Doncaster-based ADMT knows what hard work is. From working on market stalls and various jobs, he’s showed a tenacity to get his music out – even in the depths of lockdown, by busking in his neighboring towns of Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds.
Now fully versed with live performing, after a sold-out show last year, and with plenty of music to come, ADMT is trying to make every second count in 2022.
Following his latest track, ‘One Night’, which dropped at the end of last month, we speak to the singer about hard graft, the perils of social media and future plans, including his Live at Leeds in the Park gig later this year.
How did you get into music? Was there a moment you realised it was what you wanted to do?
There was. I played drums before I sang and was working on Doncaster market at the time. I had this battle where I was going to get a “proper job” and be a “grown up”. There was a woman who used to take me home; the one thing she said to me, which I think will always sit, was, “will you regret it if you don’t do it?”
So that was kind of the defining moment. I’d always done music as my hobby. But I guess that was the defining thing where I thought, “I need to do this with my life because I’m lucky enough to find what I believe is my thing, my purpose, my love.” I think some people search their whole life for that.
Who were your musical heroes growing up?
I genuinely admire anybody in music who wins. I think it’s a really tricky industry, so anyone who’s killing it, I admire. Stevie Wonder, for some reason, I got into as a younger guy. Obviously, Michael Jackson – and Ed Sheeran because he wasn’t the norm. He wasn’t a polished pop star. He might be now, but he wasn’t. He was some kid with a guitar who didn’t look like pop stars. I don’t necessarily think I’m like Harry Styles so it’s nice to see I could do that as well.
You mentioned the fish market you worked at. You worked at a glass manufacturer as well. What do you think grafting like that has done to your work ethic toward music?
I just got told by my parents that nothing comes easy in life. And they’re right. If you’re not from loads of money, you start to realise you have to work, that was instilled in me. So at like 14, I was working on the market.
You can’t be entitled; you can’t sit and expect things to come to you. Unless you’re lucky enough – and I’ve got absolutely nothing against anyone who is lucky, I’m definitely not bitter towards that. For my situation, if I don’t graft, it’s game over. So I’ve got to. You’ve got to give yourself the opportunity to do better.
Lockdown obviously hit musicians massively hard. You took to busking. What was that like? And what did it teach you about performing?
It’s an interesting one; it toughens you up. We did TikTok live as well when we busk usually – and that teaches you a lot, because a lot of people out there don’t want to be positive, the same as some people in the street as well. But 90% of people enjoy it and show you love.
There’s a lot of interesting situations that arise because it’s not a gig where people are paying to come and see you. So their attention isn’t on you. You’re putting yourself into people’s business, it’s quite intrusive.
What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced to realise your dreams as an artist?
I mean, the unfortunate thing about music at this stage is it’s all investment. I have to believe in myself – more than anything else. Sometimes it’s not necessarily that I believe I’m anything special, I just believe that everybody’s got the right to do something bigger than what they ever thought was possible. And I think it’s more down to commitment and believing I’ve got a right to do it.
We’re living in an age of endless opinions from people online. How do you deal with the pressures of social media, whilst trying to grow your own platform?
It’s really difficult. Another thing busking has taught me about putting myself out there on social media more is that there’s loads of love, but you will get negative people. One negative comment can hurt, and it’s hard, but I think the most important thing to remember is it would be such a shame to live our whole lives worrying about everyone else’s opinion of us.
As long as I’m not hurting anybody else and I’m being kind and I’m showing love, then that’s all that matters. People are gonna think what they think regardless, so you’ve just got to keep moving. In the nicest possible way, if you’ve got a negative opinion, your life matters to me, but your views don’t. I wish you all the best, I hope you’re happy, but job done.
Let’s talk about your latest track, ‘One night’. What’s it about?
It’s about a situation when you’re with somebody you care a lot about; then one thing happens and you’re not with them anymore, and all you remember is that feeling of happiness with them. That connection, physical or emotional. ‘One Night’ was just about thinking, “I wish I could just have one more night just to feel that again.” Just to feel that thing. As cliché or as dumb as it’s probably gonna sound, it’s that bit of magic you had with somebody. That’s basically what it was about.
How do you feel in those first few moments after you’ve put out a track?
It’s pretty much full anxiety for me. Everyone deals with “release week” in a different way. I’ve got a bit of ADD and stuff, so I just get a bit overwhelmed. It’s more that you want people to like it. I’ve got to come to terms with the fact that once that piece of music is written and put out there, it isn’t mine anymore.
And that’s what I want for it because I want to let it go. I’ve had it for a year maybe, working on it, tweaking it, messing about with it, going through all these people and different producers. You’ve just got to get it out there. And then there’s gonna be another song after that and another after that.
And what’s next for you? What do you want to shout about?
I’ve got a release hopefully in a couple of months. I’m playing Live at Leeds In The Park in June, so I’m buzzing about that. Then a couple of headline shows as well. So whoever reads this interview, please buy tickets.