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Archive: Abdu Ali
“January 2012 I woke up and had an epiphany.” Baltimore-based vocalist Abdu Ali describes the moment his interest in writing poetry transitioned into one for making songs. The University of Baltimore English major originally garnered popularity for his culture blog Eat on This, started in February 2010. Now a year and a half into music making (his first EP Invictos was released last December), Ali is preparing to release his new EP, Push + Slay, with performances in both his home city and New York serving as momentum.
At his performance last week at Culturefix bar and gallery in the Lower East Side, he entered the space in a sun hat, floral print sun dress, pastel leggings and pair of basketball sneakers. “When I was younger I was so deep in the church, and a lot of my musical performances with the shouting come from being obsessed with the choir and the preacher,” he tells me. His music is a hybrid art—an intermingling of feminine and masculine, reality and fantasy, religion and politics. “So at this fuckin’ party I see the world staring at me,” he opens his newest track “TOLD ‘EM [PIGGLY WIGZ]” (stream + download below). His hat falling off halfway through his set in a frenzy of jumping and sweat, the audience could hardly look away.
When you write lyrics, do you approach them as a poem or a song?
That’s how I first started. I would write poems and then think, this could be a song, too. As I got more and more into music I had
to adapt to structure. It’s funny because at the beginning of last year I started thinking about verses, bars and going by the typical structure. But lately I’ve been getting back to how I used to be. Fuck that structure, I’m just gonna do me and be organic and write how I feel. If I don’t want to repeat a chorus again, I don’t. If I don’t want to write sixteen bars, I don’t.
Do you always have producers make beats for you, or do you ever make any of your own beats?
I’m debating about getting into more beat making, but I actually like being the writer working with a producer. It makes it more special—you just vibe out and you create things. I feel like I know my place and I know what I’m good at, so that’s how I approach it.
When I interviewed Abdu Ali Eaton aka Abdu Ali about his “Eat On This” blog earlier this year, he had already released his first song “Banjee Musick” and told me that he was working hard on his career as an artist and performer. Since then, a lot has happened: Abdu has released his first (free) EP “Invictos” with steamy tracks by Schwarz, DJ Lemz, and JLamar, successfully merging influences from Ballroom culture, Witch Hop and Baltimore Club. He has also played a couple of debut gigs in his hometown Baltimore and New York in the last few weeks and has just recently released a new video for the EP track “360″, which pays tribute to his Baltimore community and is a great visualization of his musical approach. New Yorkers will have the chance to see him live in a few days alongside House of Ladosha and Cakes da Killa at the GAZE 4 DAZE New Year’s Eve party at Public Assembly (check out the event on Facebook).
For Catch Fire Abdu has prepared a commented picture series of his five favorite places in Baltimore and gives us a little insight on different aspects of his everyday live. It is the second contribution to our new “Favorite Places” section, which was started by Berlin based artist Rodeo a few weeks ago. Picture on top by Holly Miller.
+++ THEESatisfaction, whose “awE naturalE” album is still high on the list of my favorite 2012 records, have released a new free EP on their bandcamp site. ”THEESatisfaction Loves Anita Baker” is only around 7 minutes long, but worth every second, and you can stream and download it right here. If you don’t know the duo yet check out the beautiful video to their single “QueenS”.
+++ Berlin based mysterious singer/songwriter o F F Love has just released a new mixtape entitled “Love Me You Do, Love Me If You..” and will support of Tom Krell aka How To Dress Well on his US tour in the next three weeks. Check out the artist’s website for tour dates and his Soundcloud page for his “My Love For You… Probably Love” record from earlier this year (free download).
+++ Baltimore based blogger and artist Abdu Ali Eaton, who I recently interviewed for our Good Blogs section, has just released a new song: “360″ is a taste of what’s to come music-wise from the maker of the Eat On This blog and was produced by Schwarz, another Baltimore based artist. Free download.
+++ Berlin based duo Kool Thing have a new video to their song “PLAN.LIFE.GO” taken from their recent 12″ vinyl single of the same name. The clip was shot in an abandoned sanatorium in Beelitz, just outside Berlin, and like the song needs a little time to develop, so I recommend to really watch it all the way through. Directed by Robin Plessy.