"If my name means something, then surely every word means something. Surely every word carries great significance."
From writing short stories as a young girl to studying songwriting at Goldsmith’s University, South London singer/songwriter Abimaro’s lyrical craftsmanship and delicate melodies have set her apart as a talented wordsmith and an evocative performer. Born to an English mother and a Ugandan father, words have always been a powerful tool of expression, and it is this sensitivity to language that lends Abimaro’s lyrics their poetic clarity and her voice its ethereal soul.
Coming to the fore in 2009 after singing lead vocals on the world tour of Grammy-nominated duo Zero 7, Abimaro collaborated with the likes of Mercury-nominated artist Michael Kiwanuka on her first band release, So I'll Boast. A smaller line up of the band continued to perform and tour, and became known as Abimaro & The Free. This soul-folk trio comprised of bassist James Beatt and pianist Alex Montaque, and has been described as having a sound that is a fusion of Joni Mitchell and Esparanza Spalding, a blend of traditional folk, neo-soul and jazz highlights, gracefully held together by Abimaro’s effortless melodies and ingenious lyrics.
It is her unique ability to craft stories from melodies by fusing playful creativity with poetic sincerity, that gives Abimaro’s sound its refreshing and wholesome quality. Transforming recipes into songs whilst fusing aromatic images such as sweet ginger with evocative depictions of tear stained eyes likened to Earl Grey tea, in 2012 Abimaro and the Free were awarded PRSF funding for a sell out show at the renowned Albany Theatre in support of PRSF’s 2012 Women Make Music Fund. Featured on Jazz FM and in international publications such as US Heed magazine, in 2012 the trio self promoted and managed an innovative tour of independent coffee shops across East London entitled The Ginger Tea Tour after their debut single of the same name.
Described as ‘a breath of fresh air’, Abimaro is currently working on her first solo release. Confessional in nature and green in colour, her new material blends the freedom of the a cappella voice with a more electronic approach, as it captures the human heart in all its intricacies and complexities.
Words by Justina Kehinde