by: Mike At Night

Q: How did you get to this point in your career?

A: I started singing in Spanish when I was 8. I grew up in a very Mexican neighborhood in Chicago, so “5 de mayo” was a big thing every year. When I got to high school I joined choir and started to audition for lots of singing shows. When I was 21 I moved to LA, and due to the recession I moved back two years later. I tried out for the xfactor in 2012 and made it to the live auditions, but that didn’t go the way I planned, so after that I kinda stopped singing until I met my producer Velvet Code and started working with him. He helped me discover the artist I am becoming and before you knew it it was 2 years later and I have my own album out.

Q: Before we get into the music, is there a story behind your tattoos?

A: The tattoo of the woman’s face on my right forearm is Jade Thirlwall from little mix. My brother mariobautista_ tattoo is a tattoo artist and he wanted to give me one for my birthday a few years ago, and since I’m obsessed with Jade, he created his own piece to start a sleeve dedicated to her. I also have the signatures of all 4 girls in the group on my wrist. We’re almost done with the Jade piece The one on my left forearm is a cool tattoo from Randy Candy honoring the best horror franchise “Nightmare on Elm Street” it incorporates different pieces from a few of the movies like the iconic syringe and meatball.

Q: About your music, what’s the inspiration behind the new album?

A: Initially it was supposed to be an EP, but we got on a roll and the ideas just kept on coming we wanted to show that I wasn’t a one trick pony and we could be versatile in the styles of music we were creating. We just wanted to put out a fun dance album. Every song has a different vibe or inspiration.

Q: Are there any specific songs with personal anecdotes?

A: “Belong” is one of my favorite songs. It was the first time I felt confident writing about some of the stuff people would laugh at me about and now people thank me that when hearing the song they felt seen.

Q: Is there a song on the album that holds a special meaning for you?

A: “Jaded” is a song about my obsession with Jade Thirlwall from the girl-group little mix. She’s an icon and the nicest celebrity I’ve ever partied with. I love everything about her.

Q: Did any local Chicago influences or experiences make their way into the album?

A: I work at Sidetrack and they have been super supportive with my music. They always find the time

to play my videos or talk about my music. I had my release party there and the turn out was great. I also filmed my music video for “Beautiful Life” at Cell Block, and it’s fun to watch people watch the video

and ask me unmmmm is that Cell Block? haha!

Q: If you could pick one song to introduce listeners to your new album, which would it be?

A: “Feed My Ego” is fun Latin-influenced dance song. Just about feeling yourself before going out to party. I also love “Belong” because it’s def an earworm with a great message.

Q: How did you feel on release day?

A: I remember when the video for “Belong” came out we were showing Drag Race at Sidetrack, and at the end they introduced my video and played it, and I didn’t know if I was gonna throw up or cry, but I still had to serve drinks, so I had to keep it together, but for the album release I was super nervous. More people showed up than I could dream of and it was alot of fun and I got to perform.

Q: What’s been the biggest highlight of your musical journey so far?

A: Probably all the obstacles I have overcome. I’m the shyest person who didn’t think I could ever write songs or perform anywhere and now I’m doing it and it’s been a great learning experience.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians trying to make it in Chicago?

A: Work hard and save your money so you can give your audience high quality music even if it’s just one song. People will hear it and you will know it’s not your best and you’ll feel it. This career isn’t gonna come knocking on your door and give you an opportunity. You can ask anyone I know, I was headless chicken for the past two years trying to juggle all of it to get this album done.

Q: Are there any projects on the horizon?

A: Yup Velvet and I are already working on album #2 and you’re def in for a BIG surprise. This one will be a crazy journey but I think people will appreciate and love the hell out of this one.

Q: Fan Reaction: How have fans reacted to the new album so far?

A: Everyone loves the album and has different songs they got attached to, but the ones I’ve heard people like the most are “G.I.Joe,” “Belong,” “Jaded” and “Howl at the Moon.”

Q: Any personal anecdote?

A: Treat everyone with kindness. Don’t think you’re better than anyone because who knows, when your first impression of you ends up being the reason why they don’t care about helping you achieve your dreams.

