MANILA, Philippines – A sparkling night, wonderstruck, and blushing all the way home: these were the words Taylor Swift wrote in her song “Enchanted" off her album Speak Now, subtly about Owl City’s Adam Young.
Adam, who is here in Manila to perform for fans for free at the Bonifacio High Street Central Plaza on Friday, May 8, told Rappler the story of their "enchanting" meeting.
“I met Taylor in New York, I forgot when it was 2009 or 2010, and she came to a show of mine back then and I got to meet her and I was a little bit starstruck. And then lo and behold, she had written a song called 'Enchanted' that I kinda figured out was about me, which was really cool, really honored that someone would write something like that.
“She, like me, writes music specifically and kind of writes about things she’s been through – you know, real life stuff. So I kind of put two and two together and said that the song was written about me.
“So I thought it would really be cool to take what she did and kind of spin it around and sing it back to her, so I kind of wrote a revised version back to her,” he said.
Adam detailed further in a previous blog post entitled "Dear Taylor" on how he figured it out. He bought Taylor's album off iTunes after an impatient wait for its midnight release. Aside from really loving her album, he loved decoding Taylor's secret messages hidden in the lyrics, which usually consisted of strategically placed capitalized letters that when put together spelled out either a name or a phrase.
"I always love decoding the sneaky secret messages hidden in Taylor’s written lyrics, so naturally the day Speak Now came out, I played the whole thing from top to bottom as I added up the capital letters per each song’s set of lyrics," he said in the post.
But when asked about what happened after, he told Rappler, “I haven’t heard back yet, but it was fun and was kind of an AB piece that went together.”
' Photo from Tumblr/adamyoungofficial
Adam the insomniac
Although his musical project Owl City was born partly because of Adam’s insomnia, he says he's thankful that he gets to sleep better nowadays.
Adam said that the meaning behind Owl City partly had to do with his trouble sleeping, because his ideas would come to him just as he was about to hit the bed.
“When I started doing music, it was because I would be up all night and I couldn’t sleep and the beauty of that was I got a lot done so I was really productive, but I was tired all the time [laughs].
"It’s still kind of that way. Some nights, it’s hard to turn my brain off because I’m thinking about working on a song or the different elements of a song that may be aren’t fitting the way I want them. And I just lay there and I just think, y’know, kinda awake all night. So Owl City – it loosely had something to do with that.”
He says that his insomnia has somewhat improved, but it's still difficult to get to bed early.
“Yeah, but not as bad as it was, thankfully, but I think I kinda learned how to turn off my creative process a little bit more, but it’s still hard. So it’s like almost a curse, like when I’m getting ready for bed and I think of this idea I wanna try, I start working on the computer and I come up with something that I’m inspired by and it’s like 'Oh, well I’m not gonna get any sleep tonight, y’know, ‘cause I can’t stop.'"
An example of this would be coming up with his hit song “Fireflies,” which he said came from a little synth he came up with.
“Yeah, you know I just started to play the intro of that song. It’s this little synthesizer part. I just remember it was really late one night and I remember I just had headphones on, and I was sitting on the floor and I wrote a little synth," he said.
"I remember just coming up with this little melodic thing and I kept playing it over and over and I couldn’t stop and so I recorded that and I just kept building on that song and I don’t really remember – it happened very fast, you know? It began with that little instrumental thing and suddenly, it was kind of all there."
Adam’s [new] song
It's been a while since the release of latest album The Midsummer Station, he also shared with Rappler a new song he was collaborating on with American rapper/songwriter Aloe Blacc, which he also said was his most favorite song to write.
“There’s a new song coming out – it’s a single off a new album that I wrote with Aloe Blacc. He’s this fantastic artist from the States and it’s called “Verge.” I’m most proud of that one and not really because it’s new but it was just an amazing song to work on and I feel like the collaboration – because it was with another artist – he really made the song better than it otherwise would have been, and that’s a cool thing to be able to say that, you know? I just feel lucky,” he said.
He says that the song may be of a different sound, but the same elements that made him unique would still be present. “Yeah, I feel like it’s a good marriage between old and new.”
Back in Manila a 3rd time, message to fans
Adam may have not heard from Taylor, but he’s sure heard a lot from his Filipino fans, who constantly asked him whether he’d be back or not, and this time he is.
Mabuhay — Owl City (@owlcity) May 8, 2015
“Over the years that I haven’t been here, I’ve seen online or whatnot that a lot of fans have been saying, ‘Will you come back?’ So finally, I get to say yeah. Here I am, playing a free show here and the fans are great. I love what I’ve seen so far here over the years. Bummer is I never have enough time to explore. I would love to get out of the countryside and really see the lay of the land,” he said.
His free concert was also what had him return to Manila. “I think that was the way the whole production came into being and I said, “Love it.” [laughs] More concerts should be free.”
According to Adam, fans can expect old and new songs thrown into the mix during the concert, and at the same time thanks his Filipino fans for the support.
Watch the video below:
@owlcity thanks Filipino fans for the support he's been getting pic.twitter.com/38fdxynqDh — tiff go (@tiffanyjillian) May 8, 2015
Pt 2 @owlcity 's message to Filipino fans pic.twitter.com/XAKaW8xyVl — tiff go (@tiffanyjillian) May 8, 2015
Will you be catching his concert? Sound off in the comments below! – Rappler.com