kindness’ new album otherness is too damn funky

As Kindness drops his new album Otherness, and joins music’s most fashionable line up with Emporio Armani Sounds, we catch up with him in Tokyo.

by i-D Team and Adam Fletcher
16 October 2014, 3:40pm

Tall and lanky, with long brown locks tumbling way past his shoulders, Adam Bainbridge is the hi-fi pop artist who won't change for anyone - and nor would we want him to. Taking over dancehalls and creeping up music charts under the moniker of Kindness, this Brit boy's pop sensibilities cover soul, jazz and R&B while his social ones have enlisted the help of Robyn, Kelela and Dev Hynes on new album Otherness. Last week, Kindness joined the lineup of Emporio Armani Sounds, a series that has seen collaborations with The Klaxons, Ewan Pearson and Seth Troxler, and took to the stage in Tokyo.

Why do you make music?
It's a beautiful form of self-expression, a pleasure to be involved with and somehow makes you more attractive to potential partners.

How do you record?
With computers, old-fashioned equipment and instruments.

What's your studio set-up like?
I use other people's these days - those who've spent time really perfecting their setup often end up with incredible spaces. Usually these days I work with my friend Blue at his studio, XXVII London. 

Where was your first ever gig and how did it go?
I'm not sure I remember which was the first show. We did several where people alternately accused me of doing karaoke on stage or pretending to be Kurt Cobain.

What was the first album you bought?
Bobby Brown - Don't Be Cruel. I loved Bobby Brown, but was disappointed this didn't have On Our Own on it.

Growing up, where was the coolest place to hang in Peterborough?
The Club With No Name. 

How long have you been growing your hair for and when will you stop?
A few years. I'll stop when it looks daft. Not long now.

What's your favourite dance move?
Something crossed arms, crossed legs.

How did you and Dev first hook up?
I was the DJ for his first band, Test Icicles.

Which fictional duo do you reckon the two of you are most like?
Bill and Ted. 

What did you learn from working with Robyn?
Which songs to do at karaoke, and which not.

Who do you love?
There's a video for the song coming soon, I think it will best answer this question.

Did Armani kit you out for the show last week?
Happily yes, since I arrived in Tokyo in my underwear. 

What're your favourite places to go/things to do in Japan?
I enjoy good food, nature and meeting local people. This last trip I had a good time drinking in Golden Gai, getting a shiatsu massage in Meguro and book shopping in Jinbocho.

How does Tokyo make you feel?
Tired but happy.

Where's your favourite place that you've lived so far?
London, because it's the toughest but most creative. 

Which piece of music are you most proud of creating?
I think it's for someone else! Can you ask me again in a few months?

If you could walk in on anyone at all dancing around their bedroom to Otherness, who would it be?

How would you describe the album in 3 words?
Rewarding hard work.


Text i-D Team

Test Icicles
Bobby Brown
music interviews