Q: Looking ahead, what are your dreams and aspirations for your music career?

A: I would love to tour and make as many albums as I can. I definitely wanna go mainstream and perform the the best.

Q: What’s your go-to Chicago food after a long recording session or show?

A: I’m not gonna lie, I live for the street tacos on Halsted St. I get them any night they are out there.

They know me by name, haha.. but I do love the buffalo chicken wrap at Roscoe’s tavern.

No Agenda: Jaime Adrian delivers 12 fresh songs on his first album release

‘This has been such an amazing experience,’ says Adrian

Jaime Adrian releases the first album he’s written and recorded on Friday, January 26, bringing a sound that is “really fun and catchy.”

‘No Agenda’ is a 14-song release from Adrian, a Chicago resident, who delivers 12 songs that he wrote, along with a remix of ‘Feed My Ego’ and one cover song.

“So far, everyone really likes what they have heard, so I’m excited for everyone to hear the rest of the songs because they are very different from anything anyone has heard,” he said. “The thing that stands out the most about the album is that it’s really fun and catchy. Every song has its own vibe, but at the same time, it just works.

Adrian’s favorite is “Belong,” which he said is, “everyone’s anthem and it applies to so many people … and I made it really hard to sing.”

The album also features “Jaded,” a song Adrian wrote about his obsession with English singer/songwriter Jade Thirlwall. “It’s a tribute song,” he said. “She is one of my idols, so writing a song about my love for this goddess is the least I could do.”

Another song of note is “Howl At The Moon,” in which Adrian “(uses) Mother Nature as the bad guy who is trying to stop you from winning at life,” he said.

“If You Could Read My Mind” is Adrian’s cover of a 1990s dance song. “This song reminds me (of) fun times in life. Such a great beat and so much fun to sing along with,” he said. “I was shocked I was able to record it. The song is iconic, so I’m very thankful I got to do it.”

Adrian’s pop album shows that he was able to test his vocal ability – and pass. “I’ve always been too scared to go for it, but, with songs like G.I. Joe, Belong, Howl At The Moon and Jaded, I really go for those big notes and I’m very proud of them.”

Adrian is working on music videos for several of the songs from his album, including one filmed at Chicago’s Cell Block bar.

“This has been such an amazing experience,” to produce, he said. “I am so thankful for the people who have been there for me through the entire ride. Big shout out to Sidetrack, where I work, for helping me see the finish line and reminding me how important this. They made me take it seriously and now look at where we are at.”

Velvet Code produced all the tracks.

Pre-save “No Agenda” on your favorite streaming service.


No Agenda: Interview with Singer-Songwriter Jaime Adrian

Meagan J. MeehanMEDIUM

No Agenda” is a new album by Jaime Adrian, a singer-songwriter who once appeared on Fox-TV’s The X Factor. The album is his debut and features songs that are inspired by a range of house music genres, including the artist’s reimagining of the iconic dance track, “If You Could Read My Mind.”

Born in Chicago, Jaime Adrian was raised by his mother after his father passed away when he was 17. His appearance on The X Factor did not go as planned. Although judge Demi Lovato complimented his voice, LA Reid likened his performance to karaoke. Lovato came to his defense, suggesting that Jaime simply selected the wrong song to sing. Jaime took her advice to heart and now writes and performs his own music. He recently discussed his new album and more via an exclusive interview.

Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your gift for music?

Jaime Adrian (JA): I knew from a young age that I wanted to sing. I was always told to choose another path but I kept at it. It wasn’t until I was older that I knew my quirks would be the thing that people really liked about me. Music was always my safe space and as an adult, I want to be able to give that space to everyone else.

MM: How did you find your signature style?

JA: My signature style just happened. I didn’t know I sang a certain way until people brought it up. I sang my songs like no one was there. Randomly, people started to imitate my Adrianisms and I was like, “oh, is that what I sound like?” I love doing runs. I never thought I’d love singing in falsetto but I love switching from chest to head voice for no reason.

MM: What was it like to appear on The X Factor?

JA: Initially, amazing, but over ten years later I’m just upset that the other judges made me look horrible in front of Britney Spears, a woman I have always idolized. That’s what killed me. I thank Britney every day for what she did to pop music and the judges made me feel horrible. But, I am thankful that I get to say I sang a Britney song to Britney Spears. Who the hell can say that?!

