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ARTIST ON OUR RADAR: ABISHA

Introducing the starlight from a small town in Devon that has become an evolving and galvanizing voice within her community. ABISHA is shaking up traditional conventions of identity through her music. Crafting unique moody rhythms centring the alt-R&B sound, the young artist is transcending to become a pivotal icon in today’s underground scene.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

ABISHA’s destiny to stardom was written in the stars. “It was all in a whirlwind,” she told us. “Like, I got into it completely by chance. After moving to London from Devon. I met a producer in a bar.”

Celebrating the end of exam season with friends, ABISHA was discovered by iconic British producer, Mike Chapman. Their short interactions within the local pub soon transitioned to life-changing moments at the studio.

“He didn’t even hear me sing for like, the first three months. I watched him record with another artist he was working with at the time. It was just insane to me. I’d never even been in a recording studio before.”

Her explorations of different lanes and genres granted her the ability; to shape and shift around different rhythms. Because of this, her catalogue includes Afrobeats inspired ‘Time Alone’ and garage influenced ‘If You Were Mine'. But R&B, honesty and personal experiences seem to be the core of it all for ABISHA.

"It's [R&B] in the melodies. It comes from my vocals, the melodies I write. It's the foundation of my music" she reveals. “Every song I write is a personal experience. It’s 100% raw. Honest. My lyrics capture exactly how I feel at the time.”

MIXED IDENTITY

Representation within the UK’s music scene is more fruitful than ever. When asked who inspires her today, ABISHA came with a lengthy list of talent.
“I’m inspired by many UK Black artists. Like Mahalia, Jorja Smith, Ella Mai. All these girls come from the UK. All of them are Black, Mixed-Raced girls. I love the way they write, the way they perform. I feel like they’re all their authentic selves.”

As a small-town native ABISHA understands what this sort of representation means for young Black people today.

“[Growing up] There weren’t many Black people on TV and in the media. I was the Mixed-Raced kid who was a bit taller for my age. I had this huge, curly hair…I looked different to what I saw.”

“Maybe if I had grown up in a big city that was culturally diverse, my confidence or self-identity would have been different.”

These experiences helped ABISHA gain access to a portal of vulnerability and raw emotions. These elements are the very thing she uses to season her songwriting. “The vulnerability is mainly in the lyrics. When I write something, it’s exactly what I’m going through.”

“I want my music to be 100% truthful.”

AN ACTIVE VOICE IN THE QUEER COMMUNITY

Openly celebrating being a bi-racial queer artist flying the flag for inclusivity and the LGBTQIA+ community, when we asked her to share words of wisdom to those who share similar life paths as her own, this is what she had to say:

“Be 100% yourself. I was told at the very beginning of my journey to not use female pronouns in my music. I was told I was going to alienate certain people from listening to my music if they knew I was writing about a girl.”

“For me, that was a massive thing I had to overcome because why wouldn’t I use female pronouns [in my lyrics]. Why would I not have girls in my music videos? My music has to represent ALL of me. So yeah, be your authentic self. Flaunt it.”

“We’ve been brainwashed to think that being straight is the “right” way. But more and more artists are not shying away from themselves. That’s going to open so many doors to safe spaces for younger people.”

Within mainstream music, conversations around sexuality are much more accepting than they may have been three decades before. With celebrities such as Lady Gaga, and shows like Rupaul’s Drag Race being foundational elements to pop culture, conversations around the LGBTQIA+ community are inspiring many artists and platforms to take up overdue space. But there’s still so much more to be done!

Our conversation with ABISHA is just a glimpse of her extraordinary journey so far and the beginning of a career we are excited to watch unfold. She left us with these gems:

“Whatever you choose to do in this life, keep doing it. Don't compare yourself to other people. Forget about what you see on social media and stay focused on reality. Stay focused on yourself. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Be you.”

