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Adele is famous for putting her whole soul into her music, but for an artist who is able to touch so many people with her songs, she’s quite private with her personal life. However, with a new single releasing on Oct. 15, the sheltered songstress has finally given her first interviews in five years, and she revealed insights into her upcoming album—which will reportedly be called 30—and her life as a single mother following her divorce. Here are eight things we learned from her interviews with both British Vogue and American Vogue.
1. She struggled getting her kid on Zoom school
Throughout the pandemic, Adele has been locked down in her Los Angeles compound with her son, Angelo, who is nearly nine years old. (Side note: We say “nearly” because while reports say he was born some time in late October 2012, the singer has never disclosed his actual birthday. In fact, Adele said in the interview with British Vogue that she openly enjoys withholding personal information from the press. “They know nothing! They don’t know my son’s name, my son’s birthday. I’ve got the upper hand on everything. I love it.”)
Just like many parents, her life as a mom has been stressful having her kid at home during the lockdown: “I’d be like, ‘Get my kid on Zoom! Is it too early to have a spritzer?’”
2. Her son has an all-too-common dream career
In addition to struggling with Zoom school, the single mom also revealed in the UK interview that her son has a career aspiration that many parents of young kids have probably heard before. “He’s like, ‘I want to be a YouTuber,’” she admitted. “I’m like, ‘I am the wrong person to say that to.’”
After keeping her son out of the public eye for most of his life, it’s not surprising that Adele isn’t too keen on him becoming a well-known Internet personality. When asked about how she’s doing in the time before her imminent comeback, she says, “I mean, I have to sort of gear myself up to be famous again, which famously I don’t really like being.”
She also wants to make sure that he grows up aware of his privilege. “It’s not only going to be because he’s a white man,” she said in the interview with American Vogue. “It’s also going to be because I’m his mom. And I want him to notice that. He needs to earn his way through life.”
3. Many songs on her upcoming album were written for Angelo
As we all know, Adele is a master at tugging our heartstrings with her music, so it’s probably safe to say that her new album will be just as captivating. And now that she’s had many years of motherhood under her belt, the chances are even higher that parents will be moved by the new songs. This is especially true since a lot of them are apparently written for her son to listen to when he’s older, and she discussed two of these pieces during the UK interview.
One of these songs is the single that comes out on Oct. 15, Easy On Me. She says the song is an explanation to Angelo for why and how she came to certain decisions with her divorce. “I just felt like I wanted to explain to him, through this record, when he’s in his twenties or thirties, who I am and why I voluntarily chose to dismantle his entire life in the pursuit of my own happiness,” she said in the UK interview. “It made him really unhappy sometimes. And that’s a real wound for me that I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to heal.” The lyrics to this song’s chorus has Adele asks Angelo for grace and understanding: “Go easy on me baby / I was still a child / Didn’t get the chance to / Feel the world around me.”
Another song, the title of which hasn’t been released, is meant as a blueprint for how Angelo should treat his future partners. “That one is obviously about stuff that happened,” Adele told British Vogue. “But I wanted to put it on the album to show Angelo what I expect him to treat his partner like, whether it be a woman or a man or whatever.”
4. Adele is very open with her son about her anxiety
During both interviews, the singer wasn’t shy about talking about her anxiety, especially when it came to telling Angelo about the divorce. “My anxiety was so terrible, I’d forget what I had or hadn’t said to Angelo about separating,” she said in the UK interview. Following her therapist’s advice, Adele started recording voice notes of her conversations with her son so she could recall exactly what had been said and not said. (Fun fact: some of these recordings of their conversations made it into another one of the songs dedicated to him. That songs chorus, as revealed in the American interview goes: “My little love / I see your eyes / Widen like an ocean / When you look at me / So full of my emotions.”)
In talking to her son about the divorce, she realized that she’s still working through those complex feelings as well. “Simon and I never fought over him or anything like that,” she says. “Angelo’s just like, ‘I don’t get it.’ [And] I don’t really get it either. There are rules that are made up in society of what happens and doesn’t happen in marriage and after marriage, but I’m a very complex person. I’ve always let him know how I’m feeling from a very young age because I felt quite frazzled as an adult.”