MM: Why do you think the song you selected to sing didn’t work with your voice?

JA: Auditioning for producers is so different than being on the show. I performed my balls off for the producers in my key and it worked. When you get on the show, there is no dress rehearsal, just a lot of ‘go there’ and’ say this’ and ‘talk about that’. So, when I got on stage with the track my nerves kicked in and it came off like karaoke. I’ve learned my lesson about rearranging songs to benefit me.

MM: How did you start writing your own music?

JA: I didn’t have a choice. My producer, Velvet Code, who I love, said: “You’re an artist and I trust you doing this on your own.” He guided me throughout the process and I’m very thankful for that.

MM: What typically comes to you first, the lyrics or the melody?

JA: Both! I get my best lyrics and melody when I walk my dogs. But the idea of what to write about is always changing. My song, “Belong,” was totally different when I started writing it. It evolved on its own.

MM: Out of all your songs, which are your personal favorites?

JA: I love “Belong” because that’s the song where I reference my weird quirkiness! I have learned to not give a crap about people’s opinions! We are who we are and we don’t need to give people an explanation. I live for my song, “Jaded.” I wrote it about one of my favorite popstars, Jade Thirlwall from Little Mix. We gays have our queens and I think the least I could do for her is dedicate a song about how gagged I am by her, well, everything! I actually got to party with her in Manchester and it was everything I dreamed of and more!

MM: How did you come up with the title for this album?

JA: I was talking to Velvet Code about my intentions and I said I’m not trying to change people’s mind about anything. I have no agenda, I just wanna bring Y2K pop music back.

MM: What music video ideas do you have for these songs and which ones are you most excited about filming?

JA: My dream is to get Jade Thirlwall to give me her blessing and direct the video for her song. She can do whatever she wants. Just being in her presence would be enough for me.

MM: What is the best part of being a musical artist?

JA: My favorite part so far is having people who I think are fans tell me their kids have my music on repeat! I want to show the younger generation that they are going to change the world and I’m here to help.

MM: What are your ultimate musical and/or career goals?

JA: Music aside, I want to open a dog sanctuary. Dogs are my life and I want to make sure that I can save as many pups as I can. Musically, I wanna be someone that people can say they wanna be like! I remember being a kid and saying I wanna be like Britney or Ricky Martin. I wanna be that for someone.

MM: What is coming up next for you?

JA: I’m just going to see where the album takes me. I worked really hard and I wrote the entire thing, minus one song. All I want is for people to enjoy the music and wake up in the morning singing my creations. I am going to keep working hard to give everyone the popstar that they didn’t know they needed.


The Chicago Native Serves a Licking in “Lollipop”, the First Single from His Upcoming Album

Grab Magazine

By Mark Bloom

Out artist Jaime Adrian grew up on the east side of Chicago in a predominantly Mexican and very Catholic neighborhood. Kids often made fun of him for being different, calling him feminine and belittling his love of singing as “not something a real man would do”. In “Lollipop,” the first single release from his upcoming album, Jaime Adrian claps back at all of the negative nellies who have tried to quash his spirit through the years. With it’s a catchy and upbeat Latin/ reggaeton sound, “Lollipop” is sure to inspire everyone to the dancefloor. We caught up with Jaime at his home in Chicago. Mark Bloom:Is “Lollipop” is a Suck-U track?  Jaime Adrian: (Laughing) It definitely is! It’s a suck-u to all the people who go out of their way to bring others down. I wanted to give music fans a song that they could relate to and maybe dance off the hate to at clubs or in their rooms. MB: What made you a target for neighborhood bullies on Chicago’s east side? JA: Just breathing made me a target! It started in 4th grade. I had no idea what a fruit cake was but that’s what I was called. I was bullied for random things like my hair and because my asthma prevented me from playing sports. I didn’t act like the other boys in school and that meant that something was wrong with me. MB: Did you have the support of your family? JA: My mom and siblings supported

