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Celeb Scoop: Adam Hicks

By It's My Life on May 27, 2011 1:31 PM | No TrackBacks

Here are two things we really love: (1) when they make a movie for young people that promises to be about true-to-life characters and positive, empowering themes...and then actually lives up to that promise; and (2) when a young actor is given a chance to show (and surprise people with) just how multi-talented he is.

Lemonade-Mouth-DVD.jpgBoth of those things have happened with the Disney Channel Original Movie "Lemonade Mouth," which is out on DVD this week. If you didn't catch it during the jillion times it ran on TV, we do recommend it. There's something in there for every viewer and of course the music is pretty darn great. The DVD is officially an "extended edition" because of a bonus scene after the end credits, and there's a "Rock-a-long" version with lyrics so you and your friends can back up the band.

And then there's Adam Hicks. Yes, Bridgit Mendler is stunning with those lead vocals and just watching Hayley Kiyoko makes us feel cool, but for us it's Adam Hicks's performance as Wen that really shines. We were excited to have the opportunity to talk to this very sweet and humble guy who, after years of being a child actor, is finally defining himself as a performer and artist.

IML: First of all, congrats on the success of "Lemonade Mouth." The movie is really terrific!

Adam: Thank you so much! It's funny because you do a project, and then you're in a waiting period where the anticipation is crazy. For it to come out and do so well, and to see the responses from the fans has been incredible.

IML: What first attracted you to the film?

adamhicks.jpgAdam: I read the script and fell in love with it. I didn't read the book until after I got the part, but I just love the character Wen. He's a big change from Luther, my character on "Zeke and Luther." Luther is this zany, outrageous comedy-driven character, and to make that transition to Wen, who's quieter and more thoughtful, was an amazing opportunity for me as an actor. The cast of "Lemonade Mouth" was picked so perfectly. A lot of people see us as a band on camera but not a lot of people know that Lemonade Mouth was a band off-camera too.

IML: That definitely shows, and is probably one of the reasons why the movie is so successful. What was the best part of the experience for you?

Adam: The best part of the whole experience was having the movie finally come out! But in terms of the shooting, the best part was Madison Square Garden. My dad compared it to a Rolling Stones concert. We had these 75-foot monitors and a camera that would swoop in on your face and then shoot into the air. It was an incredible feeling with the fans there -- they were hired fans, but the screaming gave me so much adrenaline. I haven't done a lot of performing in front of big crowds before this.

IML: We hear that you helped write three of the songs...

Adam: Yes! I wrote all the raps for Wen on "Determinate," "Breakthrough," and "Highwire." The producers came to me before I even auditioned for the role of Wen and said they wanted me to help write the music for Lemonade Mouth. The first song I worked on was "Determinate." It took about a day to write. They sent it over with the temporary vocalist and then they had a breakdown area with a beat and I got the vibe from the singer and made up my own twist. Right before we left to film in New Mexico, the producers decided to do a bonus track called "Highwire" to use in a bonus scene for the DVD so I got to jump on that also.

IML: What do you think are the most important themes in the movie?

Adam: I feel like "Lemonade Mouth" is really such a well put together script and really gets across the idea of "be heard, be strong." A lot of kids have experienced the feeling of being outside looking in, and trying to figure out what clique they want to fit into, and a lot of people camouflage themselves in the school and don't really try to be heard. They feel like they're young and so their voice won't be heard. But "Lemonade Mouth: represents the underdog stepping through, and the movie lets people know that anyone can follow a dream and make it happen. Another great thing is that the movie went into every character's life, so at the end of the movie the fans really know them. They're not really left with a lot of questions or wanting more.

IML: How and when did you start rapping? Did it come before or after your interest in acting?

Adam: It started in 4th grade. For my 4th grade talent show I did a rap. And then for my 5th grade DARE essay, I did a rap in front of my school. I just liked putting words together. And then there's that element of surprise: I'm a red-haired, freckled kid...I shouldn't be able to rap! It kind of just happened and I took it so seriously, every single day writing music constantly. I used to carry a dictionary around with me and just look at words. It's more like poetry in that way and a lot of people can relate to it that way. I jut worked at it and jumped into acting and loved it and have done that professionally for 11 years now. So until recently I wasn't doing the music professionally. Now, to combine these two things is like a dream come true.

IML: Who are your musical influences as a rapper?

Adam: I love all kinds of music. My dad's from London so he loves David Bowie, the Stones, The Clash. I grew up with that influence while loving poetry and loving all kinds of current music. I just kind of made my own style because I feel like as an artist, the first thing people realize first about you is your style...who you are, what makes you different.

IML: Where do you get your inspiration for songs and raps?
Adam: I'm a mad thinker in general. I think about everything, all the time. Especially when I write music, a lot of the influences come from personal experiences or from being on the outside looking in, being that person who witnessed things that stuck with me throughout my life. And also not being scared to share an opinion about something that you know about and want to be heard on. Lyrics are a way to express how I feel in a way that people appreciate.

IML: What were you like in middle school?

Adam: Middle school was crazy for me because in elementary school I was top dog, 5th grade...but coming into 6th grade you're right at the bottom again. I went to a lot of different schools so I was a quiet and shy kid, not really expressing how I felt, like Wen was in "Lemonade Mouth." I relied on a couple of personal experiences for that. I was chill, relaxed, writing music but at the same time just hanging out with friends.

IML: What would people be surprised to learn about you?

Adam: I think they'd be surprised to learn that I read every single night before I go to sleep. I'm reading a book right now called "The Black Pearl," I recommend it. It helps me sleep and I've just been doing it ever since I was a kid because I love books. I think reading is how you understand the world.

IML: What would be your dream project?

Adam: I think I'm living my dream project right now! Honestly, it's been shocking and's all coming down on me right now. I'm just processing everything and taking it day by day!

IML: Thanks, Adam! Good luck with everything!

Adam: Thank you!


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