Talented and creative local, Adam Gilmour, puts his heart and soul into every song he writes. Adam makes the most of his creative opportunities and hopes his music will inspire and encourage others …
How long have you lived in the Greater Port Macquarie area?
My family moved here when I was only 2. While I have had a few years away – travelling with music and working in Sydney – Port has always been a base for me to come back to. With my family here, it’s always felt like home.
Recently I have moved back to the region, and it’s great to be back. It’s such a beautiful part of the world – I think sometimes we don’t realise how good we’ve got it!
Tell us about your years growing up here … what are some of your fondest memories?
I must say, growing up in Port was brilliant! I remember countless summer days running amok down at the beach. We had a great crew of friends, and it seemed there was always fun to be had.
Our days were filled with swimming and surfing, or just soaking up the sun and beach bonfires or games of fire soccer on the beach at night.
Playing music with mates or going on ‘missions’! These were challenges we would set for ourselves. For example, climbing to the highest point of the tallest Norfolk Pine trees we could find, or padding up to jump off Harry’s Lookout in the middle of the night.
There were many more that I probably should not disclose … Let’s just say you could get away with more, back in those days.
I really do feel privileged to have been able to grow up here, with the people that I did.
When and how did you become a musician?
Well, despite our youthful shenanigans, I actually grew up in the church. I was a son of a preacher, so music was naturally a part of the culture I grew up in. I’ve been singing all my life. But, when my brother started playing guitar, I also wanted a piece of that action!
That led to playing in bands and ultimately now being a solo artist and singer / songwriter.
What are some of the bands you’ve been involved with – and what are some of the highlights for you having played with these groups?
I’ve played in a few bands. My first was back in 2000, made up from a bunch of high school mates who got together for the local Battle of the Bands. I think this is where I first discovered my passion for writing original songs.
Three years later, I was in Year 12. My older brother had just returned from studying music in Grafton, so we started the band First Instinct. It was a fast, energetic Punk / Rock band, which just seemed to take off from the word go!
After winning the local Battle of the Bands, we then went on to win the National Youth Week ‘Rock It’ Competition. From there, we toured much of the east coast, from Melbourne to Brisbane and released 2 albums before calling it quits in 2006.
Tell us about your stint living in Sydney. What made you move there, and how did it all pan out for you?
While doing the band thing, I was also studying Graphic Design. So when the band finished, I moved to Sydney to work as a designer for a marketing agency in the city.
There was so much that I loved about my time in the city. There was so much creative inspiration down there, from the art galleries to the dingy music bars and even within design industry circles.
After a few months of working for this agency, and a few unexpected twists, I found myself thrown into the Senior Designer’s role for the agency. Looking back, I am grateful for the challenge and the experience it gave me, but at the time it was an intensely stressful year, which all seems but a blur now.
Through that year, I began to write songs again as a way of coping and dealing with the pressure. These songs had a different flavour to what I had written in the past and came from such a deep and raw place.
I think the pure honesty of these songs is what made them stand out and appeal to so many people. It wasn’t like I was trying to create these ‘clever’ songs; I was just trying to get things off my heart so I could face another day.
After I had enough of the stress, I decided to leave my job and record my first solo album This Is My Heart in the beginning of 2008. I didn’t really have a plan, or know how long I could survive just off my music, but I ended up spending the next 18 months travelling around and performing songs off that album.
Describe your musical style …
The sound is fairly laid back, acoustic, Folk, with a touch of Gospel. The lyrics are quite emotive, even a bit sorrowful or down-hearted in sections, but there is always hope.
I think people are often surprised when they meet me, as I’m actually quite a positive person, who loves having fun with friends. But I guess I have this serious, melancholy side of me that comes out through my music.
What’s on the agenda for this year?
I have just released a new EP entitled Save Me From Myself, and a new music video for Not Alright, a track from the EP. There are a handful of shows lined up for the next few months, which is filling up my weekends.
Also I’m still writing, so I may even be back in the studio before the end of the year, if all goes well.
What inspires you to keep writing and singing?
I’m inspired by a lot of things – obviously faith, love and hope are important to me – as is evident through my music. But I also enjoy trying to convey complex emotions or difficult issues into the simplicity of a song.
I suppose song writing is closer to painting a picture than writing a story, because it’s about creating an image or a feeling to tell the story – and not just information. Music is amazing like that, so I think I will always continue to write and sing as long as I’m able to.
When you’re not creating music, touring or performing, what else keeps you busy?
At the moment, I’m juggling quite a few things. I work for a local design studio, Hot Graphics in Port Macquarie.
I also enjoy creating short films and have recently started a creative film company with local videographer / producer Matt Hillier, called Doulos Creative, which is also responsible for my new music video.
Apart from that, when I do have some time off, I love just getting outdoors and enjoying this beautiful place where we live.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I hope I can continue to create songs that count for more than being just another catchy tune … songs that are able to inspire and encourage … songs that are honest and real.
Wherever that path will take me in the future, I’m sure it will be an adventure worth the effort.
Where can people listen to / buy your music?
People can watch or listen to my tunes at:
Or you can purchase either of my CDs online at: www.caravanrecords.com.au
Thank you Adam.
Interview by Jo Atkins.