me. I had certain relatives bully me, though, telling me how to sit on a chair like a man and how to wear my socks like a man. I would take my shirt off and they would call me fat. You know how that story goes. Nothing I did was right. MB: Can you describe the trauma that results for a young boy being judged as not manly enough? JA: The trauma stunts your mental growth. I have anxiety attacks when I’m taking the train home to visit my extended family. I still feel like they are pointing, staring, and talking about how fem I am and how gay I look. If I go to straight clubs, I have panic attacks because all the memories come rushing back. MB: Yet you somehow found the strength to put yourself in front of some of the harshest judges on TV’s The X Factor.   How did you manage that? JA: I am a longtime fan of the X Factor UK and when I heard they were casting the American version, I was determined to be on the show. I didn’t care about anything or anyone’s opinion. This was my dream. MB: Was meeting Britney Spears

everything you imagined it would be?  JA: Britney spears is my idol. She is the reason I wanted to become a popstar. Meeting her didn’t go as planned. She didn’t say anything rude or much at all. MB: She was going through a rough emotional period during the second season of the show. JA: I wish I knew what she was going through. That may have changed my entire song selection process. MB: Why did you choose to audition with a Britney Spears song? JA: Choosing what to sing on a reality show is a process that no one really knows about. I originally planned to audition with songs by Ricky Martin, Jay Sean, and Ne-Yo, but the show couldn’t get them cleared. Once Britney signed on as judge, the producers told me I should sing one of her songs

Jaime Adrian’s ‘Suck It’ Song to Haters

Get Out!
by Ben Nelson

Jaime Adrian was born on the east side of Chicago.  His mother raised him and his little brother and sister on her own.   It was a Mexican and very Catholic neighborhood and kids made often fun of Jaime for being different.  They called his love of singing “not something a real man would do” and for years, they managed to silence his voice.   

Until The X Factor came calling.  Jaime Adrian flew to Kansas City and was the first person in line for the season two auditions of the televised competition show.  He arrived with a blue mohawk, claiming to be the male Britney Spears. A few weeks after performing for the preliminary judges, he learned he had made it to the live show auditions!  “When I got to the arena, I was told by a producer to speak only to Britney and serenade her with one of her own songs.”  Listening to the producer’s advice would prove to be his first blunder.  

His anxiety was through the roof.  Jaime recalls meeting Britney, Britney asking him a few questions, him gushing of how she was his biggest idol, Britney looking confused and then him breaking into one of her signature songs that was way out of his vocal register.  

L.A. Reid called Jaime’s performance horrible karaoke.  Music manager Louis Walsh questioned why he would dare insult Britney by obliterating one of her songs. Demi Lovato was the only judge to come to Jaime’s defense, telling Jaime that he was a good singer but that it was the wrong song for his voice, which he knew, but had only attempted because the show’s producer told him he had to.

“I learned that day that competition shows like The X Factor aren’t interested in making my dreams come true, they’re about making good TV for viewers.”  He realized that he had been tricked by the producer into making a fool of myself for a funny soundbite. 

He spent the rest of the day crying in his hotel room from embarrassment.   He stopped singing after that.   “Once again, I allowed bullies to silence my voice.”

It wasn’t until 2020 when he moved back to Chicago, met producer Velvet Code, and signed with the music label, So Fierce Music, that Jaime began to find his voice again.  “With Velvet’s help, I have been able to discover the kind of artist I want to and can be. I’ve become comfortable with who I am and what I have to offer.”

Today, he draws inspiration from Euro Pop, the infectious rhythms of Latin Pop, and the nostalgia of 2000’s Pop.  He’s released several singles, including “What Were You Drinking”, “Feed My Ego”, “Beautiful Life”, and “Belong”.

He’s not trying to be the next Britney or the next anyone anymore.   He’s taking the quirks that people have always found weird and different and amplifying them because they are what make him special. 

“I know that a lot of my audience can relate with ‘Lollipop’ and my hope is that it’s catchy and upbeat sound will inspire them out of any funk.   No one is alone.  We’re in this together.  And anyone who thinks they can silence us can suck it.”

Jaime Adrian’s “Lollipop” is being distributed by So Fierce Music/The Orchard/Sony Music Entertainment and is available on Apple Music, Spotify, and all digital platforms

Visit https://linktr.ee/jaimeadrian.  

