( ENSPIRE Music ) British Afro-Pop Artist ABISHA Sends Messages of Self-Love and Self-Acceptance Through Her Music
ENSPIRE Contributor: Kate Newman
Armed with an unwavering self-assurance and a clear understanding of her artistic point-of-view, ABISHA is ready to take the music scene by storm. Growing up in Devon, a small coastal county in southwest England, ABISHA never felt normal. As a black queer person living in a predominantly white neighborhood, she struggled to find people who looked like her, felt like her, or shared similar life experiences. Feeling so disconnected from the world around her harmed her self-esteem and self-confidence. Having never forgotten these feelings, ABISHA aims to use her platform to help young people struggling with the same struggles she’s battled throughout her life. Equipped with wisdom and bravery well beyond her years, she allows her own life experiences to be the inspiration for the music she creates, hoping to empower others with its sincerity.
With her new single ‘Time Alone’ and EP ‘Scorpio’ out now, ABISHA aims to show everyone just how much she’s grown. In every song, her sophisticated yet soulful voice speaks to the sensibilities of a mature artist that understands their own distinctive point-of-view. Through every new release, her own self-assurance in her artistic power only becomes stronger. The maturity and honesty found in her new music could only be achieved by someone who has experienced life’s ups and downs and has come out the other side.
The current state of the world resting heavily on all of our shoulders, your new single ‘Time Alone’ has an added weight and relevance. Was that your intention or inspiration when writing the song or just a coincidence?
My inspiration for writing the song was an overpowering feeling of being overwhelmed and constantly feeling like I was going to tip over the edge if I didn’t run up to my room and lay on my bed to recharge every few hours. I’m the sort of person who lets all of my feelings and responsibilities build up when I feel like I can’t deal with them and then it gets too much and I get overwhelmed. I wrote ‘Time Alone’ just after the first lockdown and I think that that heightened this feeling for me as I was so used to being alone for a while that when I started to socialise again I had to keep taking little breaks to be alone and recharge my energy. The intention for me was to let other people know that it’s okay and normal to feel like this, we all feel overwhelmed sometimes, and it’s good to take time out to recharge!
Growing up, was writing and performing music always something that you loved to do?
Yes! I started dancing at an early age and then began singing and acting too so I was always performing. I also wrote poems from the age of 7 which then progressed into writing songs. I did guitar lessons and started writing songs on my guitar when I was about 14 and it was such a great release for me. Songwriting is one of my favourite parts of being an artist, I love the feeling of pouring a situation and all of the emotions that go with it into a song and then having something positive come out of it, regardless of how bad the situation was.
Working with brands like PUMA and ASOS, you clearly have a love of fashion. How does music inspire or influence the clothes you wear or vice versa?
I’ve always been equally as passionate about fashion as I am about music, it’s another huge part of my life (despite being sat writing this in an old tracksuit because.. lockdown). I don’t think that music necessarily influences or inspires the clothes that I wear because I’ve always had a strong sense of style and how I like to dress, but I do think being an artist comes with the added pressure to look good all of the time and wear clothes that will make you ‘stand out’. My style is pretty androgynous and loungey – I just like to be comforable, I also love streetwear so that’s a big part of my style. I’m so honoured to have worked and continue working with Puma and ASOS!
Who are a few of your greatest sources of inspiration in either music, fashion, or just someone you admire? Perhaps, someone you would like to work with in the future?
My music inspirations change all the time, Rihanna is a constant inspiration to me in terms of both music and fashion because she can literally do anything and everything and it’s automatically effortlessly cool. But I don’t necessarily have fashion inspirations, I know what I like and I like to be out of the box, I don’t like to have the same clothes or style as anyone else.
You talk about empowering people through your own experiences. Still, it is not easy to allow yourself to be so vulnerable. Has the ability to be so open about your struggles and experiences always come naturally to you, or is it something that has come with time?
It’s never easy being vulnerable, but for me it has definitely become easier with time. What makes me so able to open up and be vulnerable about my experiences is other people being able to relate and feel seen. Especially in terms of being part of the LGBTQ+ community, I want to empower people to embrace who they are and be proud of that. I also think that with music, a song is so much more powerful when the artist has been open and vulnerable with the lyrics.
How does your most recent body of work ‘Scorpio,’ reflect your progression as an artist and as an individual?
My EP Scorpio was my debut EP and it allowed me to showcase numerous different styles within it. It represents me coming into my own as an artist and beginning to write songs that really felt like ‘me’ as an artist, as well as writing about things such as my sexuality which are hugely important to me.
At 25 years-old, ABISHA’s mission is more apparent than ever. To not only create music with a unique sound but also a distinct point-of-view. Speaking to those who like her at one point has felt insecure, overwhelmed, or misunderstood. By being so vulnerable through her music, ABISHA hopes to convince others to do the same, and most importantly, to be who they truly are.
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