As an artist it’s not hard to find inspiration in Byron Bay. For Sydney-born Adam Harpaz, it was a weekend away in Byron that led the singer-songwriter to fall in love – with the area, with the original music scene and with a girl – which soon saw him relocate to the coastal town.
Pursuing music as a career since the age of 18, this now Byron Bay based musician paints pictures of peaceful coastal living through heartfelt performances and lyrical integrity, and spends his time busking during the day, performing at venues at night, and still managing to find time to surf and write songs in-between.
“I do a mixture of both. I try to play four gigs a week and then busk however much I feel,” Adam explains. “A big distinction to make is I don’t really busk in the streets any more, it’s more busking in really scenic places, like parks, sometimes little alley ways, just places away from the hustle and bustle. It’s just a bit closer to people and I think that definitely translates and sets the vibe for when people come to my show,” he smiles.
Drawing from musical influences like Passenger, Jack Johnson, Angus Stone and Kyle Lionheart, Adam released his record All For You in 2016, which saw the musician weave through the highs, the lows, the struggles, the joys, the patches of grey and the deep enlightenment that comes along with finding a genuine connection with another. It’s Adam’s approach to music however that has earned him a dedicated and loyal following.
“It’s the people that see me busking that are the ones who come to my shows when I go on tour,” he smiles. “There’s that personal connection that you have when you meet someone on the street as opposed to seeing them first at a venue where it can be a bit loud and you can’t really connect. There’s also no pressure; you’re completely free to play however you want to play or whatever you want to play which is a really beautiful thing.”
Performing extensively over the last few years, including performances in America, Canada and New Zealand and at major festivals such as Falls Festival, Splendour in the Grass, Surry Hills Festival and Australia Music Week, Adam has also supported the likes of Missy Higgins, Hein Cooper and the Art of Sleeping. Now he has being busy working on his second record, set for release in November this year.
“I’ve definitely matured as an artist and as a person so that’s going to be reflected on the new record. On the last record, I didn’t do any of the production,” he explains. “But now, I’m starting to come up with the ideas and do all the recording myself; I’ve got a bit more control over exactly how I want it to come out.
“Basically, it’s just more towards who I am as an artist,” Adam explains further of his upcoming release. “When I recorded All For You, there’s definitely some really lovely moments, but I wasn’t 100 per cent sure yet of who I was as an artist. There’s lots of jazz influence on there, and lots of coastal folk and then there’s a bit of soul.
“Now, it’s definitely more indie, folk, Americana music, and that’s the direction where I am going to be heading. It’s a lot softer; when I perform live I belt it quite a bit, especially towards the end of the songs, but on my record I’m going to keep it very, very mellow.”
Adam will be performing in Geelong for the first time as part of Geelong’s Winter Sessions Live at Chapel on Little Ryrie on June 10.
Check out his single ‘Lost’ below.