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Adamski 1.jpg
Adamski in 2014
Background information
Birth nameAdam Paul Tinley
Also known as
  • Adam Sky
  • Sonny Eriksson
Born1968 (age 51–52)
Lymington, Hampshire, England
  • DJ
  • record producer
Years active1979–present
Associated acts
Nana Tinley (born Klimek)
(m. 2017)

Adam Paul Tinley (born 1968),[2] known professionally as Adamski, as well as Sonny Eriksson, is an English DJ, musician, singer and record producer, prominent at the time of acid house for his tracks "N-R-G" and "Killer", a collaboration with Seal.[3]

Musical career[edit]

Tinley was born in Lymington, Hampshire, England. As a youngster, influenced by punk rock and John Peel, he formed his first band The Stupid Babies when he was 11 and living in New Forest in England. He persuaded his 5-year-old brother Dominic to sing while he strummed a small guitar, and sent a demo tape to the indie label Fast Product Records, run by The Human League's manager Bob Last. "Everyone thought that was a really precocious and strange thing for an 11 year-old to do," Adamski recalls "but I just thought that's what everybody did". The kiddie-punk tracks were released on a sampler. When alternative BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel started playing their song "Babysitters" the band caused quite a stir, receiving positive write-ups in music magazines like Smash Hits and Melody Maker.[4][5] He performed with his brother Mark Tinley, and Johnny Slut of the band Specimen, as Diskord Datkord. They released their only single in 1988, an electroid cover of "Identity" by punk band X-Ray Spex. It was single of the week in NME.[citation needed]

In March 1989, Adamski was booked for his first solo gig at Le Petit Prince Restaurant in Kentish Town, run by his manager Phil Smith. Lenny D, promoter of nightclub Heaven, happened to be walking past, and was convinced by Smith to book Adamski for an all-dayer at Heaven. He quickly catapulted into the upper echelons of the nascent rave scene. Within a few weeks, Adamski was playing to 8,000 people at Sunrise Festival at Santa Pod Raceway and, after a bidding war, signed to MCA Records, producing the first rave record on MCA called Liveandirect.

The artist enjoyed success with this first release, which was a collection of tracks recorded live at various raves. It contained a short, live version of his first single, "N-R-G", as well as "I Dream of You", which appeared on a free 4-track 7" vinyl single given away with the music paper Record Mirror in 1989.[6] The cover of the single "N-R-G" featured a mocked up Lucozade bottle with the word "Lucozade" replaced with "N-R-G".

During his set at Sunrise Festival, the then-unknown Seal gave a demo tape to Adamski's flatmate at the time, MC Daddy Chester. Upon hearing Seal's voice, Adam offered some instrumentals to Seal who chose what turned out to be "Killer". The track shot to No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in May 1990, and was a success across Europe. The song featured on the album Doctor Adamski's Musical Pharmacy which also contained the follow-up singles "The Space Jungle" and "Flashback Jack".

Adamski toured many clubs with his portable keyboard set up, playing long sets, with an MC, Daddy Chester, and later with Seal. In front of his keyboard was a UK car number plate with the word ADAMSKI on it. Early versions of future singles "Killer" and "Future Love Paradise" were played on some of the Seal dates. One date of particular note was at Cambridge Corn Exchange, in early 1990, when Seal leapt on to a smaller, lower catwalk stage, the coins in his pockets all spilled out, showering some of the front row with cash causing a fight.[citation needed] Adamski played live at the opening party of Amnesia nightclub in Ibiza in 1989, with Ricardo da Force MCing who later joined The KLF. Adamski continued to play at this club on and off throughout that summer including the closing party in October.

His third album was Naughty. It featured a collaboration with Nina Hagen on "Get Your Body!" and plenty of club tunes, expanding from the artist's acid house roots into the pop and rock genres. The cover art featured Adamski with his head shaven bare, hugging an umbrella.

