Adrian Cohen is not a teen pop-star aching for the cover of Tiger Beat. He isn’t a leather-jacket-clad rock & roller sneering at his audience. He doesn’t don a fedora to signify he’s from some distant era more authentic than our own. Adrian is a 16-year-old calendar-counting savant, piano phenom & inspired outsider artist. He eats 200 cantaloupes a year, he says, and his whimsical, piano- and synth-laden pop songs are the epitome of honesty and earnestness.
Adrian’s sophomore LP Sticks and Stones (out June 24) is a fresh and quirky collection, highlighting the artist’s ear for offbeat but ingratiating hooks. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself humming Cohen songs you heard for the first time just hours ago. There’s something undeniably special buried in these tracks, something that plays out with childlike glee.
Adrian's new single "Risky Proposition"—premiering today at Paste—is a tempo-shifting piano-pop track exploring declarations of love. The upbeat verses and moody, downtempo choruses articulate the excitement and nervousness associated with putting yourself out there.
At the center of Adrian’s music is his unique songwriting partnership with his father, Derek Cohen. The two work in the classic musician/lyricist songwriting tradition of Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Derek providing the words, and Adrian the music. Derek’s playful, mercurial lyrics are inspired by everything from family vacations at The Vatican and Stonehenge to sitcom characters, medieval literature, board games, ancient cities, tech companies and destiny.
The duo works throughout the week at an old baby grand in their family living room in suburban Rhode Island. And then every Saturday, they drive to Providence to hole up in the studio with Sticks and Stones engineer Alex Krepkikh, who was born in the Soviet Union, studied music in Moscow and made a living as a young musician by touring Russia and Eastern Europe. "We recorded in three-hour spurts spread throughout the majority of 2015," Derek says. "There was no sleep deprivation, no weary sessions—everything was carefully calculated so that Adrian and Alex were always at the top of their game."
Adrian is prolific. He’s constantly in the studio recording new songs. Even before before Sticks and Stones was completed, he was already working on new material for the next album. With his focused work ethic, the sky’s the limit for this kid.
You can purchase Adrian Cohen's new album Sticks and Stones at iTunes.