Follow Jaime Adrian on Instagram/TikTok/Threads @ jaimeadrianreyes

Out, Proud with No Agenda

Jaime Asrian Releases Debut Album
by Skip Sheffield

Jaime Adrian’s explosive new album, No Agenda, dips into multiple genres of dance music from Latin beats to country twists, house tracks, and euro pop. “I didn’t want people to say it all sounds the same,” he explains.
Produced by Velvet Code, album highlights include “Belong,” a nod to Jaime’s self-described nerdy quirks, and a cover of the house music classic, You Could Read My Mind” Jaime Adrian’s No Agenda is being distributed by So Fierce Music and is available on all digital platforms.

Chicago’s Jaime Adrian is back at the mic delivering a catchy message to haters

‘…anyone who thinks they can silence us can suck it,’ Jaime Adrian says of his latest single ‘Lollipop’

Jaime Adrian is back, microphone in hand, bringing his distinctive style and sound – with a very direct message.

“Lollipop” is the first single release from Adrian’s upcoming album as the out, Chicago-based artist claps back at haters who have long tried to silence him, including The X Factor judge L.A. Reid who called Adrian’s performance on the FOX-TV show “horrible karaoke.”

Adrian long, trying journey started long before The X Factor, though.

“A lot of the bullying that impacted me happened in school,” said Adrian, who grew up on the east side of Chicago and went to high school in Whiting, Indiana, before graduating in 2005. “If you didn’t blend in, you were picked on. I 100 percent didn’t blend in. I was a boy who hated sports, didn’t smoke or misbehave, listened to pop music and wanted to dance all the time. All my friends were girls and guys didn’t like that, so they found anything and everything to make fun of me. As I got older the bullying got specific to me being gay, (though) I was OK with it by that point because I knew about Boystown and that I there was life outside of high school.”

He endured bullying at home, too.

“My lowest points were when certain family members – specifically, one person – made it their mission to make sure that I knew I wasn’t welcomed and they didn’t want me around,” Adrian said. “I didn’t care that he hated me; I cared about the scenes he made that made other family members upset. 

“Bullying in the gay scene is also a huge thing people don’t really talk about. Back when I cared people always wanted you to choose the box you fit into immediately and to this day I don’t fit in a box. I am the weirdest, goofiest person you (will) meet. My friends of over 20 years still get shocked when they find out different things about me. I thought gay only had one certain way, but luckily, I’m a stubborn person and didn’t give into any of it. Not from school, family, or other LGBTQ people.”

Now 36, Adrian lives in East Lakeview, aka, Boystown and for four years has been a bartender at Sidetrack. “Lollipop” is Adrian’s catchy, upbeat sound that, he hopes, will inspire others. “No one is alone; we’re in this together.  And anyone who thinks they can silence us can suck it,” he said. 

With its dark Latin/reggaeton pop beat, “Lollipop” has a different energy and vibe than Adrian’s previous records. “Lollipop” is in-your-face, period. “It’s a different kind of anthem that it is meant to make everyone wanna go right up to their bully and snap their fingers and sway their hips,” he said.

“People are just mean for no reason, like going out of their way to make sure they talk bad about you until someone agrees. I was over it. I work extremely hard to make this music career happen, so I wasn’t going to tolerate the hate anymore. There was a specific day when the negativity became too much, and I called my sister; her kids were screaming and I mentioned something along the line of giving them a lollipop so they could shut up and stop being annoying.

“That’s how the song writing process began.

“Velvet Code created this cool Latin beat for me to write to. It was slower and had a chill sexy vibe to it. I really wanted the sound to be something that slips off the tongue. I wanted it to feel cool, like unbothered by the people who hate on you, kind of like when you know you’re right and you’re telling them with confidence.”

Adrian added: “My singing style is different. I am influenced by so many genres of music, from Euro pop to Latin pop to country pop. My (upcoming) album goes into even more genres of dance pop. I’ve also learned to embrace the quirks of my singing style. The stuff people made fun of me for is what got my label’s attention.” 

