In her interview for the U.S. magazine, the 33-year-old singer opens up about her new album, rumored to be titled 30, her “Year of Anxiety” including her divorce, and her new boyfriend, sports agent Richard Paul.
In the six years since her last album, 25, Adele split from her husband of two years, Simon Konecki. They have a nine-year-old son, Angelo.
“I was just going through the motions and I wasn’t happy,” she said of the couple’s divorce, which was finalized earlier this year. “Neither of us did anything wrong. Neither of us hurt each other or anything like that. It was just: I want my son to see me really love, and be loved. It’s really important to me.”
But they remain on good terms. Konecki lives across the street from Adele in a house she bought for him, and they share custody of Angelo.
“I realized that I was the problem,” Adele said. “Cause all the other albums are like, You did this! You did that! F**k you! Why can’t you arrive for me? Then I was like: Oh, shit, I’m the running theme, actually. Maybe it’s me!”
However, she wouldn’t necessarily describe this album as a divorce album. “It was more me divorcing myself,” she said. “Just being like, Bitch, fu**in’ hot mess, get your fu**in’ shit together!”
While in the kitchen of her Beverly Hills home, she previewed some of her new music including the lead single “Easy on Me,” described as a “gut-wrenching piano ballad,” which includes the lyrics, “Go easy on me baby / I was still a child / Didn’t get the chance to / Feel the world around me.”
Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On served as a “very big reference” on the album, and she credits Tyler, the Creator and Skepta for inspiring her to incorporate voice notes. “I thought it might be a nice touch, seeing as everyone’s been at my door for the last 10 years, as a fan, to be like, Would you like to come in?” she said.
Other collaborators include Max Martin, Shellback, Ludwig Göransson, Tobias Jesso Jr., and Greg Kurstin (“Hello”).
“It’s sensitive for me, this record, just in how much I love it,” she shared. “I always say that 21 doesn’t belong to me anymore. Everyone else took it into their hearts so much. I’m not letting go of this one. This is my album. I want to share myself with everyone, but I don’t think I’ll ever let this one go.”
Adele’s love life has also been in the headlines after she was seen courtside at the NBA Finals with her new boyfriend, LeBron James’ agent Rich Paul. While the two were friends for a while, they didn’t start dating until the beginning of this year. “He was always there, I just didn’t see him,” she said of Paul, whom she met at a party a couple years ago.
“I was a bit drunk. I said: Do you want to sign me? I’m an athlete now,” she recalled of their first encounter. “He was dancing. All the other guys were just sitting around. He was just dancing away.”
With Paul, she feels a sense of security. “I don’t feel anxious or nervous or frazzled. It’s quite the opposite. It’s wild,” she explained. “I’m a 33-year-old divorced mother of a son, who’s actually in charge. The last thing I need is someone who doesn’t know where they’re at, or what they want. I know what I want. And I really know what I don’t want.”
She also reflected on her 2017 Grammys acceptance speech, where she paid tribute to Beyoncé. After winning Album of the Year over Lemonade, Adele went to Beyoncé’s dressing room.
“I just said to her, like, the way that the Grammys works, and the people who control it at the very, very top–they don’t know what a visual album is. They don’t want to support the way that she’s moving things forward with her releases and the things that she’s talking about.”
When asked why Beyoncé deserved to win, she said, “For my friends who are women of color, it was such a huge acknowledgment for them, of the sort of undermined grief that they go through. For her to nail that on the head, and also bring in the entire globe? I was like, This album is my album, she just knows what I’m going through. That album was not written for me. But yet I could still feel like, This is the biggest gift.”