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Introducing: Absolutely

Kate Bush. Annie Lennox. Sade. Amy Winehouse. Lily Allen. Adele. RAYE. Dua Lipa. As you can tell; the UK is no stranger to a multitalented female musician. A new name to add to the mix is Abby Keen, professionally known as Absolutely, a young powerhouse who has been taking the industry by storm behind the scenes. In addition to featuring on Tinashe’s 333 album, her name can be found on the writing credits of songs for Anitta, Mahalia, and Normani, to name a few.

Ready to receive her own bouquet of flowers, Absolutely has been feeding the world with her own music, and boy, what a promising artist she is already! Over the past month, Absolutely has given us the futuristically visualized “Higher,” glitchy anthem “Patterns,” and the stripped-back “Fever Dream.” Up next? More song releases as well as a studio album that is ready to go! From September, she will also be touring the world with her big sis RAYE on her “My 21st Century Blues Tour.”

During a sit down with the emerging star at a coffee shop in Brixton, EUPHORIA.‘s Fabio Magnocavallo learns more about Absolutely and what she has planned for her career.

You come from a musical background, therefore, you’ve always been surrounded by creative people. However, when did you personally discover your love for music?

It’s kinda just always been around me. Since the beginning, I loved music. It was always a part of my lifestyle. Music was always around my family, who are amazing musicians. I started writing at like 13. I started writing with my dad, actually. He taught me everything I know. I started like producing myself as we had a little studio in the garden. It’s always just been part of my life.

Your writing credits are under your birth name. However, you’ve chosen to release your material under Absolutely. How did you come to choose that name?

I kind of just wanted a fresh start, like a rebrand. I feel like I now know more. I know who I am. Before I was kinda still discovering and still learning. I’m of course still discovering and still learning but now I’m sure. And that’s why I think Absolutely is a good name.

“Higher” is the track you launched yourself with. What was it about that particular song that you wanted to introduce yourself with? And were you debating on other songs?

Actually, we weren’t gonna release it as the first single. There was a Sony event where they were playing some of my music, so we had to get this song prepared. I feel like it’s a good first song because it’s about my excitement for the future, about my dreams and chasing down and just elevating higher. It’s kind of a good middle ground. It’s easy to listen to, but I feel like it’s also otherworldly. It’s a good first song that doesn’t give it all away.

The video is space-themed. What influenced that visual?

I don’t know, I’ve always just been intrigued with space and planets. I kinda referenced that a lot in my music. It’s not on purpose, it just comes up, I dunno. I just love space!

“Patterns” is another song you have released, which is completely different. Tell me about that song.

That one is a little quirky. It’s a little outta the box. I feel like it doesn’t sound like anything that exists right now and it’s kind of about being stuck in a toxic life cycle and repeating the same pattern and you dunno how to break out a bit kinda thing. The music, again, is kind of like that outer space feeling. It feels futuristic. Maybe carefree too. It doesn’t feel like it has a real structure. It’s not a typical song, it’s not got a big chorus.

Are these songs leading up to a project of some sort?

I have an album! I thought, why not just jump straight in? It’s gonna be really cool. We’ve got an evolving artwork for it. It’s a building basically, and we have 13 rooms in the building and each song represents a different room. Each song and each room also represent a different part of the brain. For example, “Close To You” is a sense of touch and temperature, and then “24 Hours” is a body clock.

Is the album done and ready to go?

The album is done. We are now just seeding it out.

Is there a release date penciled in yet?

It might be November but we have things coming out every two weeks or so.

How would you say the other songs are sounding? And how many will there be?

I feel like each song is its own planet that lives in the same universe. There will be 13 songs and no collaborations. I wrote it by myself as well and co-produced it with Dave Hammer, who is also an alien. He’s amazing.

You signed a deal with Epic Records. After your sister’s own experience with a major label and there being so many other examples of artists expressing their unfortunate situations with labels, were you quite cautious about signing a deal?

We weren’t originally planning to do a label deal, but when we met, it just felt right. Everyone was so excited. I feel like it was the right decision. My team is amazing and everyone is just as excited as I am. 

From September, you are going on a world tour with your sister. How are you feeling? You’ve had a lot of experience with writing, but is performing a new concept for you?

That is new! I’ve done a few performances. My first performance actually was supporting Miraa May. She called me up the day before and then I arrived. I was so nervous. I was looking down, I wasn’t looking at anyone. The next day, I came out of my shell a little more. The last show was my first show as Absolutely and that was in LA. I ended up forgetting my lyrics, so that was great [laughs]. But it’s a learning experience!

It must be quite comforting knowing that you’re going on your first proper tour with your sister. It’s going to be a big moment for both of you.

It’s going to be so much fun as well. I feel it’s a great place to start and the crowd is going to already be so accepting.

You’ve done a lot of writing over the years. What’s it been like writing for other artists? Do you go into the studio knowing it’s a writing session for someone else?

After I was developing and learning how to write, I started writing music for others. It’s kind of a mixture of sometimes difficult and sometimes easy and fun. It’s fun to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see from their perspective and just feel that. It got to a point though where I’ve realized that I’d rather be writing for myself so I’ve been writing for others a little bit less. I do still enjoy writing for others though. It really just depends on the artist really. Sometimes when you’re writing for other artists, you kinda have to pull it out of them and sometimes it’s just so easy.

Leigh-Anne gave you a shout-out in one of her most recent interviews after she revealed you have been writing some of her solo material. What has it been like being a part of her new chapter?

It’s always fun writing with Leigh-Anne, it’s so easy. She’s the sweetest, funnest girl. We’ve had some fun times as well. We went to Jamaica and I met some amazing people. It’s been fun to build a new world and start from the beginning again.

And lastly, how would you like to see your career grow in the next few years?

I want to let the music decide. I don’t wanna like to have to force myself into a certain lane to be in for a chance or on a certain stage. I’d rather just like make the music, put the art out, and just let the right people gravitate toward it.