Step inside the wardrobe of alt-R&B innovator ABISHA.
Based in London, 25-year-old singer-songwriter ABISHA has been transforming the UK R&B scene for years now, making waves with her intimate and vital sound. From 2017’s ‘All That’ to this year’s ‘Numb’, ABISHA has consistently written delicately honest lyrics which she sings in her softly sensual tones over vibrant melodies and vibey beats. Diving deep into her own psyche through music, the creative artist has found her sound, her sense of agency, her purpose, and hasn’t looked back since.
Born and raised in a seaside town in Devon, ABISHA has had to overcome trial and tribulation to get to where she is today: “Growing up black and gay in a place that’s largely white and where I didn’t know of anyone else who was queer, I had this feeling of being different for most of my life…There wasn’t anyone around for me to identify with, and there weren’t even many popular queer artists back then—so for a long time I wanted so badly to be what I thought was normal. Now that I’m discovering who I am as an artist, I’m also discovering who I am as a person, and I’ve finally gotten to a place where I’m happy to stand out and express myself every way I can.”
An integral part of that identity and expression comes from ABISHA’s love of fashion, which ties with and into her relationship with music: “Fashion has always been as much a love of mine as music”, she tells us, “It started when I was really young. The first thing I used to do when I got a new toy doll for every birthday or Christmas was take it out of the clothes that it came in and put it in a new outfit that I chose. I also used to make clothes for my teddies out of socks; I’d cut armholes and a head whole and make the sock into a dress. I used to love picking out my outfits and choosing what to wear each day, and I hated when people would copy me (I still do). When I was about 9 my friend went and got the same blue army combat trousers as me (they had tassels on) and I remember being unreasonably angry.”
“As I got older, I began to love fashion even more. It became my identity and the only thing I wanted to stand out for. I hated being different, but Ioved dressing different. When I was in sixth form and had started going shopping on my own, I discovered that I felt super comfortable in men’s clothing. Something about the more oversized fits and baggy jumpers was just so much more appealing to me than tight tops and little dresses. I became obsessed with trainers and would buy a new pair every other week when I got paid from my job at the corner shop (which was pretty much my entire paycheque.
“Fashion is probably one of the most important things to me as both a person and an artist. What I wear is how I express myself, and how I communicate who I am to the world without words. Music is how I do that with words. My style is pretty eclectic, but you’ll never catch me in a dress, skirt or heels. Or anything particularly girly for that matter. My favourite thing to wear is a baggy hoodie, or pretty much anything oversized. I buy everything 2-4 sizes bigger than my actual size. I’d say my go-to style vibe is a pair of oversized joggers, a crop or bra let and a blazer/oversized jacket. I’m a sucker for a good tracksuit – it’s the being comfortable for me. Lockdown was the perfect excuse for me to be able to dress in my favourite tracksuits 24/7!”
We caught up with the need-to-know singer and asked for a peek into her covetable closet, so scroll down to hear all about ABISHA’s four favourite looks…
“I bought this cardigan to wear for my girlfriend’s birthday. It’s so not my usual style but for some reason I just loved it. I love pairing it with baggy oversized bottoms to make it less girly. It’s super comfy and makes a fun chilling at home outfit as well as going out for birthday brunch!”
“These Supreme joggers are probably my favourite item of clothing that I own. If I was super rich, I would dress head to toe in Supreme. The quality of them is amazing and I probably wear them at least twice a week. Zara is amazing for basics, so I love the crop tops and blazers from there. This is a comfy but also cool outfit for me. It’s also the kind of outfit that I like to travel in (whenever that’s possible again). And I added the lime green hat for a pop of colour.”
“I absolutely love this yellow tracksuit. A girl on Instagram reached out and asked if I would like one – she started the brand in lockdown, and I chose the yellow one. I got it oversized and it’s so comfy! I styled it with these yellow Acne Studios trainers which I found in TK Maxx.”
Press play on ABISHA’s new video for ‘Numb’ below now…