The Rise Of Adam Lambert

The singer unleashes his superpower with new music and an F-you attitude.

Adam Lambert is ready to unleash his superpower. And for the singer, it’s a straightforward, yet powerful one.

“My superpower is being me,” Lambert told HuffPost at Build Series.

Being true to himself is a concept that Lambert channels in “Superpower,” his new single and one of the tracks on his upcoming EP, “Velvet: Side A.” The song had been in Lambert’s “belly” for a long time. “I feel like it’s a pregnancy that finally needed to come out,” he said.

While writing “Superpower,” Lambert thought a lot about people who are discriminated against, along with ways he could help lift spirits and encourage others to be themselves.

“There are a lot of people that are ostracized, told that they’re not good enough,” he said. “Bullying is an ongoing problem that everybody has faced or known someone’s that’s faced. And I wanted to write a song to make people feel strong. I wanted to create something that could be sort of a mantra.”

“‘I have the right to be exactly who I am. I have the right to be strong.’”

Lambert tackles that concept multiple times on his upcoming EP.

“There’s a lot of themes about empowerment, of having pride in who you are and finding a way of saying F you, haters, but with a smile on your face and shaking your butt,” Lambert said of the groove-heavy album.

“Velvet: Side A,” due out Sept. 27, follows Lambert’s 2015 album release, “The Original High.” The last few years were spent figuring out what he wanted to say and making sure it felt authentic; he had no interest in following trends.

“The music industry can be challenging. It could be confusing and overwhelming. And it takes some time to figure out who you are and who you’re not. And one of the things that I’m so proud of … is that we share that sense of being a little different, of being other, of being the weird kids,” he said, referring to his fans.

Adam Lambert finished behind Kris Allen on the eighth season of "American Idol."
Adam Lambert finished behind Kris Allen on the eighth season of "American Idol."
Photo by Noam Galai (@noamgalai)

Many of those fans have been with Lambert since his journey on “American Idol” in 2009. They’ve watched as he scored a hit with “Whataya Want From Me,” toured the world with Queen and became the first out artist to reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard album chart with “Trespassing.”

Lambert remembers a lot of attention being paid to his sexuality after finishing in second place on “Idol.”

“At the end of the 2000s when I came out with ‘American Idol,’ I remember the first time I saw that magazine cover that said, ‘We love this guy and he may or may not be gay.’ I was like, ‘So weird.’ I never really thought about it. I came out as a teenager. I wasn’t hiding my sexuality from anybody. Like ever. And so, it was very interesting now all of a sudden I was on a world stage. I was being watched on television by millions and millions of people and this just became this question: Is he or isn’t he? And I thought, ‘Well, yeah, duh!’ It wasn’t something I thought about ever having to explain and qualify in any sort of way for over 10 years. So all of a sudden when I got done with the show and it came time to doing interviews, that was something I kept talking about.”

Several years later, Lambert is encouraged by some of the changes he’s seen for LGBTQ artists.

“I think it’s part of a legacy that I’m growing that I’m really proud of. Looking at the last decade in the music industry especially in the U.S. you’ve seen such a rapid growth of artists that are queer — come out and are part of the mainstream,” he said.

Now on the cusp of releasing his new EP, Lambert hopes as many people as possible hear his music. Sure, he cares about the number of streams, album sales and chart success. But it’s about a lot more than that.

“My definition of what success is: Do I feel like I’m being myself? Do I feel like this is making me happy and proud? Do I feel like I’m connecting?”

The answer to those questions, according to Lambert, is an emphatic yes. Superpower included.

“Velvet: Side A” is due out Sept. 27. Lambert expects to release “Side B” in 2020.

Check out the full Adam Lambert Build Series interview below.

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