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Q&A with Adam Young

Catchy electronic pop making mid-20’s Adam Young, more widely known as Owl City, isn’t about to let summer go out with a damp fizzle. With his latest album “The Midsummer Station” on the rise, and his dance-inducing collaboration with B.C.’s Carly Rae Jepson closing yet another great season, he’s taking the good times on the road! Starting out in Nashville, he’ll make his way up for a stop in Vancouver at the Commodore Ballroom this Friday.

Though his music isn’t labeled Christian, he keeps the fine balance between his own identity and what he does both separate and transparent, truly “[focusing] on the music, making sure whatever it is comes from a pure place.” Converge had a chance to have a quick chat with him as he made his rounds on his tour.

Converge: Tell us the story behind “The Midsummer Station.” 

Young: There’s not much more to the name itself than the imagery it produces when you hear those words.  The music, on the other hand, is pop music the way I’ve always envisioned it.

Your first single off your new album sounds more pop-song catchy than the previous two albums. Tell us a bit about this direction, and where you see it going. Do you as an artist care much about music trends? How you adhere to that?

I just focus on writing music that makes me feel something. I’ve never had a plan, I’ve never tried to over-think it, I just create and the rest is out of my hands.

Speaking of “Good Time,” how was collaborating with B.C. local sensation Carly Rae Jepson? Do you think collaborations like this will continue in your music? 

It was awesome collaborating with Carly.  The funny thing is, I actually never met her in person until the video shoot.  We pretty much finished the song by sending our parts back and forth through email but I admire what she represents as an artist.  I definitely think collaborations will continue down the road.

Tell us about the importance of being open about your faith while in the music industry. What has the feedback from your fans been like? Have there been criticisms from non-Christian fans who discover that you are Christian? 

I’ve always wanted to be transparent about my faith because it’s so much of who I am and I’ve never wanted to let myself put stock in Owl City as my identity because it’s merely what I do, not who I am. Nobody has criticized me for that and I’m very thankful!

owl city midsummerWhat is your experience of having one foot in Christian media world and one foot in the secular media? Does it affect your creative process? For example, do Christian fans expect more God-themed songs? Is there ever a pressure to ‘tone it down?’ 

I don’t really pay attention to any of that because it’s purely political and not about the music. I focus on the music, making sure whatever it is comes from a pure place.

Do you see a development of secular bands who-also-just-happen to be Christian?

Not really. I prefer to stay out of it.

In our newest issue, we talk about practical work vs discovering your calling, and whether your work should match your gifts. When did you find yours, and what did it mean to you? Was it a journey or had you always known?

I never found myself out looking for my calling although music was always the one thing I was drawn to. It just kind of happened to me!

Say you decide to call it quits in the music industry (gasp!). What are you plans for the future?

Work at a gas station.

The Midsummer Station is available on iTunes. Owl City is playing on September 28 7:00 at the Commodore Ballroom. Tickets and information available through Ticketmaster

Kona