Star Mixologist Chanel Adams On Her All-Time Favourite Songs
Good music is integral to a great night out, but at new bar Candour, the playlist has formed a foundation of the venue's development since the beginning. Hip hop tracks inspire every cocktail on the menu—from a strawberry and rhubarb Scotch whisky sour inspired by the 21 Savage and Metro Boomin song, Runnin', to The Chronic, a liquid-based tribute to Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg—all devised by mixologist Chanel Adams.
Although hip hop forms the backbone of the Candour concept, Adams, originally from the US, has a wildly eclectic taste in music that charts her personal journey from studying law at university to moving to Washington DC and beginning her journey to becoming a world-class bartender under the tutelage of cocktail innovator Miguel Lancha at Barmini by José Andrés.
Adams first moved to Hong Kong to collaborate on the drinks menu at May Chow's Happy Paradise, and has since worked as commercial director for Merchants of Pleasure while beverage consulting for Double Shot by Cupping Room. In January this year, she was introduced to restaurant group Common Abode co-founders Nelson Htoo and Elin Fu, and began working as a beverage consultant on Candour, the sexiest new venue on Peel Street, Hong Kong's emergent nightlife area in Soho.
Here, she selects her five favourite tracks:
'Ultralight Beam' - Kanye West
This is my go-to song when I want to get creative and inspire myself to make my cocktails unique. The first song selection is vital for me to get in the right frame of mind and take me where I need to be in this creative process. On a personal level, it's the combination of gospel singing and Chance the Rapper's voice that I find beautiful and inspiring. Even though I am not religious, it hits home and I am able to channel these emotions into a special drink.
'Go DJ' - Lil Wayne
Go DJ was the first song with a New Orleans sound that I was exposed to when I was younger, and I was hooked. I love the blend of styles (funk, soul, jazz and blues) in Mannie Fresh's beats, and Lil Wayne has been my favourite rapper ever since. Lil Wayne is inspiring to me not only in his own personal story but also in his storytelling. He has made such a mark on music that I can only hope to emulate with my cocktails.
'Doin' It Right' - Daft Punk ft. Panda Bear
This is my nostalgic tune. My mother and I used to listen to Daft Punk together since I was quite young. I used to watch [2003 animated film written by the members of Daft Punk and serving as a visual companion to the band's second album, Discovery] Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem for every all-nighter I pulled while studying in college. When Random Access Memories was released right after I graduated from college, it was amazing to listen to the progression of the band’s sound so many years later. Music and cocktails are so intertwined in many ways in terms of how artists and music progress and grow.
'Vivir Mi Vida' - Marc Anthony
The song that uplifts me. This song is about being happy, living life and dancing. I grew up listening to Marc Anthony but I always associated him with music from my childhood until Vivir Mi Vida was released. It was popular with both Latino and American audiences and played everywhere in Washington DC. It was also the song that the former head bartender of Barmini by José Andrés, Chuck Rivera, used to play before service to pump us up while we sang out-loud happily and danced. This is just a classic that takes me back to many happy points in my life.
'Spit It Out' - Slipknot
I like my music like I like my drinks: diverse and full of surprises to those who don’t know me too well. I grew up going to Ozzfest and Warped Tour [hard rock festivals] every year as a teenager. I fell in love with nu-metal rather quickly because it combined elements of hip hop, funk and industrial music. Slipknot was the one band I never got to see live but felt drawn to because of the array of members and personalities. Their self-titled album had a huge impact on my self-image and esteem, and gave me an outlet to release my feelings of angst and awkwardness.