The next album, Adamski's Thing, was issued in late 1998 on Trevor Horn's ZTT Records label, recorded at Adrian Sherwood’s On-U Sound studios. The style followed the trend started with Naughty, with guitars, strings, raw vocals and introspective lyrics, but maintaining a rhythmic dance sensibility.[citation needed] The album spawned two singles, "Intravenous Venus" and "One of the People". Becoming increasingly enamored with Italy after repeated promotional visits, Adam moved to Bologna in the late 1990s and shifted focus to his DJ career, adopting the name Adam Sky.

As a producer, his songs at that time also included a collaboration with musician Danny Williams. In 2007, he released a remake of The Pop Group's 1979 single "We Are All Prostitutes" with Mark Stewart which appeared on a number of compilations. His single "ApeX" was released on Kitsuné Music in 2006. In 2009, he began to release more material on Shir Khan's record label.[7]

In May 2012, he released "I Like It". In the same year, he teamed up with dub producer Gaudi and released their collaborative track "Pawa 2 Da PPL".

“After 30 years in the nightspots of the world providing sci-fi beats for hedonists, and even longer as a consumer of all the best scenes from glam rock to grime, I am now spurting all my creative juice into what I call Futurewaltz,” he says.“I realized just how sexy and groovy the Waltz rhythm can be. While googling its origins, I became fascinated and inspired by the history of the Waltz and its social and cultural significance.”[citation needed]

Working in the 3/4 time signature has re-energised Adamski. In 2014, he released "It's a Man's Man's Whirled / Happy Ness" using the alias Fleas on Skis on Ashley Beedle's label Back to the World Records. Early 2015 saw the release of a 20-track album titled Revolt, which featured artists such as Lee "Scratch" Perry, David McAlmont, Congo Natty, Asia Argento, Bishi, Betty Adewole, and Rowdy SS.

Tinley's latest alter ego is Sonny Eriksson. His debut album The Sound of Sonny Eriksson was released in 2017. It was followed by the EP The Spirit of Sonny Eriksson, released in October 2018.



  • Liveandirect (1989) – UK No. 47
  • Doctor Adamski's Musical Pharmacy (1990) – UK No. 8[8]
  • Naughty (1992)
  • Adamski's Thing (1998)
  • Killer – The Best of Adamski (1999)
  • Mutant Pop (1999)
  • This is 3-Step EP (2014)
  • Revolt (2015)
  • The Sound of Sonny Eriksson (2017)
  • The Spirit of Sonny Eriksson (EP) (2018)


Year Single Peak positions Album
1990 "N-R-G" 12 Doctor Adamski's Musical Pharmacy
"Killer" (featuring Seal) 1 5 2 1 2 11 15 5 29
"The Space Jungle" 7 13 20 24 25 21
"Flashback Jack" 46
1991 "Never Goin' Down! / Born to Be Alive!" (featuring Jimi Polo / Soho) 51 Naughty
1992 "Get Your Body" (featuring Nina Hagen) 68
"Back to Front" 63
1993 "Sleeping with an Angel" (with Transformer 2) Singles only
"Bastardo" (with Pizarro)
1998 "One of the People" 56 Adamski's Thing
(as "Adamski's Thing")
"Intravenous Venus" 165
1999 "In the City" 24 Mutant Pop
(as "Adamski Products Inc.")
2000 "Take Me Away"
2002 "Already Out There" Singles only
2012 "I Like It"
2012 "Pawa 2 Da PPL" (with Gaudi)
2015 "Dazed 'n' Confused" (featuring Betty Adewole) Revolt
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.



  1. ^ "Title Unknown". Archived from the original on 27 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Adamski". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  3. ^ Simpson, Dave, "How we made Killer, by Seal and Adamski". The Guardian. 11 March 2011
  4. ^ September 1, Scott Adamski; at 01:31, 2015 (22 December 2014). "Adamski : my favourite 10 albums". Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Adamski - N.R.G." Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Exploited singles credited to Adam Sky". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 15. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  9. ^ "Official Charts Company: Adamski". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Adamski – German Chart". Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  11. ^ "Adamski – Italian Chart". Retrieved 5 April 2014.

External links[edit]