As a Londonder, if you haven’t heard of Zak Abel, you’ve probably heard of KOKO; the infamous 1,000 capacity independent venue situated in Camden, the artistic heart of London. Put the two together, and you have what is set to be a fantastic gig on Tuesday 10th October 2017, only four days after the scheduled release of his debut album Only When We’re Naked.
On paper, Abel’s discography is already impressive. With two EPs to his name, a top 20 song in the UK Singles Chart with “Unmissable” by Gorgon City and a song with Avicii, he’s on his way to stardom. His single “Say Sumthin” was covered by Korean R&B artist DEAN, who sold out KOKO on 24th and 25th June 2017. The pair have met since, when DEAN visited London the pair did a quick 30-second cover of the Bruno Mars hit 24K, and wrote what would eventually be DEAN’s song “love” with fellow Club Eskimo artists MISO and 2xxx! as well as Syd, who would feature on the track.
But there’s something to Abel’s work that can’t really be put on paper. Something in the way the melodies are constructed and the tone of his voice that offer something more than the typical singer-songwriter. His first single from his upcoming album is titled “Unstable”. The music video, shot in Cape Town, South Africa, shows a wealth of bright imagery. The groovy track has an incredibly feel-good factor to it, but the lyrics are pretty bitter in comparison; Abel speaks of being unstable and not worthy of his partner. This is a bit of a contrast to the confident persona the artist has created for himself, but it shows another dimension and is plausibly sincere. He combines different genres on different levels; there’s elements of funk, pop and soul to his work which demonstrate his incredible grasp on melody and really put him down as a name to watch. Good things have come from Mr. Abel, and better will arrive with time.
Having recently played two sold out headline shows to 1,600 people at London’s scala, tickets are sure to sell well, and at £17.30, they’re an absolute steal.
Text by Amy Furney
Picture research by Donna Darafshian; featured image from pmstudio.com.