Adan Jodorowsky-Adanowsky

Adan Jodorowsky is a multitasker, an energizer bunny with an entire drum set as opposed to the usual simple bass. Whether he’s playing a douchebag ex-boyfriend in 2 Days in Paris, singing in front of thousands in Mexico, or directing a music video in Los Angeles, Adanowsky works with passion and focus. When we met for a drink in Bastille, he told me he spent the first spring Sunday in Paris inside, mixing his next album. But he’s far from becoming a dull boy; watch any Adanowsky video and you’ll see an innate playfulness in his artistry. It’s delightfully obvious when he’s singing about loving female knees on the streets of Paris, more shadowed as he ages while running through the desert.

We ate outside at an unremarkable cafe where Adanowsky tried to order salmon sashimi and jus de fraise; he was turned down both times. This man is unafraid to try, which makes him all the more fun when it comes to love.

First tell me a little bit about what you do? 

I started playing in a movie when I was 8, then I learned tango and I danced for five years. Then I always directed movies, always. Short movies. And then suddenly I decided to sing, and the doors were open. ‘Come here, you are accepted in our world,’ said the music. So I said, ‘Okay,’ so I started to sing in Paris. I was really Parisian, you know. I was singing in French, I wanted to be a French singer. So I started to play in bars and I was kind of underground famous in Paris, in the night. But I didn’t like that really, that wasn’t for me, because I come from Mexico; my mother’s Mexican, my father’s Chilean.

So, suddenly, the singer Christophe, who sang Les Mots Bleus, Aline in the sixties, he called me and he wanted to meet me. So we met and he introduced me to his producer, Francis Dreyfus ?? Francis Dreyfuss signed me my first contract in Paris. He’s from the sixties, he’s like an old producer. And so I did my album. He put a lot of money on my album, he thought I was going to be a huge star. And so I did this album and I was waiting, I was dreaming about being a big star. And no, nothing. It was a flop. It was very accepted by the medias, but no radio, no tour, nothing. So I was really depressed, and one day a guy said, ‘Alright, do you want to go to Chile, to sing in Chile?’ I said, ‘Alright, let’s do a tour in Chile,’ so I found the musicians, the band Gush, and we went together to Chile.

When I arrived there, all the venues were full of people, like thousands of people screaming my name. It was crazy because he’d put a song of mine–the only one that was in Spanish on my album–on the radio, and it was a hit. So when I came back to Paris, I begged to the producer and I said, ‘Please please, I want to translate all the album in Spanish and I want to sing in Spanish please!’ And he said, ‘Alright, let’s do it.’ So I translated all the album in Spanish and I went to South America and I signed contracts in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Spain. And suddenly it was an explosion.

So suddenly, my dream about being a big star, about being Elvis Presley, was a real thing. Because I wasn’t only playing Paris, I was in a lot of countries with a lot of people, and suddenly I was doing the covers of magazines, page one, Vanity Fair, all that. It was like, wow! So I lived the thing. I started to live in Los Angeles, I had my Cadillac, I was living in Echo Park, like a star life, like with a lot of money. With that money I decided to do a second album. It was Amador. I produced it myself, I did it with Rob, who’s the keyboard player of the band Phoenix. And Noah Georgeson, the guy who mixed it, was the guy who did Devendra Banhart and also The Strokes.

The album came out, and it was completely different from the first one, so I said alright, people are not going to like this album. Because instead of going to something really commercial, I did the opposite. I did an album that I like myself, I didn’t care about being famous, or having money. For me it was more important to make something I like, that I really love, than something really commercial. Because when you’re famous, it can end the next day. So I became human again, and I did Amador. And I don’t know how, but I won prizes like Best International Artist of the Year, Best Live Show, et cetera et cetera. And I did a three-year tour with Amador.

And that was in all the countries you mentioned before?

Yes, and I signed a contract, a license in Los Angeles also, with the label Everloving. But the thing is that it was really far from my country, because you know I grew up in Paris. So I missed Paris a little bit, so six months ago I came here and my father asked me to play in his movie. So I played in his movie and he asked me to do the soundtrack. So I did the soundtrack. It’s going to be out in Cannes, the movie.