CREDITS:​

Interview by - Itunu Para-Mallam
Written by - Esi Mongo
Photography by - Ed Cooke

ARTIST ON OUR RADAR: ABISHA

Introducing the starlight from a small town in Devon that has become an evolving and galvanizing voice within her community. ABISHA is shaking up traditional conventions of identity through her music. Crafting unique moody rhythms centring the alt-R&B sound, the young artist is transcending to become a pivotal icon in today’s underground scene.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

ABISHA’s destiny to stardom was written in the stars. “It was all in a whirlwind,” she told us. “Like, I got into it completely by chance. After moving to London from Devon. I met a producer in a bar.”

Celebrating the end of exam season with friends, ABISHA was discovered by iconic British producer, Mike Chapman. Their short interactions within the local pub soon transitioned to life-changing moments at the studio.

“He didn’t even hear me sing for like, the first three months. I watched him record with another artist he was working with at the time. It was just insane to me. I’d never even been in a recording studio before.”

Her explorations of different lanes and genres granted her the ability; to shape and shift around different rhythms. Because of this, her catalogue includes Afrobeats inspired ‘Time Alone’ and garage influenced ‘If You Were Mine'. But R&B, honesty and personal experiences seem to be the core of it all for ABISHA.

"It's [R&B] in the melodies. It comes from my vocals, the melodies I write. It's the foundation of my music" she reveals. “Every song I write is a personal experience. It’s 100% raw. Honest. My lyrics capture exactly how I feel at the time.”

MIXED IDENTITY

Representation within the UK’s music scene is more fruitful than ever. When asked who inspires her today, ABISHA came with a lengthy list of talent.
“I’m inspired by many UK Black artists. Like Mahalia, Jorja Smith, Ella Mai. All these girls come from the UK. All of them are Black, Mixed-Raced girls. I love the way they write, the way they perform. I feel like they’re all their authentic selves.”

As a small-town native ABISHA understands what this sort of representation means for young Black people today.

“[Growing up] There weren’t many Black people on TV and in the media. I was the Mixed-Raced kid who was a bit taller for my age. I had this huge, curly hair…I looked different to what I saw.”

“Maybe if I had grown up in a big city that was culturally diverse, my confidence or self-identity would have been different.”

These experiences helped ABISHA gain access to a portal of vulnerability and raw emotions. These elements are the very thing she uses to season her songwriting. “The vulnerability is mainly in the lyrics. When I write something, it’s exactly what I’m going through.”

“I want my music to be 100% truthful.”

AN ACTIVE VOICE IN THE QUEER COMMUNITY

Openly celebrating being a bi-racial queer artist flying the flag for inclusivity and the LGBTQIA+ community, when we asked her to share words of wisdom to those who share similar life paths as her own, this is what she had to say:

“Be 100% yourself. I was told at the very beginning of my journey to not use female pronouns in my music. I was told I was going to alienate certain people from listening to my music if they knew I was writing about a girl.”

“For me, that was a massive thing I had to overcome because why wouldn’t I use female pronouns [in my lyrics]. Why would I not have girls in my music videos? My music has to represent ALL of me. So yeah, be your authentic self. Flaunt it.”

“We’ve been brainwashed to think that being straight is the “right” way. But more and more artists are not shying away from themselves. That’s going to open so many doors to safe spaces for younger people.”

Within mainstream music, conversations around sexuality are much more accepting than they may have been three decades before. With celebrities such as Lady Gaga, and shows like Rupaul’s Drag Race being foundational elements to pop culture, conversations around the LGBTQIA+ community are inspiring many artists and platforms to take up overdue space. But there’s still so much more to be done!

Our conversation with ABISHA is just a glimpse of her extraordinary journey so far and the beginning of a career we are excited to watch unfold. She left us with these gems:

“Whatever you choose to do in this life, keep doing it. Don't compare yourself to other people. Forget about what you see on social media and stay focused on reality. Stay focused on yourself. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Be you.”

CREDITS:​

Interview by - Itunu Para-Mallam
Written by - Esi Mongo
Photography by - Ed Cooke