Violinist and Midland native John “Adidam” Littlejohn said he has just released the first hip-hop album of its kind.
The album, titled “Caterpillar Chronicles,” is made up of sounds created from the violin and Littlejohn’s vocals — not drum machines, midi, samples or synths. He also wrote, composed and arranged the album.
Currently residing in Vancouver, Canada, Littlejohn is a music producer, vocalist, violinist, songwriter, emcee and educator and he accredits much of his “artistic foundation” to being raised in Midland.
“It was Midland that I gained an artistic foundation,” he said in an email. “The generosity, support and music education that I received made it possible for me to become a professional — from my days in the Northeast Intermediate Orchestra to being the youngest member of the Midland Symphony.”
And while many community members inspired his passion for music, two in particular came to mind who made a significant impact.
“Ann Schoelles is who I have coined as my ‘music mom,’” Littlejohn said. “She was just such an amazing teacher and I really learned so much from her. I also learned a lot about playing by ear from Leon Beaudin, the music minister at Christian Celebration Center, where I was a member of the band during high school.”
After graduating from Midland High School, Littlejohn received music degrees from both University of Michigan and the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins.
“I remember wanting to be a teacher or a lawyer in middle school,” he explained. “Deep down inside, I knew that music was something that I couldn’t live without. When reality hit that I wouldn’t be able to play violin daily if I went into a different major, I switched.”
Littlejohn now performs around the world as a soloist. He is also a member of Infinitus, a beat boxing string trio, and is founder and executive director of Thrive City String Academy, an outreach music camp.
His latest album is the first of its kind. Following his last album, “Violinistik,” which was released a decade ago, Littlejohn decided to break the norm with hip-hop music and open new possibilities using only his violin and vocals.
“My music has always been me,” he explained. “But I have become more comfortable being vulnerable. I’ve also gone acoustic and on my new album, all of the sounds, including the beat, are made with my vocals and violin.”
He added, “I am inspired by life: God, my family, pain, struggle, joy, nature, curiosity and so much more.”
To learn more about Littlejohn and his music, visit www.AdidamMusic.com