Having completed the Circle of One and undergone an Evolution to become one of the world's finest singer-songwriters, then Moving On to the next level as a producer and reaching a spiritual high with Come Walk With Me, Oleta Adams is now expressing All the Love.
The greatly anticipated release of All the Love (Oleta's first pop album in five years) is an artistic culmination of the insightful observations and deep feelings Oleta Adams brings to life, featuring great new songs by top writers and several lyrically rich songs by her.
"I love writing" Oleta says, "words are so important in expressing how we really feel - then you can add music to 'color' those words. I see myself as a musical artist - who, like other artists such as a painter, records a certain era in life for historical purposes that's why I always have to say something new, rather than rehash the same old lyrics."
Oleta is very excited about "All the Love," the album's title cut. "The lyrics come from deep feelings, not surface ones. My marriage (to John Cushon, who plays drums on the album) took me to a new dimension - we had dated for twelve years and grew together spiritually, which gave us more confidence to work things out - we discovered that we had so many things in common...that we had "All the Love."
An accomplished pianist, Oleta is looking forward to performing her new album on tour, starting January 22, 2001 in The Netherlands: "I love performing live...my main focus is music. I want to find out directly from the audience what they like and what works. I consciously took time off after my last recording to play and sing live - which brought me back to writing and ultimately creating All the Love."
On "Bump In the Road," Oleta desired an 'urban, earthy' tone: "In relationships you run into problems...you need to determine if they're really serious or just hiccups? Is the relationship worth saving or do we give it up? Marriage is fragile, many of our friends have gone through divorce...I wanted to put this into words."
"Sweet Side of Life," which Oleta co-wrote with Peter Wolf, portrays the life of a hard-working single mother: "We need to weigh those things that are most important," Oleta says. "All the stuff you have to deal with just melts away when you look into your child's eyes...it's life transforming."
On All the Love, Oleta enjoyed collaborating with producers Ricky Peterson and Peter Wolf (who both played keyboards on the album), as well as pre-eminent sidemen such as Gerald Albright on sax, Larry Kimple on bass, Paul Jackson Jr. on guitar, and husband John Cushon on drums.
Since the runaway success of her 1990 debut album Circle of One (which went Platinum), and the impassioned hit single "Get Here" (the Brenda Russell composition that became an unofficial anthem of the 1991 Gulf War) Oleta Adams has inspired a growing legion of fans in the U.S. and Europe with journeys of the heart via songs that draw deeply from her roots in gospel, while crossing effortlessly into the realms of soul, R&B, urban, and popular music. Her success, nurtured by worldwide tours with Tears for Fears, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, and Luther Vandross, has been solidified by three Grammy nominations and a seemingly bottomless well of creative energy.
A long-time resident of Kansas City, Kansas, where she has found sanctuary from the turmoil of the entertainment industry, Oleta Adams also remains anchored by her upbringing in the Pacific Northwest. The youngest of three girls and two boys, Oleta spent her formative years in Seattle before traveling over the mountains at age six to Yakima, Washington, an idyllic town of 60,000. She first demonstrated her budding vocal gifts in the Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church where her father served as minister.
By the time Oleta was eleven, she was directing and accompanying four choirs, having already established herself as a piano prodigy. She credits her further musical development in junior high school to Lee Farrell, "the brilliant Julliard-trained teacher and voice coach who changed my life." School provided another outlet for Oleta Adams: the theatrical stage. In her senior year she broke barriers and traditions as the star of Hello Dolly! admitting that "early on I realized the pleasures of being a big fish in a small pond."
Turning down the chance to pursue an operatic career as a lyric soprano, along with a scholarship to Pacific Lutheran University, Oleta instead spent a summer in Europe before heading to Los Angeles in the early 1970s. One demo tape and $5,000 later, she discovered that the disco movement had deafened music executives. Oleta's gospel-flavored voice was not "in." With the help of Coach Lee Farrell she wound up in Kansas City, where she launched her career playing piano bars, hotel lounges and showrooms.
Oleta quickly became a local institution, with her own billboard and a regular gig at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Celebrities from every musical genre caught her act, including Eartha Kitt, Cab Calloway, Air Supply, Gino Vanelli, Yes and Billy Joel. Finally serendipity came in the form of the British band Tears for Fears, whose frontmen Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith asked her to appear on their 1989 "The Seeds of Love' album, video and European tour. Proving that good things come to those who wait, upon her return to the U.S. Oleta signed a record deal for her first solo album in 1991.
With a hot new release, worldwide acclaim and over two-and a-half million albums sold, Oleta's musical odyssey continues spiritually and creatively. For this consummate artist-composer-producer-musician, other goals remain on the horizon. "I'd eventually like to write a musical or at least star in one," says Oleta, professing a love for Broadway. "There are not a lot of modern musicals that feature the kind of singing I do, so I guess I'll have to write one!"