Friday, 22 February 2013

Abbi Talks Music And Reggae Inspiration

What has influenced this new album? 

Time and people, I guess. Time has a way of making space for newness in everyone. As I have been going about my life, I caught myself enjoying reggae, as it is practically everywhere. It is everyday music for the everyday life and its many stories. In as much as for a long time I have silently enjoyed artists like Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, Beres Hammond, Alpha Blondie, UB 40…and many, many others. I just had never then imagined myself as a reggae artist. And now, here I am. I am enjoying my reggae season.

What number album is it third, fourth?

This shall be my third album, but I shall follow this one with another sooner than later, as I have a lot of music already done and in need of seeing the light of day.

You have been away from a while from the music industry for a while. What were you up to then? 

I have been concentrating on production of other artists and myself. I was running the Indigo productions studio. As for myself, I was happy to explore what I can and can’t do. Maybe that’s why reggae at the moment. My experimentation went far and wide. It’s amazing how endless a universe music is. I did this for about three years.

Why a reggae album?

My reggae album is entitled, Your Own Way Like. So you ask why the album has reggae influences. I say, why not? because, I guess I am not the only one who bumps into reggae day in day out. In the supermarket, on the radio, even on the streets, as the boda boda riders blast it around. It also dawns on me that reggae has been here a very long time as a familiar and loved sound by many people. In many ways, it’s not just about me playing what I want the people to hear.
It’s also about noticing what the people are listening to. I appreciate the riddim revolution going around at the moment. I love it, but, I have chosen to go more roots reggae as my first reggae release. At the same time, I feel easy telling my stories using the reggae beat.

Did you record the entire album in Kenya? 

The album was initially recorded in Kenya, then finalized in Denmark. It was a collaboration of Kenyan and Danish musicians and producers.

Any collaborations? 

Yes. The album is a 13 track album. The feature collaboration artists are, Kibby Kenneth Mocho (Kenya), Janus Soliand (Denmark), Andrew Ashimba (Tanzania).

What are your aspirations for this new album? 

My desire is that I shall connect with people as they go about their lives. A song is an ever present connection when the emotion is shared and identified with. So, I hope for that, and shall be happy that as many shall enjoy it, locally and internationally.

Will you be shooting any music videos?

I definitely shall, as I have already started on a few and look to do many more. Hopefully, even the entire album. Anything else you would love to add? I hope that in as much as very many Kenyans love reggae, that this may go to encourage Kenyans to come out and do their own reggae just like Lucky Dube and Alpha Blondy, as we invest a lot in foreign international artists who are definitely good. I think it’s time for us to contribute our own brand of reggae to global reggae.

The Album was launched on November 23, 2012 at the Alliance Francaise.
You can get in touch with Abbi on @abbiworld on Twitter and his Facebook page on Abbi World. You could also check out his website.