Photo Credit: Sam Leviton (@samleviton)
By Alissa Arunarsirakul // April 6, 2020
With a transformation like no other, ABISHA has become a radiating aura after years of being an insecure pariah. Although the now 25-year-old artist struggled with finding her place in her homeland of Devon, it’s safe to say she’s created her very own niche in the alt-R&B scene. Now that she’s had some more time to figure herself out, ABISHA is making a bold entrance with her debut EP, Scorpio.
On Scorpio, ABISHA reflected,
“Over the past year or so I’ve thought a lot more about what I want to convey with my music, and so much of that is about empowering people through sharing my experiences. I think it’s so important for artists to be open because it helps other people to feel comfortable with themselves–especially people who come from a place like I did, where they don’t have anyone they can relate to or talk to. I’d love for my music to get through to people and help them understand that how they feel is completely okay, and they don’t ever have to hide who they truly are.”
To celebrate the release of her new music, we recently chatted with ABISHA about astrology, true love, and of course, Scorpio.
HH: Alternative pop and R&B are two music genres that will always be timeless, just like your innovative sound. What about these two genres speak to you and your style?
A: I’ve always paid attention to what types of music make me feel good when I’m listening to it. It’s always been songs that are melodic and make me feel something–nothing too complicated but meaningful with a good beat that’s easy on the ears. It just so happened that alt-R&B/R&B and alt pop are the genres that resonated with me in that way and make me feel happy. I guess I naturally try to replicate that energy in the music that I make. I hope that it makes other people feel good too.
HH: How did going through the struggle of growing up as a gay person of color affect your outlook on life? In what ways has that affected your songwriting?
A: I didn’t really struggle too much with growing up gay, other than initial reactions and responses from people close to me. Yes, I was aware that I was different but I had friends that were also gay and an amazing group of friends that never made me feel bad for it. It was growing up as a person of color, in a town that is 98% white, that affected me most. I felt so different from everyone else. I grew up dancing so I was constantly in front of mirrors, and I desperately just wanted straight, blonde hair and to look like everyone around me. In hindsight, it’s probably affected my outlook on life because i feel like I can relate to anyone that has ever felt ‘different’ or like they don’t fit in, and those are some of the main people that I want to reach with my music and let them know that it’s okay to be different, it’s a good thing, and to be proud of who they are. When I was growing up and throughout my life, my mum always taught me that it’s good to be different and I can see that now.
HH: Your new EP is titled Scorpio so it’s safe to say that you follow astrology. What about your horoscope is true about you?
A: I do follow astrology; my mum is an astrologer, medium, and healer so I’ve grown up with it ingrained in me. I read my horoscope pretty much daily and it always resonates with me in some way and makes things make sense! Today, my horoscope says that I’m approaching a personal rebirth/transformation in preparation for Pluto retrograde and that it’s essential to be patient with myself, which I haven’t been recently.
HH: Can you describe the creative process behind Scorpio?
A: I did four sessions in four days with a producer and co-writer that I’d never met before. Each day we finished a song. First “Real Life” then “Love Like This” then “Body to Body” and lastly “Scorpio” (the order they were released in actually). It was an incredible experience and an amazing four days. I learned so much and grew so much both as an artist and as a songwriter in those four days. I think there’s an obvious evolution even throughout the four tracks on the EP. I was able to really open up and speak my truth in those songs, and be more myself than I had been previously.
HH: “Body to Body” is 100% something most people can relate to. What advice do you have for people who get very attached to the idea of someone before they really get to know them?
A: My advice is that there is no rush… there’s no need to rush love. If a person is meant for you, they’re not going anywhere, and if they do, they weren’t meant for you. We often create an ideal version of someone in our heads and fall in love with that idea of them, rather than really taking the time to get to know them, both the good and bad bits, and we have to love all of those bits too. It’s lust and I’ve definitely made this mistake a few too many times but like everything, it’s a learning process, and each experience that we learn from is a lesson.
HH: You’ve shared that you desperately want to empower people through your music, especially with Scorpio. Which records from other artists have done the same for you?
A: I do. I don’t think there are specific records. Jessie J’s “Who You Are” was the first song that really spoke to me I think.
HH: If you could collaborate with anyone in the music industry, who would you pick?
A: Rihanna. She’s the queen. I think I would cry happy tears for the rest of my life.
HH: What are your three hidden hits (underrated songs by rising artists you love)?
A: Quincy Mumford – “Lost In Your Pleasure”
JP Cooper – “In These Arms”
Kevin Garrett – “Factor In”
These are the ones I have on repeat at the moment, but this changes on a weekly basis to be honest.