A Man of Music: The Unfiltered Adam Liebman Story

A Man of Music: The Unfiltered Adam Liebman Story

Ari Felhandler, Vaibhav Velagapudi, and

We sat down with West Bloomfield Senior Adam Liebman to discuss his burgeoning music career, his recent acceptance into his dream music school, and the passions that drive him every day.


What has inspired your affinity with music?


I’ve always held a pretty strong affinity for music, but my earliest significant musical memory is probably that of the AC/DC CD that my sister gifted me for my sixth birthday. I’ll never forget the way I felt when I popped that CD in my 2002 HP desktop and heard the opening chords — I’d say that was the first moment that drove me to pursue music.


What do you plan on achieving in the short run/ long run?


In the short run, I plan to hone my craft and get as much playing and writing experience as I can to help me further my career. My biggest long term goal is to make a career out of playing cool music with cool people in cool places.


How did your year away from public school help your development?


Many people who know me know that I transferred to an online school for my junior year so that I could refine my musical skills during the day and work towards my acceptance and scholarship to the Berklee College of Music.


I found that those days working by myself really forced me to think introspectively and decide where I really wanted to go with my music and my life. Somewhere along the line last year I became enamored with songs and songwriting; I began training my voice for the first time. I think that opened up a whole new world of musical discovery for me, and I was able to fall in love with music all over again in a completely different way. I don’t know when I would have made that discovery had I not transferred.


During that time, I also studied via Skype with Berklee faculty member Colin Sapp, who’s been a great instructor and mentor to me. Studying with him helped me receive a scholarship to the school and has given me tons of great musical insight.


Who would you cite as your greatest musical inspiration?


My greatest musical inspiration right now is probably John Mayer. I’ve always admired his lyricism and mastery of all different facets of musicality in songwriting. There’s this unique quality to the way he constructs phrases that really clicks for me musically.


Have you molded yourself after this person in

any way?


I’d say he’s a big influence in my songwriting. I think that the musicality in his songs has a universal accessibility that enables pretty much anybody to enjoy them.


Tone and timbre is another big thing for me. There’s a really nice sonic property to his voice and recordings that I try to align with a little. That has had an influence on me as well.


How will the Berklee College of Music help you pursue your musical dreams and aspirations?

It’s been a big goal of mine to be accepted there since I was a little kid. I spent the past couple summers studying there and living on campus; it’s a really cool vibe. Living in a community with some of the world’s most talented young musicians and knowledgeable professors seems to ignite a hotbed of growth. I think I’ll be able to refine and expand my skill there, as well as make useful new connections.


The last summer that I studied there I met talents like Las Vegas-based Anson Chen, one of my roomates. Anson has a great ear for music, plays the keyboard, and is a solid producer. He’s recently been helping me with production on several projects as part of my debut EP to be released late January 2018. I feel that it’s connections and collaborations like that which make Berklee the way it is.


What has been your greatest obstacle?


I’d say that my greatest obstacle has been the friction that I’ve experienced between big goals and realism. I have really high bars set for myself and some days when I feel like I haven’t met my par, it’s easy to cast doubt and to think that maybe a wild dream should stay just that — a dream.


“Forward” is a word that comes to mind a lot when I catch myself thinking like that. I ask myself, “Moving forward, what would best enable you to succeed?” Find a way to do it…do it…refine it…do it, done.


Where do you see yourself in 10 years in regards to your career?


I hope to see a long career in music. As I mentioned, it’s my goal to play cool music in cool places with cool people — wherever that might take me. In 10 years I hope to be playing music all over the world and striving to make the best music possible.


What serves as a source of inspiration when penning lyrics?


My experiences, views, hypotheticals—pretty much just the way I think. My goal when writing a song is to connect with some message or story through music with some sort of sentiment; one way or another, I wanna make people feel something. Someone might connect with the groove or a lyric or even just little nuances of a song.


Music sounds nice to our ears, but songs have such a quality about them so that any person who listens and internalizes the lyrics and melody can create a personal interpretation of the story and mood that’s unique to them and only them. What a song might mean to me could have a completely different meaning to you, and vice versa. I think that aspect connects back to the universality I was talking about with Mayer’s writing. In fact there’s a quote from him that really stuck out to me where he talked about the power of writing “four minute songs about twenty second feelings” [paraphrased]. I just think it’s really cool that you can create this limitless sonic landscape that transcends what you can convey with just music or words alone. I’m always working to get better at it.


Thank you!