Life Advice from Bryan Adams: 'You Have to Have Conviction That You're Going to Get Where You Want to Go'

There’s a Bryan Adams song in the soundtrack of every Filipino’s life. Whether it’s “Summer of ’69,” or “Please Forgive Me,” or “Heaven,” or “Straight from the Heart,” or “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman,” the man is undoubtedly a prolific songwriter, and his oeuvre is well-known to many of us. 

The affection is reciprocated. Adams, who is returning to Manila this month for a one-off show at the Araneta Coliseum, says he makes sure to stop by the Philippines whenever he comes around this part of the world.


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“I meet Filipino people all over the world and they always remind me that they love the songs,” he says to a group of Filipino music journalists during a virtual call one Saturday morning. “So, when the opportunity came to come and play in Asia again, I said to my agents, ‘Make sure the Philippines is on there.’”

He also expressed his appreciation to Filipinos for loving his songs the way we do. 

“I love it,” he said. “And it’s very, very sweet. Because, in fact, I will have to say it’s unlike any other country in the world how much they love a love song there. So, I’m excited to go and sing them all for you.”

When it was my turn to ask a question, I brought up how much he has accomplished throughout his 40-year career. I asked about the lessons a life in music has taught him and what others pursuing a similar track should know about the business. 


“I would say that, if you were starting out as a musician nowadays, it’s quite different from how it was when we started,” he said. “Back then there were lots of places to play, and there were lots of clubs, and live music was quite a big thing. It’s changed quite a bit now. I would just say, if you have a way of making music, and it’s really what you want to do in your heart, then stay the course. 

“Because it’s not easy to do it,” he added. “It’s not easy to do anything on a huge level. You have to have a lot of trust in yourself. I think just having some sort of conviction that you’re going to get there, despite any rejections. 

He also stressed the importance of surrounding yourself with people who are supportive of your goals and would help you achieve them. 

“Find some other people you work with,” he said. “One of the things you find as a musician is that you can’t do it on your own. You have to have a team. You have to have either other musicians to work with or a producer, and you have to have a manager, and you have to have all these people to help you get to where you want to go. It’s not just a single, one-man show. You have to be willing and able to work with other people. 

“And you have to sort of be the team captain of a football team,” he added. “You have to choose the right people to work with, that they’re going to get you to the end goal.”

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The 63-year-old singer-songwriter from Canada is still very much active in the studio as much as he is playing live shows around the world. He released four albums in 2021, which included his 15th studio album So Happy It Hurts.

“That was exciting because we got nominated for a Grammy for the title song,” he said. “And we got busy in the studio. I’ve just been really busy making new music and creating a new live show. And with all of the time I had on my hands for two years where I couldn’t work, I just wrote a lot of songs.” 

Fans will hear some of those songs when Adams plays in Manila on March 15, 2023 at the Araneta Coliseum. Tickets are still available in all Ticketnet outlets.



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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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