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Sound Searching: Abdu Ali

He’s so special

As a young performance artist from Baltimore, Maryland making noise as he pushes and slays, Abdu Ali tends to refer to himself as the “King Queen, Banjee Bitch” and he’s got a damned good reason. His music makes you want to flash the world as you stand out of the sunroof of a speeding car! It’s raw. It’s open, and sometimes it’s too real and best suited for the extremely cocky. Needless to say, his latest single produced by James Nasty would probably make Kanye West blush. Watch the official video below:

I’m gonna give you what you want
What the fuck you want
I’m gonna give you what you need
Till it fucking bleeds[/quote]

This song may be one of the raunchiest he’s done yet but sonically it’s surprisingly smooth like Jameson Irish Whiskey. Much like the artist imself. He’s growing to become one of the prominent faces in the Baltimore music scene. He’s soft spoken, sexy and very friendly. He also uses his love of expression to motivate all of his listeners to feel their pussy (or dick).

What’s the vision for the new sound you’re developing?

I wanted Push + Slay to feel like home — Baltimore — A lot of street, grit, and hardness. And very textual. I also wanted my voice to stand with the beats and not against them. One with the wave. Sounds you’ll here during the magic hour like cop sirens or sounds you’ll here at the clubs. Like, Baltimore club. Very aggressive and tense but through that, a fulfilling release and euphoric pleasure enters the spirit and makes you want to go wild in celebration of this freedom you found through the sounds.

Who are your influences?

Grime and punk have been heavy influences on me to like Tempa T and Annette Peacock. I just wanted the music to sound like my soul and background music to my life. Björk has been on my sound pallet, too. She’s like pop punk. I def[initely] always want the beats to be me straight up. As soon as you here the sounds, you’ll be like that’s an Abdu Ali track. Feel me?

When does the new EP drop?

Sept 13th, hopefully. I’m being mad picky with this one. Not releasing it til it’s right!

Where are you from? And how does that influence your style / sound / voice?

I’m from Baltimore. I grew up in Central Baltimore on Martin Luther King Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue. I think that specific locale makes a huge diff[erence] in my taste and flavor. It’s the heart of Baltimore art culture. The Royal Theatre used to be right up the street from where I lived. There were a lot of drugs and crime but a lot of beauty too. From the huge love for Baltimore club [music] to going to Shake & Bake. We always thirst to express [ourselves] and have fun no matter how shady our environment was. Music was a big thing in my elementary and middle school. I use to play trumpet and [I] was in my middle school choir. Everybody was in a marching band or a club dance squad. That bringing up def[initely], obviously influenced my thirst to create and perform.

Tell us about Guttahball. How did it start?

Guttahball is an idea me and the homie Lawrence Burney came up with to revive Baltimore music culture. We thought the best way to do so was [to] host a party that incorporated diff[erent] Baltimore scenes from rap to punk. Baltimore has mad talent but the scenes here are segregated like shit, and people don’t want to vibe and help others grow — crabs in a barrel syndrome — but Guttahball is about love and giving Baltimore musicians a special platform to go the fuck off!

Can we come?

It’s for everyone, so everyone is welcome.

For more about Abdu Ali, follow him on Twitter.

Written by Manny King John

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