Adam Cohen
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Adam Cohen

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“Music was never a decision. It isn’t a vocation but a virus I contracted at a very young age. A destiny I have happened upon. I was seduced by music, and I have been in pursuit ever since. I obviously wouldn’t be here without my father, so here I am openly celebrating his influence in a deliberate and direct manner,” he states.
But little did he know how big those shoes would be. He reflects on past struggles in terms of pursuing a so-called destiny. “I grappled with doubts about my own creative worth. It is a strange thing to be plagued with fear that not only was one’s music very sub-standard, but that one had inherited absolutely no talent at all.”

Plagued with doubts for 20 years, Cohen tried desperately to fill the space cast by his father’s long shadow. Aside from his two previous LPs and his brief stint with Low Millions, Cohen wrote music for a variety of TV advertisements, including a rap for Adidas. A natural poet, he wrote songs for a variety of artists who struggled with their lyrics, and composed music for a pornographic film for which he was paid the measly sum of $1,500.

“It was a low point,” he muses, “but I was desperate to do something to connect to my art. And I needed money. It was all terribly unglamorous, but I am a musician and a writer, and I had to belong to that business in any form, especially when the connection was strained. I know a lot of my past projects were misguided, as my preoccupation was with being part of a music business that was more about the sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll and participating in the myth. I was more caught up in the scene than being an artist.”

It took many years for Cohen to place his music at the forefront of his creative endeavours. Courage and maturity struck later than he wished, and he had begun to doubt it would ever strike at all. It seems as if the grey cloud of failure had hovered above Cohen his whole life. But the cloud – and his doubts of his own value as an artist – cleared with the onset of adulthood and its inherent changes.

“Three main factors led me to the point where I am now. The first was the series of disappointments in my career choices that caused me great pessimism, but also great enlightenment about what it means to be a legacy. The second was the admirable and unexpected return of my father to the stage. The third was myself becoming a father, and the courage, wonder and insight that came hand-in-hand with it. And perhaps myself becoming a father was the greatest influence of all.”

“I know I am part of a highly creative family tree. I know that as my son grows up he will be able to listen to my music, as I listened to and consulted my father’s, and he will in the very least, be able to capture some of this wind in his sails too.”

BY SALLY LATTER