Quick Chat With Neo-Soul Songstress: Abrieel Sasha Bannister October 23, 2016 Music 540 Tweet Share16 Share Email WhatsAppShares 16Since her musical debut 2 years ago, young songstress Abrieel has been making her name known in the music world. We got the chance to catch up with her and speak about her influences, past projects, upcoming music, and more! Read full interview below! Q: How would you describe your sound to someone who hasn’t heard your music? A: I think my sound is very smooth & upbeat, depending on what kind of mood I’m in when I’m writing each song is how I set the tone for my music. Q: When did you realize you wanted to be a singer? A: I began writing & singing when I was 8 years old. I’ve always enjoyed entertaining my family. I remember making up dances with my friends in elementary school & even performing The Cheetah Girls in the school talent show. My love for music has always been the same. I just can’t stop chasing my dream. Q: Did you have the support of your family/friends/piers? What advice would you give someone who doesn’t have support? A: To be honest, when I was younger, several family members/friends thought it was a stage & that I wouldn’t really make it. As I got older, they respected me more. My mom & siblings have always supported me. It’s really nice because whenever I’m feeling low they remind me of how special I am & how the world needs my music. If I could give someone advice who doesn’t have this kind of support, I would simply say to love yourself & believe your powers. As humans we tend to forget how strong & creative we really are. So it’s important to just stay true to who you are & keep creating no matter who supports you. Q: Your influences include India Arie, Lauryn Hill, and Musiq Soulchild- what qualities do you admire about each of them? A: I love India Arie’s soul, she’s very free & Lauryn is very open minded. Musiq is just real & doesn’t sugar coat anything. . .especially when it comes to love & how a woman should be treated. Q: If you got the chance to write a song with one of them, who would you pick & why? A: Oh wow, this is super hard. But if I could choose to write with one of them it would have to be India Arie for sure. My God father introduced me to her music at a young age & I basically grew up listening to all of her music. I think her music is the reason why I respect myself so much. As a Queen, as an artist, as a human. She’s just very spiritual. I think we could piece together some amazing concepts. Her live performances even teach me the importance of connecting with your fans. Q: Last spring you released your EP Lessons Learned, what was the inspiration behind the title? A: The inspiration behind the title was basically everything I was experiencing at the peek of my teenage years. I was trying to figure out my dreams, love, police brutality, and the struggle itself. Now I’m 19, going to be in 20 in April & I feel like I have the answer to everything I questioned back then. It was a learning process for me & all about growth so I created that title to sum up everything. Q: Do you have a personal favorite off the EP? If so, which song and why. A: My favorite song off the EP would definitely have to be “For My Hood” ft HBK CJ who’s apart of IAMSU’s HBK Family. He found me on Twitter one day & reached out. I didn’t think that would be the song we ended up doing together but it turned out so great. The song talks about chasing dreams, Ferguson & spreading peace & love. Q: Since then, you’ve released songs like All In, Waves of Love, and most recently Special One; what is your process when writing a song? A: Yes, it’s been a dope journey for me I love putting out music that is really meaningful, fun & inspirational. My process goes either two way or one. Sometimes I like writing to beats and free styling. Other times I can write a song title, free style the hook & create the entire song based off my own melody in my head. Q: Have you ever hit a roadblock when writing a song? If so, how did you surpass it? A: I’m currently having a roadblock, mainly because I have so many ideas in my head right now. It doesn’t mean I can’t write anything, it’s just really hard for me to choose on idea & stick to it. Lately I’ve been real hard with myself. Trying to create a different sound & make sure my word style is phenomenal. The best way to surpass it, is to just keep your mind free. Try listening to other music you enjoy to get new ideas. Or just eat some fruit lol & drink water. That always helps me! Q: You’ve been busy working on a very special project (dare I say album lol) can you give us a hint as to what we should expect? A: This project is like a part two of Lessons Learned. It’s about my growth & story of things I’m going through as I approach my 20s. I’m pretty much entering that early adulthood so I find myself really expressing myself more. My fans can expect a total of 14 dope records. I’m teaming up with some really creative upcoming artist. & I also plan on releasing some visuals this year. Q: Do you have a title for the project yet? A: The project is called Soul II Soul. The inspiration behind the title was my soul connecting with the souls of my fans. Sharing my stories with them, my vibes with them & most importantly sharing my mind with them. Q: Should we expect it by early 2017? A: You’re so smart lol, yes I definitely plan on releasing it around the beginning of next year. It would be dope if I could release it on my 20th birthday. Which is April 2nd. Q: If you could go back and give yourself advice, what would you say? A: I would tell myself that life isn’t about fitting in. I would have spent more time loving myself & who I was. I would tell myself to be more free & not so tight & worried about the future. I would tell myself to never give up no matter how hard it gets even though I already know all of these things It would’ve been nice if I was prepared already. Q: Is there anything you’d like to tell your supporters? A: We are all born to be something special. Whether it’s a singer, dancer, athlete, painter or doctor. It’s important for us to always believe in ourselves & our ability to create change throughout the world. If there are more people like myself who create & spread love, I truly think the world would be a much better place. With this election going on right now it’s important for us all to have a voice and to inspire others. So I just want to keep being who I am & just show my fans that it’s okay to be you & take risks. To hear more from Abrieel follow her on Instagram and Twitter. To hear her newest song Pull Up ft. Yung Incredible click here.