INTERVIEW_: ...AND THE BASS IS QUEEN, Lindsey Abudei's Gift to the World
Updated: Mar 29, 2020
I met Lindsey Abudei at an Art Omi event in upstate New York—or in their words, a "world music avant-garde celebration." And avant-garde it was: a dozen musicians of all types and walks of life, having met but a few days prior, names being picked from a hat by audience members, made to create a musical piece on the spot. Located quite fittingly at the Basilica in Hudson, New York, a 19th century factory turned arts and performance venue, the "guerrilla improvisations" were nothing short of impressive, and Lindsey Abudei's strong and smooth vocals made the difference every time. Abudei's voice carries warmth and intensity, longing and an irresistible charm in every breath.
I am pleased to have been able to interview Lindsey Abudei and learn more about her musical process. You can find her album ...and the Bass Is Queen. on Spotify and Apple Music.
Thando Mlambo: Hi Lindsey, thank you for agreeing to speak with me, where are you speaking to me from today? What has brought you to that place? Lindsey Abudei: Hey Thando, you're welcome. I am speaking to you from [Ghent,] New York. I am here for my music residency at Art OMI International Arts Center.
TM: What is the last thing you ate or drank? LA: I had an omelette with a slice of bread, avocado, strawberries, and tea.
TM: What kind of music do you make? How long have you been making music? LA: Right now, Neo Soul/Alternative is my genre. In time, that may vary depending on new experiences or phases. I have been making music for 13 years.
TM: What role do you play in the creation of your music (writing, composing, producing, instrumentation, etc.)? Which areas would you like to get more involved in? LA: I am involved in all aspects of my music creation. I would like to build up more on my production skills though.
TM: Where do you record your music? What is it like being in the studio? How does it compare to performing on stage? LA: So far, I’ve recorded in Lagos and Abuja [both in Nigeria], but want to explore more spaces for recording in other countries. Being in the studio is like laying down the blueprint for my art. It’s where conception starts, experiments are done, trials and errors are made. Still, it is half as amazing as performing on stage. Performing live gives my art new breath. I can reinvent however I choose and there are no rules.
TM: Speaking of live performances, where have you performed? What is your favorite venue that you’ve ever performed at? Any funny or quirky stories to share? LA: I have performed in Nigeria, opening for Așa, and the Nicolas Folmer Quartet. I have also had live sessions in Abuja, Jos, Lagos and recently in New York. My favorite venue so far, is an art gallery called Omenka [in Lagos, Nigeria]. There were art pieces from a previous exhibition that were perfect for my live session. I have had a microphone almost fall out of my hands because I was so nervous. It was when I had just started performing.
TM: What are your top 10 albums ever? If you feel moved, write why these albums are so important to you. LA: It’s hard to pick up 10 albums and call them the top ten ever, you know? But these are some of my favorite albums:
1. Songs In The Key Of Life | Stevie Wonder
Made me fall in love with harmony. It is one of my first and personal music memories. 2. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill | Lauryn Hill
For obvious reasons:) 3. Pet Sounds | The Beach Boys 4. Sing To The Moon | Laura Mvula 5. Parachutes | Coldplay 6. Songs About Jane | Maroon 5 7. Home Again | Michael Kiwanuka 8. At Least For Now | Benjamin Clementine 9. Baduizm | Erykah Badu 10. College Dropout | Kanye West
TM: What would you say is a highlight in your musical career? Any low points? If so, how did you pull yourself out of that slump? LA: I haven't had my highlight yet. [I] guess we’ll see what time does, yes? I have had more low points than I’d like to admit. Still, I try to remember why I’m doing this in the first place. That’s how I try to pull myself up.
TM: Which three artists, dead or alive would you love to collaborate with? LA: Stevie Wonder, The Metropole Orkest, and Youssou N’Dour.
TM: Tell us about “home”? We have placed home within quotations so that you might address this (sometimes) behemoth of a concept. LA: Home is where you are yourself the most and with little inhibition. It’s where you feel free. Your solace... I have never been one to feel restricted by boundary or borders or where I’ve been born.
TM: Create a question and answer it! LA: If there was a spaceship taking humans to Mars to inhabit the planet and there was a first trip for that, would you go on that trip?
No! I’ll wait for the stories to come back and then decide if I want to or not:) TM:Thank you very much for your time Lindsey! LA: You are welcome:)
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