When C.S. Lewis was asked if the world needed more Christian writers, he said, “No, we need more writers who are Christian.” Adam Young of Owl City perfectly embodies what C.S. Lewis was talking about. From chart topping hits, to collaborations for his newest album with artists such as Aloe Blacc and Jake Owen, his music is soaked with Christian excellence. While his music in’t explicitly “Christian” in the traditional sense, Adam’s life is lived with exceptional integrity and he seeks to point to Christ in word and deed.
Adam was adorably awkward, and definitely the kind of person I’d want to be friends with in “real life”; he didn’t take himself too seriously and was a delight to talk to. Our conversation flowed well from question to question. While I had a list of questions I wanted to ask Adam, most of the things I ended up asking him about were off the cuff.
Adam’s music makes you feel as if you’re in the middle of a fairy tale, infused with joy and almost childlike in its writing. Check out his newest album, “Mobile Orchestra“
Who / what inspires your music?
My influence comes from reading substantial literature, such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Both authors are pillars of modern day fantasy, each with their timeless works “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Lord of the Rings“. Compare a quote from Tolkien with a lyric from Adam Young
“Darkness must pass
A new day will come
And when the sun shines
It will shine out the clearer” – Tolkien
Keep your eye on my only hope,
Lest I blink and be swept off the narrow road,
Hercules, you’ve got nothing to say to me,
‘Cause you’re not the blinding light that I need.
For He is the saving grace of the galaxies!” – Adam Young
One of the things I strive for in my music is to try to represent different kinds of moods, from whimsical emotions to heavier topics, I want to cover life, emotions and many different topics.
Adam is unashamedly Christian and he shared how the Lord saved him.
I was privileged to grow up with incredible parents who have loved me and pointed me to Christ my whole life. Around 6-7, I prayed a prayer and asked Jesus into my heart. While I meant what I prayed, I was too young to understand the gravity of what it means to follow Jesus. I don’t think it was until I was 17 or 18 that my relationship with the Lord really became serious. It was a slow gradual process of God tugging at my heart, and using the people around me to bring me to Himself. The Lord used my parents and their blanket of prayers over me to woo my heart to Him. If I grow up to be half the people my parents are, I’d be happy. Family is one of the most important things to me, and I’m forever grateful to have parents who love the Lord.
How do you stay grounded in a world full of intense pressures?
I surround myself with people who build me up in Christ. You’re the sum of the people you most closely surround yourself with, so I strive to ensure that I’m spending time with solid people.
As Christians, we’re commanded to be in the world, but not of it; one of the biggest ways I remain focused on Christ is to stay in the Word, even when I don’t feel like doing it. Faithfulness is a daily task, and it often means going against our feelings to do what we know is right. Living the Christian life means daily and momentarily choosing God over sin.
Can you tell me a little about your newest album Mobile Orchestra?
My goal with the album was to experiment musically more than I’d done in the past, especially with guest artists on some of the tracks.. I wanted this album to feel diverse and touch on a handful of different influences, from EDM to country. It was fun to get to collaborate with artists I respect so much, and put together this unique album. I also choose to get a bit deeper with some of the songs, talking about my faith in Christ.
If you could tell our generation one thing, what would it be?
I would say to remember that everyone has their own set of troubles and dark days they have to fight. When the going gets tough, remember to keep on fighting for joy. Don’t ever stop fighting. Stay in the Word, and surround yourself with those who will lend you their faith when yours feels weak. the most important thing is to never give up and to never stop fighting .