Adam Cohen (born September 18, 1972) is a Canadian musician, singer-songwriter, and frontman of the band Low Millions. As a recording artist, he has released three major label albums, two in English and one in French. Currently residing in Los Angeles, the musician, who is Leonard Cohen's son, also is the ambassador of the Cohen family to art exhibits of Leonard Cohen Art, attending and doing press and media for openings around the world for his father's paintings and drawings.
Cohen was born September 18, 1972 in Montreal, but spent many years of his childhood living with his American expat mother, Suzanne Elrod, in Paris and in the south of France, after his parents separated. He spent parts of his childhood on the Greek island Hydra, in Greenwich Village, and in Los Angeles. He taught himself to play guitar, drums and piano by age 12. He worked as a roadie in 1990, and studied international relations at Syracuse University. He moved to Los Angeles in 1996 to focus on his music career, after having lived and played in bands in New York City. The "song demo" that led to his signing his first record deal created a bidding war between Maverick, Capitol Records and Sony, Adam (then 26 years old) eventually signing with the same label as his father, Columbia Records.
He was signed by Columbia Records in 1997. He achieved some success as a songwriter for other artists. He co-wrote "Lullaby in Blue", a song about a woman who gave up a child for adoption. Bette Midler recorded it for her album Bathhouse Betty and described it as her favorite on the album: "I've never heard a pop song about a person who gives their child up and is missing the child... The first time I heard that song, I burst into tears."
His 1998 debut album was well regarded critically--Stephen Holden of The New York Times called it "grimly perceptive" and "a promising beginning". The album went on to produce a radio hit "Cry Ophelia" 1 which was well received and charted (Canadian radio charts in particular) but the project as a whole was not a big commercial success.
He decided to focus on French-language material and was signed to Capitol Records Canada, which released Mélancolista. Featured on this French language record is a popular duet with famous French actress Virginie Ledoyen (the song is entitled "Happiness" 2), evoking the well known duet between Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot.
Representatives from Capitol inquired about English-language material, and soon after being signed to a deal for his French album, Adam traveled to New York to meet with executives from Manhattan Records. He was signed to a deal after 15 minutes of a solo acoustic performance; the deal led to the Low Millions project.
Low Millions went on to have two charting hit songs at AAA radio in North America, with the songs "Eleanor" 3 and "Statue" 4.
Regarding the influence from his poet-balladeer father, Cohen has said, "He's tremendously helpful. Forget that I am his son. I was tutored in lyric-writing by Leonard Cohen and I had his sensibilities to draw upon. And I'm not just talking genetically. I could literally talk to the cat and he could lean over my notebook and point to a couple of phrases and say, 'These are strong, these are weak.' How can I consider myself anything but incredibly fortunate." In addition to his father, he has said that his musical influences include Randy Newman, Serge Gainsbourg, Prince, U2. He characterized his French-language work as musically distinct from his English recordings, the former being more "sumptuous and cinematic", and sounding like "Sade--if she were a Frenchman". In 2009, Adam recorded a cover of his father's song "Take This Waltz", which appeared on the benefit album War Child Presents Heroes.
In 2007, Cohen effectively quit the music business after deep disillusionment set in. Despite his having a few modest hits at radio and opportunities to tour the world, fame and fortune failed to materialize with the release of Cohen's three major-label albums,1998's self-titled debut, 2004's French-language Mélancolista, and 2004's Ex-Girlfriends, which Cohen made with his band, Low Millions. "I was chasing a sound that was not entirely my own," Cohen says of his pop-rock efforts. "My goal wasn't to be good, my goal was to be successful."
Chasing radio airplay meant that a series of personal songs that Cohen had written over the years had never made their way on to any of his albums. "The thing I regret now is not having had the guts and maturity to show a side of myself that's always been there because I thought it needed to be tempered and disguised," he says. "It's taken a long time for me to find my voice, to drop a certain notion of who I think I should be. Like A Man is a sort of a coming of age album. It's embarrassing to say that at 39 I'm coming of age but here I am."
Adam Cohen's new album, Like A Man, which makes its US release on April 3, 2012 Decca Label Group is an acoustic-driven collection of ten intimate, revealing songs, powered by Cohen's rich baritone voice, keenly observed lyrics, and elegant melodies. With disarming candor, songs like "Out of Bed," "Like A Man," "What Other Guy," and "Sweet Dominique" ache with unvarnished romantic truths, free from any artifice. As one critic commented: Cohen "has hit upon a formula that neither outright imitates nor self-consciously veers away from the work of his father. Instead, ""Like A Man at once celebrates and embellishes upon the lineage of its creator, with polished yet affecting results."
The album of original songs, some of which were written two decades earlier, pays homage to his father Leonard Cohen. About the album, Adam says: "Like A Man is steeped in my recognizing that I am in the family business. Despite my efforts to carve out a different identity, really I belong to a long line of people who have embraced their father's business."
Having been released in Canada and Europe in November of 2011, Like A Man has garnered critical acclaim from publications like MOJO, The Telegraph, Mail On Sunday, and an array of Canadian press.