About its release she says “I'm very excited, nervous, eager, anxious but chuffed to announce my new album! It's taken a while and it knocked me for six when writing it. It's different from ‘19’, it's about the same things but in a different light. I deal with things differently now. I'm more patient, more honest, more forgiving and more aware of my own flaws, habits and principles. Something that comes with age I think. So fittingly this record is called ‘21’. The whole reason I called my first album ‘19’ was about cataloging what happened to me then and who I was then, like a photo album you see the progression and changes in a person throughout the years”.
Most of the album was made in Malibu with the legendary Rick Rubin (Johnny Cash, Jay Z, Red Hot Chilli Peppers) and back in Kensal Rise in London with Paul Epworth (Plan B, Bloc Party, Florence).
Adele cites Wanda Jackson, Yvonne Fair, Andrew Bird, Mary J Blige, Mos Def, Elbow, Tom Waits and Kanye West amongst others as key influences on ‘21’.