For me, there has also been a shift from worrying about whether I can do music professionally fully time to focusing on making music that I am proud of, and making something I can have fun with, first and foremost. The passion is always there, the writing is always there, the learning is always there.
You can catch Bad Weather at the start of his tour with BluRum13 and Jonathan Emile. More details, as well as links to Bad Weather’s music can be found on his Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/badweathermontreal?fref=ts