Bryan Adams on longevity: Always remember where you came from 


Bryan Adams


Bryan Adams

Bryan Adams has been on the music scene for almost five decades now. What’s his recipe for longevity? The first ingredient is quite obvious: You have to take care of yourself. You have to keep your body fit and healthy; your voice, in good form.

But beyond the physical aspect, it’s “inspiration” that keeps the fire in him burning. And one of the Canadian singer-songwriter’s “biggest sources” of inspiration is “always looking back where you came from.”

“I come from nothing, so I had to work my way up to the top of my field. And I’m extremely grateful for the fact that, after many decades, I’m still about to tour and record new music … It’s amazing,” Bryan said in a recent virtual conference for the Manila stop of his “So Happy It Hurts” world tour at the Araneta Coliseum on March 15. Visit

Own music

Before he became one of the best-selling artists in the world, Bryan started out playing gigs in small clubs, armed with nothing but “a dream” and “a pocketful of songs.”

“I thought that maybe I could get out of the clubs and get into better ones by making my own music. And it wasn’t easy. They were difficult days. I faced one rejection after another. Nobody wanted to back me and my album. It took a lot of time convincing other people to give me a shot,” he recalled.

“Once I had one foot in the door, I was able to maximize [the opportunity] and prove to people I was worth signing,” he said.

And prove his worth.

After debuting in 1975, Bryan would go on to become a pop-rock icon with a formidable catalog of songs: “Heaven,” “Straight from the Heart,” “Summer of ’69,” “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” “Cuts Like a Knife,” “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman,” “Please Forgive Me” and more. And with around 75 million records sold, Bryan is one of the best-selling artists in the world. At 63, Bryan shows no signs of slowing down. He released four albums in the past year alone: the cast album for “Pretty Woman: The Musical”; “Classic” and “Classic Pt. II,” which feature new studio takes and rerecordings of his classic songs; and then, there’s his 15th studio album “So Happy It Hurts,” which earned a nomination for best rock performance at the 2023 Grammy Awards.

Presented by Wilbros Live, the upcoming Manila concert will have Bryan playing well-loved hits and new material. “I’m excited to be playing there,” he said.

Adams shows no signs of slowing down


How does it feel to be touring and doing live shows again?

It’s great as a musician to be playing live again after two years of not being able to. But we have done about a hundred shows in the past year. We have been busy working.


It’s something I have always done, so it’s strange not to be doing it. I like the idea that when you play songs live, it’s like playing them again for the first time. Because something new always happens, whether among the musicians, or the people singing the songs back to you.

What can we expect from your upcoming show in Manila?

We will be playing all the songs you know and love, including the Philippine “national anthem,” “Please Forgive Me.” And we will also be playing a couple of songs from the new album. It’s a new show with a whole new different look from the last time we were there.

You have been very productive in the past few years, releasing a studio album and three digital albums. I have just been very, very busy making new music and playing new live shows. And with all the time I had on my hands in the two years I couldn’t work, I just wrote a lot of songs.

I rerecorded my original songs to give them a breath of fresh air. It’s sort of my way of opening them up to a new audience. That’s what’s exciting about music, you can reintroduce it.

Filipinos really love your ballads.

It’s very, very sweet. In fact, the Philippines is unlike any other country in the world because of how much Filipinos love a love song. I’m excited to go and sing them all for you. Maybe I should add a couple more songs for the Philippines!

How were you able to put out such a feel-good record amid the pandemic?

I felt that I particularly needed to write music that was uplifting and positive. I wasn’t going to let that pandemic get me down. It was the strangest, most creative time I have ever had. I was able to put together so much music and new material. And that’s what I focused on.

A lot of artists your age are content being nostalgia acts. What inspires you to keep writing new material?

It’s one of those things where you just have songs in your head. Just because you got a little older doesn’t mean the music stops. I keep having ideas for songs. So when that happens, I put them down. And sometimes, they’re really good; sometimes they’re not. But that’s just how music is. This new album has quite a few good songs in it.

How do you maintain artistic integrity while being commercially successful?

It’s important that songwriters write their truth. When you write songs, it has to come from a place of experience, or it has to have some conviction to it that is truthful; something that comes from inside. I can never sing a song unless it comes from somewhere I can relate to. I never sing songs that are out of my range and lyrics I don’t believe in.

Any life lessons or realizations you can share with us, after being in the industry for decades?

If you have a way of making music and that’s what you really want to do with all your heart, then stay the course, because it’s not easy to do anything on this level. You have to have a lot of trust in yourself. It’s having some conviction that you’re going to get there despite the rejections.

And find some other people to work with. One of the things you will realize as a musician is that you can’t do it all on your own. You have to have a team. You have to have other musicians to work with, producers to work with. All these people can help you get to where you want to go. It’s not a one-man show. You have to be open and willing to work with other people.


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