Adrian flew to Kansas City for The X Factor and was the first person in line for season two auditions of the televised competition show. He arrived with a blue mohawk, claiming to be the male Britney Spears. A few weeks after performing for the preliminary judges, he learned he had made it to the live show auditions. “When I got to the arena, I was told by a producer to speak only to Britney and serenade her with one of her own songs,” Adrian said.

He sang a signature Spears song, though out of vocal register.  

L.A. Reid called Adrian’s performance horrible karaoke.  

Music manager Louis Walsh questioned why he would dare insult Britney by obliterating one of her songs. Demi Lovato was the only judge to come to Adrian’s defense, telling him that he was a good singer but that it was the wrong song for his voice, which he knew … but he only attempted it because the show’s producer told him he had to.

“I learned that day that competition shows like The X Factor aren’t interested in making my dreams come true, they’re about making good TV for viewers,” said Adrian, tricked by the producer into making a fool of myself for a funny soundbite. 

He spent the rest of the day crying in his hotel room from embarrassment.

He stopped singing after that. “Once again, I allowed bullies to silence my voice,” Adrian said.

It wasn’t until 2020 when he moved back to Chicago, met producer Velvet Code, and signed with the music label, So Fierce Music, that Adrian began to find his voice again. “With Velvet’s help, I have been able to discover the kind of artist I want to and can be. I’ve become comfortable with who I am and what I have to offer,” Adrian said.

My Kind Of Town

Adrian was a regular at Sidetrack before he joined as a bartender.

Sidetrack is a perfect fit for Adrian.

“Knowing the way (Sidetrack) owners feel about our community and what they do makes my love for that bar even stronger,” Adrian said of Art Johnston and José Pepe Peña. “They have paved the way for us to succeed as a community.”

Adrian also visits such local bars as Cell Block, Replay and Roscoe’s.

“I think the Chicago LGBT scene is the absolute best,” he said. “I’ve been to many places, but Chicago is the most carefree and diverse. Yes, you get your typical entitled person here and there, but that’s everywhere. Good thing about Boystown and the industry is that we don’t tolerate any kind of hate.”

Singing Sensation

The X Factor is still Adrian’s favorite singing show.

“I wish I had the confidence and knowledge I have now. I’m not mad (at the show) anymore,” Adrian said. “Even though it didn’t go the way I hoped, it was an experience not many people will ever have. I got to sing a Britney Spears song to Britney Spears.”

Admittedly, though, Adrian was “a mess” after his X Factor disaster.

“I thought I really was a bad singer and that everything people told me was true,” he said. “I didn’t want to do it anymore and if I did sing here and there and people complimented me, I instantly got defensive and thought they were making fun of me or just lying to make me feel better. I developed a weird complex toward compliments.”

Adrian was certain his singing career was done.

“I was getting older and didn’t have the drive I had when I was younger. Life is already hard, I didn’t want to put myself in a situation where people were going to tell me I wasn’t good enough,” he said. “During (the pandemic), we all had some time on our hands and I discovered this singer I saw on Eurovision. I looked up his music and found a male artist who did the kind of music I wanted to do. From his style to performances on stage, that really woke me up to the thought that I could do this. I started recording demos and that’s when I crossed paths with Velvet Code.”

Adrian is now driven to complete his album and plan a tour. “My long-term goal is to become a well-known international artist who has a platform to affect people in a positive way,” he said. “Before music I wanted to be a social worker, but I think (through singing I) will be able to reach more people than I can possibly imagine.”

Adrian is very direct when talking to others who have been bullied or wronged: you are not alone, he said.

“If you need help, ask for it and don’t stop because one person doesn’t care,” he said. “I didn’t have anyone to reach out to with most of my issues, so I reached out to myself. I did my own research and tried very hard to solve my own problems, but that’s me and that’s how I did it. I know it’s easier said than done, but just ignore the BS.”

Adrian will perform at Greater Palm Springs Pride, Nov. 2-5

Jaime Adrian’s “Lollipop” is being distributed by So Fierce Music/The Orchard/Sony Music Entertainment and is available on Apple Music, Spotify, and all digital platforms

Visit https://linktr.ee/jaimeadrian.  

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