With a baby sound asleep in the next room and his two eldest kids away, Adrian Marcel finally has "me time".
Though it's mostly being spent discussing everything under the sun from his debut album to his marriage, he is unexpectedly an open book and extremely thankful—expressing his gratitude for the opportunity on more than one occasion throughout our mid-morning chat.
Courtesy of @myles_standish
But perhaps what's most impressive about this Oakland-native is his dedication not only to his career but to his family as well. Boasting a successful roster of collabs that include names like The Dream, Kelly Rowland, and Raphael Saadiq, he admits that while initially his focus was just on singing and being an artist, thanks to his family, he's now come to realize that it goes much deeper than that; that the true measure of success isn't limited to just awards and accolades and that the example he sets in his career will ultimately be reflected in the lives of not only his wife but his children as well.
"With me having two daughters, I'm at a prime time where they're really soaking up everything," he tells xoNecole. "So I have to make sure that I'm selling something that I'm really with. I'm raising girls that I want to be able to pick true kings and the only way they can learn how to do that is for them to learn it from me. I want to influence them in the right way. There's a certain responsibility that we all hold and I at least want to be that representation. So I'm doing what I feel is right and I'm going to continue to rock like that."
In this exclusive chat, we talk to Adrian about his acting debut, how he balances being a father with his career, and why love doesn't have to be perfect.
Courtesy of Adrian Marcel
xoNecole: You starred in the Bobby Debarge story recently, it was your acting debut. What was that experience like?
Adrian Marcel: I got the bug now, once I got the taste for it I was like, 'This is a whole new kind of creativity.' I've been blessed for sure though, I can't complain. I think in everyone's career you have your ups and downs, but it's all about what you do with the downs. It was super dope, it was my first role so I don't really have any expectations because I didn't know what to expect. Everyone made this transition very easy, I may have been spoiled with the way everything was put together. Everybody was so welcoming, and in this industry, a lot of people can come across standoffish because they don't know where you're at or how you're taking it so walking into the first table read really set the tone honestly. Everybody meshed almost immediately.
In addition to that, you also released your album '98TH' recently. What vibe were you going for musically?
You know, at the end of last year I started my own label. I was able to step away and create my own legacy in the way I see it, and I wanted my first offering to be something for the fans who have been rocking with from the beginning. The fans who were there since I dropped my first mixtape, 7 Days A Week. I really took some time to live life, gain some new experiences, and to go back to who exactly I wanted to give to the people. 98TH was me getting back to that high school kid who was very confident and trusting in what I sell, what I wanted to do, and how I wanted to do it; 98th was the block I moved to when I first started high school, so I'm glad my team and I really stuck to what was natural and organic.
I noticed that you really emphasize the importance of love and the right relationship a lot in your music. You’re married as well. Do you find it harder to create musically as a married man and father now versus when you were single?
Not really. I never dove too far in to [a point] where I would get lost in just one thing. I've always been sort of a multi-tasker, if you will. And at the same time, my family has been where I get my inspiration from, my content, my experiences from. They've always been a part of my creative process. It's never been a problem for me to blend the two and I know that's been something that's sort of taboo in the industry. And I get it, but I think it's all about who you are, what you're looking for and what your goal is. For me, the goal isn't for me to make millions and millions of dollars and be the number one artist in the world. That's great if it does happen, it's always on the list, but what do you have when you get that?
Do you have family, love, and real people around you? I've always tried to make sure that one doesn't take over the other. Its a task, but I'm up for the challenge. As you grow, you want different things and different things entice you. But for me, I look at the legacy that I'm leaving, it goes past me. When I'm done and there are no more Grammys: who's there and how am I still moving forward? How do I still hold on to that happiness and I think it was important for me to know where that happiness was coming from, where the love was coming from, and where the passion came from; that love comes from the family and outside sources.
Courtesy of Dionne Green
"How do I still hold on to that happiness and I think it was important for me to know where that happiness was coming from, where the love was coming from, and where the passion came from; that love comes from the family and outside sources."
What initially attracted you to your wife, Danni?
