Regarding k. Adem

My name is Adem and this is my internet avatar. I began writing songs at the age of 15 when I learned to play guitar by watching folk singers at the public Library near my alma mater in Baldwinsville, New York. I met a kind man there in 2005 named Michael Tarolli who recorded 5 of my songs for a little EP called “Rise of the Saints”. These songs were an extension of my teenage values- an eclectic mix of misguided love songs, religious conservatism, and political tirades released under the moniker 4:thirtyseven.

In high school, I played my songs on a purple ukulele in the hallways between classes and sometimes in Chemistry with my teacher John Lerner. John had an open mic in the village at a little pub restaurant called Lock 24 and I wrote a lot of songs with the intention that they’d be played there. From 06 to 08, I was developing my art there beside of Syracuse natives Mike McKay, Ben Fury, and The Scarlet Ending.  Later on, Sweet Lou Althoff took over at that place and became a good friend and mentor to me.

During that time I was still playing a strange mix of bars and churches, tormented about whether or not I wanted to project all of my insecurities and questions into “secular songs” or “Christian songs.” The church was an abusive mother that I wrestled to find balance and security with despite her destructive nature. I played wearing black clothes, an orange tie or bandana, and heavy makeup and the conflicts that I experienced because of my aesthetics were mainlined into my first full length in 2007- “Politics of Passion”.

It took too many times being told I wasn’t welcome back before I made my way into a divey little venue called the Lost Horizon that I made home. I cut my teeth on the Syracuse Music Scene in that historic room opening for hardcore bands.  I was the irrelevant acoustic opener for a couple of years before I cut a short EP called “Family of Strangers” with a good man and CNY Hero- Jim Goldsworthy. Then I ran away scared from a record deal to a perfect little town in Tennessee in the hopes that I would find God.

I didn’t find him but I scuttled through the dysfunction of dogmatic ideologies and wrote an album by accident that would be picked up and cut by my friend, producer Dylen Terflinger, who started a little record label when we finished up “armour.” While recording that album, I was wildly depressed and hated music. I felt like the commercial music industry was really, really awful.

I was sick of trying to define my music instead of just putting out art and allowing people to appreciate it. In 2011 while working on” armour.”,  I decided to part ways with the religion of my youth and I wrote and recorded a little album called the “Living Room Tapes” to christen the divorce. I lived out of my little Chevy Malibu Classic with my brother Caleb for three and a half months playing songs anywhere we were able to.

I wrote songs during that time that were affrontive and crass; lyrics like “You’ve got an awful lot of god damned nerve thinking I have any intention to save you” and “I don’t want to pray your god damned prayers- I can find heaven here below.” I became an antagonistic atheist.

But we were trying to soak up life and figure out our identities and we did this by clinging to each other and the little strands of beauty that permeated every day with a sort of quiet desperation. After that tour, I moved to Syracuse where I thought to go back to school and break my way back into the scene there but met a sociopath which inevitably led to an incredibly painful mental breakdown.

For about a year, I was stuck inside myself coping through addictive means with the intense agony I was experiencing. I wrote songs and worked half-heartedly at my craft while pining over the shadow of who I was before this inevitable crash. So being an artist and a user, I began to work through all of the difficulties and tribulations with songs about what happened and what was going on internally.

Those songs took shape into a body of work called [Syracuse.] which I produced and mixed on a Carnival Cruise ship during my first contract with them (Nov ’12- Dec ’13). After that tour, I moved to Nashville to live with my brother and a good friend of mine. From there, I did 3 more contracts for Carnival- I visited Italy, Monaco, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Greece, France- spent as much time as possible with my then girlfriend and her family, and had my first placement on a television show that Discovery Channel used to have.

In November of 2013, I moved back to my little adopted hometown of Knoxville where I worked a lot with the elderly and with people who have disabilities, recorded some music, and played a handful of shows- some kind of big and awesome like the Bijou Theater and the Square Room with Andrew Peterson- up until May when I got married to that “then” girlfriend.

Now, my wife and I live in New Jersey. She is a painter and a philanthropist and we are depressed optimists in a world wrought with holiness and horror. These days, we contemplate what the future holds and try our best to make honest art in a culture that subscribes to consumer psychology.

It’s also worth noting that I would give anything to be able to save people from the wretched, unfair circumstances our systemic oppression puts them in and I also believe that for myself it is through those “god damned prayers” that I am able to work at building heaven here below.

I believe that there is something Unseen that we all interact with at some point. Because of my upbringing, I view that Unseen through the lens of Christianity. My wife and I are actively trying to bridge the divide inside of ourselves so that we can better bring reconciliation to the world outside of ourselves.   This reality is inevitably explicit in my music and it should be noted that in no way is it evangelical by nature- simply autobiographical.

My name is Adem Bingham. I perform songs under the strangely-difficult-to-explain moniker “Kyle Adem” and these songs, the images, the emotions- this is my story and sometimes, when I’m really willing and able to listen to our shared consciousness while I’m sleeping- it’s yours. 

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