I also decided to direct a movie, so I directed a movie with Asia Argento, she’s the main character. So now I’m editing the movie, and then I recorded my album with Gush, the two brothers, the Polycarpe brothers. I’m going to mix it now, so it’ll be out in September. And then I directed a video for a song of mine, and I’m going to direct a video in Los Angeles also, now. So I’m directing, and I’m writing another movie now.

Do you think you’ll continue with music, acting, directing, all those things? Or are you going to move more in one direction as you move forward?

Well I’m like an iPhone, so I have multiple functions.

Adan Jodorowsky-Adanowsky

I see, so you’ll just keep multitasking.

Yeah, so the thing is that when you start and you start to do things more and more, it’s more and more and more and more! And after, you’re in this, how do you say, tourbillon. You’re in the whirling and you can’t stop. I work hard every day. In the last six months, I’ve had maybe two weeks of a break. I work every day. Even Sundays.

I thought about something the other day: Even if nothing goes out, [of] what I’m doing now, it doesn’t matter. Because it was such a pleasure to do it! It was marvelous, really. And before, I was doing art to be famous or to have money, but now I don’t care. I just love it.

That’s nice, that the act of creating can be satisfying in itself. 

Yes, I’ve never been so happy as now.

What would you do on a romantic night in Paris? Where would you go?

In a very good restaurant. I have a friend who says that if he doesn’t know the woman, it’s very embarrassing to have a dinner with a girl, and look at her, but no. I think it’s really good to have a dinner. He says it’s gross because you eat, you’re like an animal. But it’s great to be like an animal. I like to see how a woman eats before having a love story.

Before kissing a girl, I like that. It depends, you know. I go out, I have a drink, I go to a restaurant, I go on a bridge, then I talk. I tell her she’s the woman of my life, then I kiss her. Then we have sex or we don’t have sex. That’s all, it’s really simple. You know? It’s basic.

Do you have any favorite restaurants?

I like Ave Maria, it’s on Metro Oberkampf. And I like also an Italian Restaurant, it’s Casa Bini, it’s very good.

And what about anywhere else in the world? What would be a romantic night?

Argentina, Buenos Aires. It’s a lot like Paris, but there is something [different]. There are bridges, the water, the river, so it’s very romantic. And you hear tangos. Yeah, Argentina’s very good for that because there’s something nostalgic. And love is nostalgic, so it goes well with Argentina.

Adan Jodorowsky-Adanowsky

And why do you think Paris is the city of love?

I was talking with a friend the other day and she said it’s because everyone is libertin here. Everyone is sleeping with everyone. For example, when you go to America and you have a girlfriend, girls don’t seduce you. But here, girls, they don’t care. They hit on you, and they say, “I don’t care, let’s fuck tonight!” They’re really terrible, and men too. They have no morals in Paris. It’s the city of love because everyone is hot here.

So what’s the best pickup line you’ve heard?

Vous avez une belle ame, you have a beautiful soul.

And what would you want to hear from a girl?

My grandfather said, “A woman is a woman, why would you want to talk about philosophy with a woman?” But I’m not macho, I’m not like him. I just need some clever girl with a lot of humor. I like to laugh, and when a girl makes me laugh, I like that. I like having fun like a kid with a girl. Run in the street, do bad things. Yes, I like to laugh a lot. If a woman makes you laugh, it’s because she’s clever.

And what’s the worst pickup line?

Uhh, je peux vous offrir un verre?

What’s the hottest thing a girl can drink?

You know, I want to say my sperm, but you’re going to think I’m a dirty guy. It’s the hottest thing for me, I’m sorry, but yes.

That’s your answer?

It turns me on, really!

Yeah, I can imagine. 

Oh, you’re talking about alcohol? I’m not going to say a cosmopolitan, because they’re going to think…no, not a cosmopolitan, a cosmopolitan is not sexy.You know what, to be honest, the sexy thing for me, because it’s me, it’s a juice. A strawberry juice. Yes. Because I like a woman who doesn’t drink alcohol. I like a healthy woman. Because my mother was an alcoholic, so I have this thing inside of me when I see a woman drinking, it’s like, “Help, not again! I don’t want to see my girlfriend dying.”

Have you ever seduced a girl with art?

Yes, I’ve used my talent to seduce girls, of course. I would completely dishonest to say I never did that. But I didn’t seduce a girl, because this art is a part of me. So if she liked my art, it’s because she likes me. So I used me.


So you’ve written a song for a girl, or…

Yes, of course. It’s funny that you say that, because today I thought about that and I wrote four songs for four women. The last one is the best.

If you had to choose between a museum, a cinema, or a concert, where would you take a girl?

A museum. It sounds boring for some people, but for me [the answer is] a museum. Because I like day dates, because you can see the skin of the person, if it’s a good skin. No, [laughs] I don’t care about the skin. But you can see, there’s no alcohol, there’s no nothing. It’s real. If I like a girl during the day, in a museum, I will like her in the night too.

So you studied tango for five years. Do you think tango is the sexiest dance then?

Yes, of course. You know, I’m like an old man. My father was born in 1939, and I’m raised like a kid who was born in the fifties, but I was born in 79. I’m like an old man, so I like to dance tango. Tango is great because it’s very sensual, and the girl is receiving. It’s not easy to receive from someone and let it flow. And for a man, it teaches you to know where you go.

And were you in Argentina when you learned?

In Paris and in Argentina. It was a great time of my life. I used to dance every night. During the day I was taking classes, in the night I went to dance until 5 or 6 in the morning. Then I woke up, classes, and the same thing every day. It was crazy.


What do you think about the difference between when you go out in LA and Paris ?

Well in LA everyone’s nice, and like, “Oh yes, great!” Everyone’s like, life is marvellous. Everyone’s vegan, everyone’s healthy, everyone goes to yoga. But there is something fake. But it’s in Paris too, it’s not onloy in LA. People follow the other people instead of following themselves, so yes, it’s like fashion. But they’re more positive in LA in their way of thinking. That’s good, they try. In Paris, they’re too pessimistic. Horrible, it’s like everything is negative. And they’re not as spiritual, they believe in nothing. And no, me, I believe in something. I believe in an energy, in this world…I don’t believe in God, like something religious, but I believe in something who’s next to me, who’s with me. So, yes, I am spiritual. And that’s what is missing in Paris, spirituality. And the sun.

But I like Paris because there’s a lot of culture. Even if the people are negative, they have culture. You can have a conversation with people, that’s very nice. They know the year, you know, ‘Yeah, Bowie was born this year!’ And they know these obscure bands. You can find that in LA too but here, they’re really geeks. And they like to show they know something here. To be raised in Paris is great for that.

What kind of presents do you like to receive from girls?

A romantic kiss.

No, it depends. A letter, maybe. Yeah, when they write me a letter I’m very touched. When I was 15, I remember I used to write letters, and now I write emails. It’s so great to receive a letter from someone. I prefer to receive a letter than a present.

Or maybe they could give me like 5,000 euros, too. I would be very happy.

Yeah, super romantic.

Do you want to add anything before we finish this interview?

Something is lost in this world; it’s the poetry. Yes, because I believe in poetry. For me, the revolution and the future is the poetry. Yes, because it’s the language of the soul. And everything is too realistic today. I like the poetry in everything.

So for example, I met a girl once, on Twitter. She was an excellent poet. And I said, ‘Who’s that girl? I want to meet that girl!’ So I wrote her in the inbox, I said your poems are incredible, I want to meet you. She was Mexican. I said, “Oh cool, I live in Mexico, but now I’m in Paris.’ She said, ‘I’m in Paris too!’ So we met. She arrived, she was a beautiful woman. So we walked, for hours. And then I was like this, talking with her with my hand. And then a bird came and landed on my hand. At first I was afraid but then the bird left, and I said, ‘That’s a poetic act!’ So then we had a story together in Mexico, and she taught me how to give birth to a flower, inseminer une fleur.

You know, okay sometimes I get naked on stage and I do like surrealistic things. But I think I am a very sensitive person. Yes, I am. I cry sometimes. I’m not afraid to say it, I cry. Sometimes I’m weak. I’m human.


article: Ella Riley-Adams