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GET TO KNOW:
ABI OCIA

We catch up with the ‘LTWYLM’ singer, West London's Abi Ocia, whose sound meshes nostalgia and futurism all in one perfect package.

With a voice that was raised in church, Abi Ocia’s comeback into the music scene is no small feat. Since her 2016 hit single ‘Running’ and her 2019 album Where are you?, Abi has captivated audiences with her silky lyricism and heavy production. Within those first couple years, she’d already amassed over a million listeners, and the numbers have just been soaring upwards since.

We caught up with the songstress hot off the heels of her new release to hear about her journey so far, and find out where she’s off to next…

When did you first know that you wanted to be a musician?

There was no real decisive moment. I knew I loved writing songs and wanted to see where it could take me. After graduating from university, I thought it would be a good time to test the waters – and here I am now haha!

Do you enjoy using social media?

I’ve found social media to be a very tentative experience. I am great at consuming it, which comes with its own bag of problems, but in terms of using it – I often remind myself that my engagement should be as honest to both what I do and who I am. If you are doing that, it innately feels a lot more gratifying. One thing that I will forever enjoy is the ability to connect with people who listen to my music across the world. Social media’s power in that sense is truly remarkable. I do find the way in which the music industry can box an artist’s success by their social media very bizarre. It takes so much away from what we do. But that is a whole other conversation!

What’s your favourite song of yours you’ve worked on so far?

It’s impossible to say. I like to think each song is unique, in a sense that they mark various chapters of my journey so far. It would be difficult to pinpoint which of those is my favourite. And to be honest, I am so indecisive anyway, I’d probably change my mind about what it would be by tomorrow haha! But if I had to pick one currently, it would be ‘LTWYLM’ – the song, the production, the visuals – it has all been a much needed breath of fresh air.

How would you describe your sound in a single word?

Honest.

Who are your musical inspirations?

Phil Collins and Genesis are up there. They soundtracked a lot of my childhood. Growing up in church also influenced a lot of what I do. I adore worship music, and that certainly requires an honourable mention!

Do you play any instruments?

I use the word ‘play’ very loosely here – but I can hold down a few chords on the piano. However, the guitar is what I usually go to. I was taught by a worship leader from my church when I was 16, and I am still way off any kind of notable skill – soon!

Is red your favourite colour?

Although it may seem like the favourite after all the red of the new single, contrary to popular belief, my favourite colour is green. Curve ball I know!

What are you working on at the moment?

A few more things up my sleeve musically, and I am still trying to learn how to knit after epically failing during the first string of global lockdowns.

Listen to ‘LTWYLM’ below now…

Words by Sabrina Fearon-Melville / photography by Prexa Shrestha

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