Transcending his previous eponymous performance, Adam Gokcebay is done making music as a casual hobby. Rebranding himself as Adam Pastel, the 19-year-old singer/songwriter shifts his energy to a more defined and confident sound, one he’s been perfecting over the last 15 years of his life. Taking his talent up a notch, or to the “next level” as he puts it, Pastel recently dropped two hot singles, “LMK (ft. 30)” and “FLY”, which are both cohesively filled with crisp production, catchy melodic hooks, and flowing bars. The scene has been set. Adam Pastel is one to keep on your radar.
We spoke to him to learn more about him and hear about his recent musical transition. Get to know him below:
Your Spotify bio says you first realized you could sing in Kindergarten – how’d that happen?
My mom thought I sounded decent so she called up the school to ask if I could join this thing called “music troop”. It was for first graders and above but I guess they let me in.
Then there was quite a long gap between then and when you first recorded a track and released it. Were you doing musical things in the meantime?
I used to go by my birth name (Adam Gokcebay) on Spotify. I put out music for two years and with zero promo reached around 400,000 streams on my own. The music is still there but mostly people from my hometown know about it.
In 2018, you began releasing tracks as Adam Gokcebay, but you’re now transitioning to a new artist name – Adam Pastel – what’s the story behind this?
I started making music just to make it without a real purpose. I lacked branding… Although I might’ve been able to get a few thousand streams, I knew I could do better. I am a huge Jeremy Zucker fan, and since his merch is usually all pastel-colored, you’d find me wearing his blue “summer,” hoodie. My friend Jen who lived next to me in the dorms used to call me “Pastel Boy” and then I said, “Yo Adam Pastel sounds kinda fire…”
Where are you at now – what have you been up to during quarantine?
Currently in my hometown called Petaluma, California. I was finishing my first year of college for the first month of quarantine or so. Other than that I’ve been more listening to music than making new music (which is a good and bad thing). I want to be more productive but for many artists like myself, there is a lack of it.
Before the pandemic went full swing you were attending GWU, what was it like being a full-time student there while simultaneously being an ambitious musician?
It’s really funny because I didn’t really work on music while I was at school. It sucked for me because I was just starting to find a groove with my producer Justice Skolnik, and then I was on the other side of the country. It was also trying to deal with keeping my grades up because I slowly realized how much harder college is than high school.
How’s the music scene at GW?
The music scene at GW started to really pop off the second semester. This girl named Gitika started this group called @tinydormconcertsgw which is a twist on NPR’s Tiny Desk where we perform shows in dorms. We had around 50 people in one dorm room rocking to some music… It was a lot of fun!
In just a few words, how would you describe your music?
Who would be your dream to collaborate with?
Chelsea Cutler and or Jeremy Zucker. I also have this dream to be a vocalist on one of Petit Biscuit’s tracks.
What’s next for Adam Pastel?
New music… maybe some cool visuals.
5 year goals?
Playing shows and improving on what I’ve done already. Hopefully being big enough to sign
What are you listening to right now?
Skizzy Mars has been one of my top artists during quarantine. He hit me up to send him music and I never realized how good he actually is!
What’s something people don’t know about you?
I swallowed my mom’s wedding ring when I was three years old.