Photography by Zuza Krajewska
Fashion by James Sleaford
With an arrival that seemed to have come out of thin air two years ago, 26-year-old Adam Naas has certainly made it clear that he is not ready to go back to where he came from. Cosmic and sensual, his music is one of this year’s most mysterious and most stunning newcomers. With every note that passes through the airwaves, we lose ourselves (with pleasure) in the swirling melodies so central to his first album. It is on a train—delayed, naturally—that the artist answers L’Officiel’s questions.
JACKET SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO, JEANS IKKS, JEWELRY AND SCARF (THROUGHOUT) NAAS'S OWN
Do you dream about music? If so, what do these dreams look like?
I never dream. And even if I did, I always seem to forget about it. It’s sad, actually. I feel like my unconscious is empty somehow. In fact, it’s extremely sad. I have this girlfriend who dreams of Harry Potter all the time—she’s lucky. Me? I’d dream of emptiness and of floating bodies. But since music has become a “real reality” for me, maybe I’m lucky in my own way too. It’s rare to see dreams become a reality, isn’t it? So I’m not complaining.
Which songs that make you happy?
See, well that changes as my definition of happiness changes. When I was 8, happiness was watching Pokemon and pure ecstasy was hearing the theme song. When I was around 14, I found happiness in searching for melancholy so I turned to the Morrisseys and Lou Reeds. Nowadays, I don’t really know what makes me happy so I’ve kind of started looking for it everywhere and anywhere.
CLOTHING KENZO, WATCH (THROUGHOUT) NAAS'S OWN
What’s the single most outstanding thing that has happened to you since you’ve started your music career?
Scheming and strategizing a way to hijack Quincy Jones’s wheelchair to give to my manager who had a sore back during the Montreux Jazz Festival? The mission was a pitiful failure, unfortunately.
The song: a form of high art or low art?
Art. Simple as that.
SHIRT LOUIS VUITTON, T-SHIRT NAAS'S OWN, PANTS KENZO, BOOTS SAINT LAURENT BY ANTHONY VACCARELLO
You’ve taken your time to create this album. Is this because of sluggishness, patience, or pure languor?
I’d say sweet, sweet languor. That sounds good, doesn’t it? I like the word, “languor.” On the other hand, if you ask my entourage the same question then they’d probably tell you something different. Don’t listen to them, though: I took my time to create this album because of sweet languor.
Is your decision to sing in English a way for you to distance yourself from the “weight” and expectations of the French music genre?
It was never a choice, really. It was a decision made for me. French is a beautiful language, so full of subtleties and caresses. Unfortunately I, personally, am not very subtle and it’s safe to say my caresses leave much to be desired. I prefer to leave it to the pros—those who can do it justice. The last thing I want to do is bring a bad name to a language that I love very much.
JACKET THE KOOPLES, SCAR NAAS'S OWN
In claiming Bowie to be one of your major sources of inspiration, would you say that you draw from a Bowie-esque way of reinventing yourself? Do you draw from his ability to tap into raw emotions—the blues? Or, perhaps, would you say that you don’t reinvent yourself at all?
I am too much of a terrible actor to even have a persona, let alone to reinvent myself into several of them… But, then again, I am too good of a liar to be anything but sincere. I don’t know. I’m a lost cause. That was a tough question!
Visually, you have something that many call a “veritable style.” How and why do you inject so much personality into your appearance?
Because I have a brain, I have needs and wants, and I have a disdain for conformism.
Grooming Giulio Panciera
Stylist Assistant Adrien Communie