“A singer with an innate ability for passionate songwriting that one cannot learn” – Billboard

Ask Abiah, (formerly known in the industry as Jeremiah), how he felt going in to record his sophomore studio album and this artist can sum it up in one word. “Cautiously excited,” he says simply. Cautious?

Neo2soul caught up with Abiah to talk to him about the inspiration and stories behind ‘Life As A Ballad

When did you start making music and realize that you wanted to be a singer/musician?

I started writing songs when I was nine years old which was the time I realized I wanted to be a singer.

Was there a person or record that inspired you to pick up the pen and start writing songs and hit the studio?

My first major influence was Anita Baker.  She inspired me tremendously at the beginning of my career.

When it comes to making music what would you credit as your main motivation?

My main motivation is to share my gift and stories.  Everything I sing about, someone else can relate to and has experienced also. I’m hoping that my music can somehow change lives in a positive way.

How would you describe the music that you make? Who does your production?

If I had to call my music anything, it is Art-Song.  It is the conglomeration of my music influences and exposure.  I produce my own records although on Life As A Ballad, I had a co-producer, Keith Witty on half of the record.

Abiah – Doves

You got a song (Doves) out now featuring your cousin Robert Glasper which is the (Prince Cover) of When Doves Cry, Why did you choose that song? What do you feel you have brought to it? What was it like working with your cousin?

I think one of my greatest gifts is the ability to re-imagine music. When Doves Cry, is such a classic but I wanted to retell the story without using Prince’s music and make the story mine.

Robert is such a kind musician and we have worked so much together in the past.  His contribution to my art has helped me develop a picturesque landscape in the music.  You can see the story when you hear the song, as in a movie.

Your forthcoming album is called Life As a Ballad, Why did you name it this? Is it a soundtrack to your life or just a part of your life or neither?

I decided to name my album Life As A Ballad after seeing an episode of Oprah Winfrey.  She had the widow of Steve Erwin on and she said “when he left, the wind stopped moving” and the words struck me very deeply.

I began to write the song Life As A Ballad. Everyone has a story to tell and I wanted to explore what makes our collective ballad.  However, LAAB also means for me an opportunity to start again.

Do you enjoy playing live? Have you done many gigs and what kind of artists have you supported or played alongside?

I was made to perform live.  I’ve spent many years honing my craft in order to share it.  I’ve been singing professionally for 16 yrs.

My first major gig was with George Michael and I’ve gone on to perform with many notable artists in numerous genres.

ABIAH new album LIFE AS A BALLAD

I remember you as Jeremiah, so why did you change your name? What’s the story behind it?

The name change was part of my growth and evolution artistically.  ABIAH is my last name so it is honoring another part of myself.

It’s been nearly 6 yrs since I’ve released material and therefore in essence to many, I never existed.  Here’s my chance to start again.

Getting radio play is real gripe for a lot of independent artists, but have you had any radio play? If so what DJ’s and stations are supporting you?

I have had radio support of my last album and recently lots of blog/internet radio with the new music.

Do you think that radio is still as important as it was in the digital age?
It is always important if you are reaching your target audiences but not nearly as important as the visual these days.

Let’s talk image and branding for a minute. Some artists spend lots of money on artwork and other acts aren’t that interested. How important is image, artwork and branding to you?

Branding is so essential in this business now.  We are not just artists anymore but rather a product to be honest.  We have to be consistent as to not confuse our audience.  There is little time these days for an artist to grow with an audience but it has to be packaged just right from the start.  My team and I put lots of time into making sure everything is consistent in image, artwork, etc.

LOTL Radio Welcomes Abiah

I think that any artist coming into the game these days needs a music video. I mean You Tube is one the most visited website in the world and it’s still a great way of promoting a track. Have you got any videos on there and have any of them actually got played on any TV Stations? 

Yes, I agree with you.  Being seen is most important these days.  I was able to stay visible because VH1 and Centric continue to play my videos from my first album even unto this day. It is invaluable.  I have a few videos on YouTube and preparing to shoot my debut video for my current single September this week.

So what does the future hold for you as an artist?

Artistically I am always growing and looking for new opportunities.  I’ve already written or sketched out my next four albums.

I am also in development of two new television shows for network.  In addition, I continue my pledge in helping to develop other singers in my artist development program.  I feel extremely blessed to be an artist.

Official Music Video ‘September’

Abiah Music/Links

Click Photo To Buy Album

ALBUM CREDITS

SEPTEMBER
DOVES
FOOLISH HEART
THIS TIME
GOODBYE
NEXT TIME AROUND
LIFE AS A BALLAD
SEPTEMBER {REPRISE}
TURN THE LIGHT ON

All Songs Written and Arranged by Jeremiah Abiah*
Produced by Jeremiah Abiah and Keith Witty with Ulysses Owens, Jr.
Musicians: Robert Glasper, Marvin Sewell, Ulysses Owens, Jr., Keith Witty,
David Rosenthal, John Shannon, Chris Eddleton
All Vocals: Jeremiah Abiah
Mixed & Mastered by Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Studios NYC
*Next Time Around (Co-written by Anadara Farmer for Postage Stamp Publishing/ASCAP
& Jeremiah Abiah for Songs Made Simple (SESAC))
Doves (Music by Jeremiah Abiah, Lyrics by Prince Rogers Nelson)
Art Direction by Mr. Boyd for Fedoralime.com

http://www.abiahmusic.com
http://www.twitter.com/abiahmusic
http://www.facebook.com/abiahmusic

Many thanks to George Littlejohn (The Purpose Music Group) for bringing Abiah to our attention

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