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Music Discovery – Adeem the Artist

It’s not often you meet a formerly devout Christian, self-proclaimed nonbinary artist and seventh-generation Carolinian who can cover the heck out of John Prine, pick apart the egos of superstars like Toby Keith and Morrissey in the same breath, and get a roomful of tattooed cowboys and urban hipsters laughing out loud while also moving them to tears. But that’s exactly what you get with Adeem the Artist, one of the most original – and compelling – singer/songwriters working in Nashville today.

Equally confrontational, joyful, sassy, and soulful, Adeem has a true-blue country pedigree that grounds their work, even as they break chains and push boundaries, Their album White Trash Revelry, released in late 2022, quickly became one of the most talked-about country albums of the year, thanks to Adeem’s rich vocals and sharp writing on songs like “Middle of a Heart,” “Run This Town,” and the undeniably catch “Going to Hell.”

Do you really wanna go to heaven when we get this rapture started?
Do you wanna go to hell, children, with Adeem the Artist?
Gonna dance around on the fiery ground
Devil gonna fiddle out a bluegrass sound
A ruckus that’d made Charlie Daniels proud
They play country songs in heaven, but in hell, we play ’em loud

“Going to Hell” by Adeem the Artist
Adeem the Artist Globe Hall Kurt Wolff 2023
Adeem the Artist at Globe Hall in Denver, Colo. Photo by Kurt Wolff

White Trash Revelry is by no means Adeem’s debut. Their 2021 album Cast Iron Pansexual gained them a good deal of attention, and there were a half dozen independent releases before that as well.

With White Trash Revelry, though, Adeem’s voice is stronger than ever – and thanks to wider distribution, more people are listening.

adeem the artist white trash revelry album cover art

“One thing that I really was intentional about was trying not to exclude all the characters that matter,” Adeem told NPR soon after White Trash Revelry was released. “We’re not trying to say, ‘Country music is now, like, gay.’ We’re not saying our stories are more important than yours or more profound than yours. Just that we’re here, and they’re happening right beside each other. These are complementary.”

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