Miami’s Aspiring Rockstar: Adam Stall, by GraciAnn Hicks
Adam Stall’s long rocker curls and Robert Plant-inspired, yodel-adjacent vocals get him halfway to rock-stardom. His actual music will carry him the rest of the way.
Stall, a senior chemical engineering major at Miami, comes from a family of musicians. His dad plays guitar and was always singing throughout his childhood. One of Stall’s uncles works as a band director, another one plays bass. His sister and cousins all sang in choir.
“That jump-started my complete passion and interest in music,” Stall said.
His own musical journey started in third grade with piano lessons. He picked up the trumpet two years later when he joined his school’s band. He was classically trained on the two instruments and still enjoys classical music today.
In high school, Stall started to learn the guitar and bass as his love for rock n roll bloomed. While he described the hand me down guitar from his dad that he learned on, his nostalgia was nearly palpable. While he learned bass, he played 30 second covers of rock songs with friends for pep band.
“I had no clue what I was doing, but I learned,” he said with a laugh.
With the same friends, he started a band named Translucence, which he begged me not to Youtube search. For the band, he filled out the sound with keyboard and background vocals. They played in local bars and at the school’s homecoming.
“It was fun,” Stall said. “We felt pretty cool, but I don’t think it went as well as we were hoping.”
Throughout our conversation, on several occasions, Stall dismissed his musical abilities.. Stall admits he tends towards perfectionism, which can be a blessing and a curse when you make music. He shared he sometimes records 50 or 60 takes of certain parts of a song to get it exactly right.
Stall officially debuted his first single Dandy of a Day on March 26, 2021.
The song features a prominent bassline, a lowkey acoustic guitar solo, and indecipherable growling vocals that alludes to Led Zeppelin influence.
The song opens with a burst as Stall greets listeners, “Baby in the morning sun, I sing to you. Baby in the morning air, I breathe for you.” Those lines construct the addictive chorus of the song.
Stall played all the instruments in the recording himself, except for the drums. He used a complex electronic kit, which could have fooled me for real drums.
He also recorded and produced the song by himself. Over the course of the past year, he’s taught himself how to produce with a program called Logic Pro. He referred to the original recording of “Dandy of a Day” from a year ago as an experiment with production.
“Nobody’s ever gonna hear that mix,” Stall joked. “No one will ever hear that.”
The lyrics came to him in February of 2020 and the guitar progression soon followed. It describes a day of relaxation and quiet observation of the world. Each verse details a different part of the day. He animatedly cast out an invisible line when he talked about the second verse with “old Joe fishing for his peace.” Stall shared Shakespearean sonnets inspire his writing.
He writes down all his ideas on his phone, where they’re organized into lists of concepts he’d like to explore and actual lyrics. Stall may be the most organized rocker I’ve met. As a shy and anxious kid, he learned to pay attention to details. He carefully contemplates each decision behind his songs.
“I love numbers and spreadsheets and just math,” Stall said. “Even keeping the music organized, it might just sound like a jam band you get high to, but I like structure and organization too.”
He hopes to release his second single “Through the Drizzle” by the end of the school year and have a four-song EP out by the end of July. As graduation looms in the near distance, he yearns to pursue a career in music fulltime.
“Of course, if that doesn’t work out, I am graduating with a degree, so it’s my fallback, as my parents would like to call it,” Stall said.
Regardless of the direction life takes him, he is excited to share his music with the world and hopes people can connect with his songs.