Words by: Andrea Susarrey
Adam DeWalt, is a classically trained trumpet player who found himself touring the world in Solange´s band at 21.
In 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana, only 21 at the time and in the middle of his final year of university is where Adam DeWalt‘s musical journey really takes its big step. A friend of his forwarded him an instagram post by Saint Heron, saying they were in search of backup musicians for Solange. He sent an audition tape and was invited to play in person where he found himself playing for PJ Morton (of Maroon 5) and Raphael Saadiq. Saadiq not only recognized Adam‘s talent but that he, like Solange, was from Houston, Texas. A cultural bond that definitely aided him in emerging himself fully in the vision she had for her projects.
Next thing he knows, he has to quit his job at Audubon Zoo because he’s performing his first gig with Solange on SNL. Speaking to him about this on the phone he said, “Right after the performance I met Dave Chappelle, Trevor Noah, Beyonce and Jay Z, I was super overwhelmed.” This unusual turn of events just escalated from there, his next performances being a Superbowl event, and then an event for Google in San Francisco. Soon after, he was invited to go on the A Seat at the Table world tour, “After that, it was just regular band stuff”, he says.
After a year and a half into touring with her, Adam started to contribute to Solange‘s band more than just his trumpet playing. He was making music, playing for her and producing for himself. He started casting for the band whilst still a member. He began to cast more instrumentalists to perform with them on their international gigs, and eventually even wrote the music for the horn players in the band. He also contributed to the casting for the VMA nominated video “When I Get Home”.
The fast paced life on tour, playing, performing, casting and adapting music for the performances all pushed him to challenge himself- not only musically, but also gave him a taste of the management, consistency, and practical aspects that support a huge creative project.
Speaking to him about life after touring, and the stark difference of “normalcy” in comparison to the experiences of performing in extraordinary places was also a lesson in itself for the now 26 year old musician. He mentions his biggest take away from being in Solange‘s band was that “You have to broaden your horizons, you can’t just be one track minded or simple minded. Do more. Do several things”.
We mentioned how Solange is always exploring new territories to experiment in, he said he noticed a shift when they performed at the Donald Judd Museum in Marfa, Texas, that she was becoming more inclined with visual arts. After that, her live performances were heavily visually oriented with so much attention on the sets, colours, outfits and movements of the band. Soon after that, is when he started to really dive into his own production and collaborations. “As long as your working on yourself no one can tell you shit”.
After going on both of Solange‘s world tours, A Seat at the Table and When I Get Home, Adam relocated back to Houston where he is now working on his own project. He plans to release a 4 track EP by the end of the fall of 2021. When asking him about where this project came from, he says it’s a culmination of work over the past 6 to 8 years, and even though it’s only 4 songs, it feels like a full album because each one trails off into its own world.
Since then, he has also played trumpet on a track for Maxo Cream, “Meet Again”. As well as created a virtual fundraiser, Electronic Highway, in which he curated a virtual event with performances from Kaytranada, Solange, and other Houstonian Athletes. This is all in order to give scholarships to children that come from low income homes in the Houston area, this endeavour included a food and back to school drive.