In the American interview, she expands on this frazzled feeling while re-enacting one of their conversations:. “He has so many simple questions for me that I can’t answer, because I don’t know the answer. Like, ‘Why can’t we still live together?’ ‘That’s just not what people do when they get divorced.’ ‘But why not?’ I’m like, ‘I don’t f*cking know. That’s not what society does.’ And: ‘Why don’t you love my dad anymore?’ And I’d be like, ‘I do love your dad. I’m just not in love.’ I can’t make that make sense to a nine-year-old.”
She even went a bit further saying that reflecting on her strained relationship with her father, who left her and her mother shortly after Adele’s birth, made her realize that she was always expecting the worst from the men in her life. This expectation resulted in her subconsciously taking a defensive stance before any of them could wrong her—even if they hadn’t wronged her, such as with Angelo. “Sometimes, with my own son, he could talk to me in a certain way, and I shut down. With my own f*cking child,” she said. “I’ll take it so to heart, what he’s saying, when actually what he’s saying is, ‘No, I don’t want to go to bed.‘”
Angelo was also the catalyst for another Aha! moment for Adele when he was just six and a half. “He said to my face, ‘Can you see me?’ And I was like, ‘Uh, yeah.’ And he was like, ‘Cause I can’t see you,'” she recalled. “Well, my whole life fell apart in that moment. He knew I wasn’t there. That’s when I started sharing with him.”
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5. Living in L.A. has helped her be a better parent
For Adele, moving from London to L.A. was mostly about having access to the outdoors. “Most of my life is in a car or inside a building,” she says. “I wanted fresh air and somewhere I could see the sky.” Plus, there were even more benefits to moving to sunny California once she became a mom—something many parents know all too well. “In England, if you haven’t got a plan with a young child and it’s raining, you’re f*cked.”
As well, once she and her ex-husband separated, their L.A. compound—which is made up of three houses—made it simpler to transition to a post-divorce, co-parenting life, especially for her son since they’re able to live in close proximity. “In the end I was like, ‘We’re not going to [break our life apart]. You’ve bought the house opposite my house. Nothing changes for Angelo.’”
According to American Vogue, she and her ex shared custody of Angelo, and the family still has regular movie nights. Co-parenting win!
6. Adele had a C-section—and a bad back to match
In talking with American Vogue, the singer revealed the reason she had such a dramatic body transformation (which, to be clear, happened over the course of a few years): she used gym time as me-time to help her cope with her anxiety. “I realized that when I was working out, I didn’t have any anxiety. It was never about losing weight,” she said. “I thought, ‘If I can make my body physically strong, and I can feel that and see that, then maybe one day I can make my emotions and my mind physically strong.’”
And as a mom, she started that strength training where pregnancy and new motherhood hits you the hardest: your lower back and core. “I have a bad back and I had a C-section. So I had just nothing going on down there.”
7. Angelo tries to correct her Brixton accent
Growing up in L.A., Angelo will sometimes try to correct Adele’s heavy Brixton accent. According to American Vogue, he’ll sometimes tell his mom: “It’s not free, it’s three,” and Adele is swift to correct him: “And I’ll be like, No, it’s free.”
8. Angelo doesn’t get that his mom is famous (like Taylor Swift)
Last time Adele toured, Angelo would hang backstage while she got ready and leave with his dad or a nanny before the show began. He was still too young at the time to comprehend just how famous his mom was. This fact became clearer to Adele when she took him to a Taylor Swift concert in 2018 (Apparently Angelo is a big Swiftie). “His jaw dropped [when he saw the packed stadium],” she said to American Vogue. “I got really annoyed! I was like, ‘Excuse me! This is what I do, you know.’ He said, ‘When we go on tour, should I have a seat next to me with Taylor Swift’s name on it for Taylor to come?’”
As well, Adele had some silly advice for Angelo at school when people questioned him about his famous mom. “There were a few older girls who chased him around, asking if I was his mom,” Adele recalled, again to American Vogue. “He was just like: ‘I think her name’s Adele, yeah. My mom. My mom.’ I’m not Adele to him. He felt like he was being bullied, because they were annoying him. I said: That’s not bullying. Just say, ‘Yeah, she’s my mom. She wiped my ass.’”
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