What's funny is that we weren't really into each other when we first met. I was performing somewhere and she came with a mutual friend of ours and me being in that mode, I was flirting with everybody. So of course, I started flirting with her, but she was NOT giving me the time of day. But as time went on, we just started kicking it and hanging out and I think it was just how different she was. She was never really into the material things; whenever we would hang out we wouldn't be doing much of anything. She was just very interesting and it was always interesting to just watch her be who she was. It was one of those opposites attract-type things. She always remained true to herself and also, every time I was with her, something positive in my career would happen. She's my personal good luck charm. So it was really organic and it happened when it was supposed to, so that kind of sealed it for me.
I also read that your parents have been together for over 30 years. Has their relationship affected your perception of love?
I've always looked at my parents and admired the respect level that my mother had for my father and vice versa. For so long though, I saw the power in my father, you know, he's a strong Black man; everything I want to be, he is. His energy is very loud and strong. He's strong-willed, strong-minded, but I see now that the power really lies within my mother. She's really the backbone to it all. I watched my father start a business and the whole time I thought it was him, but it was really my mother who was pushing him into it. He allowed himself to really let whatever guard and walls down to let her be a woman and a queen, so I always took marriage seriously. I don't play when it comes to my woman or the jobs that I'm supposed to do: protect, provide, and love.
Courtesy of @myles_standish
"I watched my father start a business and the whole time I thought it was him, but it was really my mother who was pushing him into it. He allowed himself to really let whatever guard and walls down to let her be a woman and a queen, so I always took marriage seriously. I don't play when it comes to my woman or the jobs that I'm supposed to do: protect, provide, and love."
You’re an R&B guy, so I have to know. Do you have a go-to Mood Music playlist?
Oh for sure, I'm all about setting the mood. I've always been sort of a hopeless romantic, lighting the candles even back in the day; my mom knew she was going to have a problem. That's my thing, my favorite time is sexy time (laughs). My playlist has always been in a certain flow so like song 1-4 is where we set the tone, you spit that game, get her in the mood. After that, the next four to five records are all about the foreplay and getting into it. We're still taking our time but we might get a little aggressive. The music might get a little aggressive and then you take it down. It's all types of different artists but I'm definitely on my list. I have no problem hearing my voice, Trey Songz, Maxwell, Usher, and some old school, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, 112, Dru Hill. It's all about the vibes that's coming out of the speakers. But we're not mixing rap in there, it's definitely going to be some R&B vibes going on.
What's something you’ve learned now about love or marriage that you didn't know before?
That it's not supposed to be perfect. I was always under this impression that you get married when everything is perfect and you have everything figured out already but I've learned things will never be perfect because you never have everything all figured out. We're two different people, I don't think like my wife and she doesn't think like me. She's into certain things that I'm not into and likewise for me. And as we change, as we get older, so does the marriage—the relationship. And it's either going to change for the better if you're growing together or it's going to change for the worst if you're not, but it's never going to be what you want it to be. It's always going to be what it's supposed to be for you. That just makes more room for growth; you always have to know what you're fighting for. It won't be perfect and that's okay because now you know you're still working for something.
"I was always under this impression that you get married when everything is perfect and you have everything figured out already but I've learned things will never be perfect because you never have everything all figured out. We're two different people, I don't think like my wife and she doesn't think like me."
Last thing, what's the biggest difference between the Adrian at the beginning of your career and relationship and the Adrian now?
The Adrian at the beginning was more susceptible and open for outsiders to come in and direct. But now, I'm in this zone where I understand me, I understand everything around me. I understand why things have happened and do happen the way they do. I am very in tune with my spirituality and everything that has to do with me; there are no more questions now. Before, when I was younger, there was a lot of 'Should I be doing this, should I be doing that?' But now I'm completely living in the now; I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be, doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. I'm not doing what I'm not supposed to be doing, I'm with who I'm supposed to be with. I'm able to be Adrian Marcel, give my passion the full time and energy [it deserves], but at the same time, make sure that the career doesn't affect my wife and my kids and how they think and feel. And that's the only way for me to succeed the way I know I'm meant to.
98TH is available to stream everywhere now and to keep up with Adrian, be sure to follow him on Instagram @AdrianMarcel.
Featured image by @myles_standish.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy