We caught up with Daddy Abe (aka A.B.D) before his show supporting Nu-Mark and Slimkid3 this Thursday (5th February) @ The Hi Fi Leeds

photo 8 brght leaves hdr copy

1. You’ve been away a little while since Alphabetix. Why the break?

In a nutshell, I was busy working and having kids. I’ll always be a musician – that’ll always be a part of me. Whether I’m singing to my kids or drumming round a fire or cyphering outside a club. But family’s really important to me. And in terms of performing for people and creating products and going out to nights; I just found there wasn’t enough time in the day while I was getting set up as a dad at first. Needed to get stable first and handle my business.

2. How does this new material differ from Alphabetix?

There’s definitely more of a reggae/dub/dancehall influence. Also the song structures vary a lot more. In Alphabetix we tended to share the mic time evenly, which meant verses would usually be the same length. On this album I might do two short verses with no chorus, or a 6 or 7 minute track, or an 8 bar verse and a 16 and a 32 all on one track. It hasn’t all got that “verse-chorus-verse-chorus” structure, there’s other musical sections.

Also the whole process was different. Alphabetix was a team effort and we made group decisions on everything. That’s the way I’ve always worked before now – as a band or a crew or a collective. What I love about that is that the music you come up with would never have existed if any individual had done it alone. Because you’re constantly finding a balance between different creative ideas pulling it in different directions. The downside is that decision-making is slow, and finding that compromise can be time-consuming.

Whereas on this project I was in the driving seat. It was still a team effort in that I couldn’t have done it without the 6 producers and 8 artists who contributed. But basically I called the shots. This was completely new for me, as I could just realize the vision I had in my head personally; which was quite satisfying. Sonar Cousin is great to work with from that point of view. He always has creative ideas for how to make a song work, and we’d try them. Some were kept and some weren’t. But he’s really good at listening to what you want and then making it happen. The album basically sounds exactly how I envisaged it in my head.

abe town hall fresco editsesh2

3. Who or what inspired you to create a new album?

This particular project was a mad thing! Basically I’d been working on a solo album between 2009 and 2011. And when it was nearly done I decided to scrap it and start again. The reason was I’d started having these powerful spiritual experiences. I mean like the trances and full-body shakes and everything! Visions and jibber-jabbering. And with it came some profound revelation on a NON-religious interpretation of Biblical truth. Stuff about God and how He relates to us.

I started re-writing a song I was writing, that some of this revelation applied to. As I did it I just kept getting downloads from above, and a sense that there was something new to be explored here. It just made sense. While I was re-writing this, a friend rang me up saying she’d just woken from a dream about me. In the dream God told her He’d put an anointing on me to share the good news about Him in my music. I was like “OK, that’s interesting!

Basically one thing led to another and as this new material kept appearing in my rhyme book, it became apparent that it didn’t fit with the album I’d been making. So I just started a new one. So I’ve got the best part of an album’s worth of unfinished tracks that still haven’t seen the light of day!

4. Do you think you’ll ever release those tracks?

I don’t know yet. I certainly don’t want to be pigeon-holed as an artist. I’ve already started my next project, which is completely different. But I’ve no plans to release old songs yet, just write new ones.

5. What is the message you would like to get across with your new music?

Ultimately it’s a message of universal love. God loves each and every one of us unconditionally. And I guess the existence of God in general. I find it alarming how many people don’t believe in a God at all. I can see why you wouldn’t want to be religious – I don’t either! Religion is a big problem. But I’ve just had too many tangible experiences of Him to entertain the thought that He doesn’t exist. The joy and peace that come with knowing Him are life-changing. I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through life without it.

Also, the concept that humanity’s true identity is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ. Identity crisis is THE problem on planet Earth in my opinion. The people of all religions wouldn’t do the terrible things they do if they were fully in tune with their true identity.

6. What can we expect from your show Thursday supporting Slimkidd and Numark?

It’s a half-hour set. We’re doing 10 or 11 tracks from the album. Versatile will be spinning for me, keeping things moving. Also Saint from Birmingham will be hyping the set, and we’ll be doing our posse cut off the record, plus one of his tracks. We also have a great singer on board called Abigail Olaleye. There’s gonna be some classic boom-bap stuff plus some dubby stuff. So it should be a really great show. Fresh off the back of the Skinnyman show with Spee69. Pertrelli and Versatile last night, so vibes a run! Obviously we’ll have CDs available for anyone feeling the sound.

Get tickets for the show. Doors 8pm