New Frontier interviews Adam Young

Adam Young, founder and singer-songwriter of Owl City, serves a plate of food to a resident at The Salvation Army of Dallas/Forth Worth. Photo courtesy of The Salvation Army


Owl City lead singer talks about giving back.

Adam Young is the multi-instrumental, lead vocalist for Owl City, which has produced two Billboard top-10 hits and a platinum-selling album. His first single “Fireflies” was a hit in 26 countries and has sold more than 12 million digital downloads worldwide.

Having achieved international success, Young made it a priority to give back and inspire others to do the same. He teamed with The Salvation Army’s Rock the Red Kettle Tour—Sept. 5-Oct. 7—visiting 25 cities across the nation. In addition to performing, Young and his band volunteered at local Salvation Army sites in each city.

New Frontier talked with Young to find out more about how his tour went, his faith in God and what it meant for him to volunteer with The Salvation Army.


How did the partnership with The Salvation Army’s Rock the Red Kettle Tour come to fruition?

I’ve been a big admirer of The Salvation Army for years, I spent a lot of time shopping at the local Salvation Army store in my hometown, so right away I knew that it was something I wanted to be involved in. I didn’t even have to think about it, I just jumped at the chance.


What were you hoping to accomplish with the Army?

I feel like so often artists and bands have a stigma about them that makes people feel like they’re untouchable or they are totally unreachable by today’s standards, and to me, life is all about giving back. That’s ultimately why I do what I do. I want to make sure that it’s not always about me, because in the big reality of things it’s really not about me at all.


What was it like volunteering?

Having the opportunity to serve and volunteer over the past few weeks has really been a great thing to help keep my feet on the ground. Out here on the road it’s easy to zoom in and stay zoomed in when sometimes what you really need is to take a step back and see what you can do to give back.


How has this experience affected you?

It’s really made me feel like I am completely undeserving to be able to do what I do, to have the things I have, to be able to say I can focus my entire passion on what I love, and that’s a rare thing.


Your music and blog posts on your website seem to be inspirational and faith-driven. How are you hoping to impact your audience?

Above and beyond anything I desire personally as far as success or gain or publicity, I just want to be real. I feel like so many artists are always putting up a front, and I just want to be pure and real and open and honest.


Has your Christian faith always been a part of who you are?

My parents were very devout Christians, so whenever the doors were open at church we were there. That’s the way it’s always been and I choose to believe what I believe in today, not merely because of the way I was raised, but because of what the Lord has taught me over the years. Ironically, he’s used this success of Owl City to grow me in ways I never imagined.


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