Up and Coming from Chicago: Abe

Humble Beginnings:

As a Chicagoan it’s always very exciting to see my fellow city folk explore their creative sides in the arts. There’s so much talent to stumble across in this city that you’ll never have to actively search for it, it will just pop right at you. Someone to definitely put on your radar is Abe. I first heard about Abe around last summer when he released “Mr Struggles”, and during that time I was looking for music that delivered something new and a breath of fresh air. Abe’s music did just that. A year later after the release of “Mr Struggles” I was able to ask Abe some questions on his journey in music.

Abe started out and continues to have a passion for film (clearly shown through his music videos). After he had graduated high school he ultimately decided at the time he wanted to pursue a career in acting. Yet, on an evening when he was watching the Grammy's, he thought about how crazy it would be to perform in front of people around the world. “I don’t even make music, so why even think about it? Fast forward to now and all I do is make music,” Abe wrote. Abe took a leap of faith and started to record and put out his own music. He says, “When I put my first song out, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted out of it. I just thought it was a cool sound and maybe other people would like it too. Once I saw that a lot of people did and they started to ask for more music, I figured this could be a cool thing to do.”

When it comes to talking about his musical style he can’t classify himself in just one genre; which I agree. Abe pulls from different genres such as Rap, Bedroom Pop, Indie, and Alternative. He showcases his personality through his music very well which I think it’s what makes a musician and artist so much more relatable. In a technological age where being relatable is essential in a music career, Abe has that covered.

“It’s just an amalgamation of everything I like in music. I like rap so I rap. I like a nice voice so I sing. I like to laugh so I make funny videos. It sounds corny but I don’t think I can put myself in a bubble of a certain genre or style. I’m a control freak so I want to do everything and that’s what I try to do," Abe wrote.

An Artist on the Rise:

Source: Abe

Getting to the nitty gritty stuff as in music production and the whole creative process I was able to get insight on how exactly it was for Abe to create “Mr. Struggles”. As individuals we all tend to be very critical of our own work, and Abe showed he was no stranger to that. He wrote, “For the latter part, the process was simple: Stay up super late trying to make music, hate everything you’re making, give up and finally go to bed, then get a rush of inspiration as soon as my head hits the pillow and stay up for another 3 hours." Abe has an at home studio where most of the magic happens yet as a learning musician there are always challenges. “Since I’m so new to mixing and mastering music it felt like an uphill battle for a while, but with every song I get a little better so the difficulty goes down just a bit,” he stated.

The creation of Mr Struggles was a long process where Abe describes that it was “almost a three year process” and a time to find who he was as a musician as some songs on the album were created in 2017 and some closer to the release date. He states some of his influences during that time included the Arctic Monkeys, The Strokes, The Smiths and other indie bands. Mr. Struggles is a mix of all these bands but Abe puts his own story and sound to it. In Abe’s song Annie, he describes how much fun it was to yell ad-libs in the background and just sing his heart out.

“I’ve received nothing but love from the mixtape which is so awesome. I felt really good about how it all came together. The only thing I was worried about and am still worried about is having people hear it. It’s hard to gain traction when you aren’t a meme but I have faith more eyes and ears will catch it.”

Since the release of Mr. Struggles, Abe has gained traction and has started to create more opportunities to arise from his success. He wrote, “My song Bus Stop Freestyle was featured in an amazon comedy show which was super cool, which also is presenting me a chance of actually being on the show for the second season. I’m also making a theme song for a podcast right now which should be fun. I’ve encountered so many amazing people along the way too so I can’t wait to see what’s gonna happen next!”

Looking Forward!

Looking forward to what’s coming next for Abe, we can definitely expect him to release a lot more music this summer. Abe released a two songs in April called “I guess, right?”, and “Castle Black”. Both songs in a short amount of time have gained traction and are some of Abe’s most popular songs on Spotify. He just released two more songs on June 26th, “Staying Cold” and “Still Aching”. Along with these bops, expect more along the way - and maybe an upcoming show! Keep your eyes peeled so you don’t miss it!

I was definitely curious about how Abe feels he has changed since releasing his first project and his latest one this June. He said, “I think I change everyday as an artist. When making Mr. Struggles I was in a real indie/garage type feel mood, so I made music reflecting that. A year later I’m in a different vibe so my music will be reflecting that. It’s kinda nerve racking to constantly switch it up but hopefully that’s why people follow me. For the diversity in music. I also feel I’ve gotten just flat out better as an artist. As far as songwriting, how to structure a song and mixing. These new releases should show that, hopefully.” This is something I find incredibly refreshing: how Abe wants to constantly switch things up. Something I’ve always disliked was when people would bash artists for “stepping out their lane” and explore other sounds, and genres. Being ab.le to experiment and learn new things is what makes a musician, and songwriter so much better.

Finally, I asked Abe, “Any advice for anybody out there wanting to create music?”

“Just because you don’t sound like Drake doesn’t mean you’re trash. I tried so hard to sound exactly like other famous artists and I just don’t. Doesn’t mean I’m not good or the music is terrible, it just means I’m not them. Nor should you want to be. Find who YOU are and what YOU sound like and don’t be afraid to be YOU. I thought I had a terrible voice until I figured out about mixing and how much of a difference a simple volume adjustment makes. Then all of a sudden I don’t sound as bad. Little things like that make huge differences. Everyone is on their own path too. Which is something I have to remind myself all the time. Some people make it big in like 6 months. Others take 15+ years of making music. All you can do is make the best music you can possibly make and work hard. But most importantly, enjoy the process!

Abe is a force to be reckoned with and has shown so much talent and passion with his current releases. A true artist is not afraid to do exactly what they want with their music and just enjoy the process of making and sharing it. I’m looking forward to supporting Abe throughout his future in music and expect big things to come from him.

Check him out on Spotify: Here

Instagram: mr_struggles

SoundCloud: Abe

YouTube: Abe

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