I woke up to the sound of a quartet the morning after. The vibrato effects of ‘ Libra Man’ filled my mind; after effects of an evening with lovely Lindsey Abudei.
I walked in to the sound of ‘Viva La Vida’ by the Perfect 4th String Quartet at the Omenka Gallery, filled with beautiful paintings.. Lindsey was not yet on stage. I hadn’t missed much.
Lindsey Abudei came in wearing pleated brown pants, a horizontally striped top and teal earrings. Her tourquoise nail polished fingers grabbed the microphone with poise as she sang ‘Apologise’.
We sat on mats, carpets and throw pillows, and it was cozy and intimate, almost like Lindsey in my living room serenading me.
She sang the track ‘Have You’, accompanied by an electric guitar with an incredibly beautiful tone. The cello reigned supreme in ‘Drift Away’, with Abudei’s voice so sonorous, I am pretty sure she wasn’t losing her mind with that rendition. With finesse, she drank water after every number.
‘Taxi’ was my favourite track of the Brown SO, with the lead guitar sounding like an acoustic one. The ‘Letter’ was next, slathered with delicious vibrations from the strings. Lindsey told stories of the inspiration behind her songs and she conducted her quartet with ease.
We took a little break and the quartet played the classical piece, ‘Canon’, the aptest rendition for stringed instruments. They also did ‘Chariots of Fire’ with a Hausa-esque flavour, performing a decrescendo till the al fine (You know the reduction of the volume of your tv till it’s zero…loool)
On Lindsey’s ‘Libra Man’, the quartet ran crazily amazing, arco-ing and doing vibratoes all the way, with Abudei reigning supreme as Queen of the Lower Octave. I caught the cellist enjoying the track almost as much as I did lool. I guess that was okay, because the cello wasn’t up on this track.The song was so good, I didn’t want it to end, and seemed like Lindsey didn’t want it to. She cleared her throat slightly abruptly in substitution for the al fine, and so the song has still not ended in my mind.
When she sang ‘When You Don’t Drive Me Mad’ with only an acoustic accompaniment, she allowed her listeners happily snap their fingers along to it
Lindsey chanted ‘Freedom and I’, everybody’s favourite, and I felt like I was on a boat and she was rowing me gently, with the quartet forming the slightest turbulence and then mellowing graciously after her. It was such a paddle song, and with every performance from Lindsey, my favourite song kept changing throughout the evening.
‘Home Free’ was the next, giving me the Barlow Girl plus Enya vibe, with Lindsey conducting the quartet organically . Lindsey Abudei performed ‘Scream at The Sun’, and we clapped as she sang. As she screamed at the sun, she hummed with a heavenly tone toward the end.
Abudei chimed ‘Drift Away’ again, with the quartet giving this song more than a little umph! The dynamics of the quartet on this piece indeed had the power to wake one from sleep in a lovely way.
She pulled a slight Jackson 5 when she said ‘You let me drift away ‘ toward the end. Then there was a slight instrumentation diversion by quartet.
With her perfecto tone, she did a cover of Alicia Keys’ ‘If I Ain’t Got You’ cover; incredibly light and sweet. On that spot I decided that I still need to see Lindsey Abudei live a few more times.
The Asa cover of ‘Jailer’ was on, and it was almost like mass worship rendition as we knew the lyrics back to back.The quartet sounded like Robbie Williams’ instrumentation on the track, ‘I Don’t Wanna Be Lonely No More’, starting with the solfas ‘la me fa …fa me’.
‘Out The Magazine, had all of Abudei’s adlibs and licks delivered more superbly than on the album ‘ And The Bass Is Queen’, further consolidating on the perks of live music. She let us sing the lines ‘Be patient…take your time’ at its incredibly high pitch and that felt really good. It was such a #dopaminemoment 🙂
She did a freestyle thing with words supplied from the audience, but it was not as amazing as I expected it to be though.
She also graciously answered a few questions from her listeners. Can anyone guess the questions that came from me? If you follow my sister blog, this would be easy peasy😊
1. Who are your musical influences?
Lindsey Abudei: A lot of people do not know but when I was about seven my dad had this tape and it turns out that that was the song in the ‘Key of Life’ album. I had that album as my own, so my sisters would want to play and I would give it to them with time slots. After 30 minutes, they would bring my tape back to me. I would always call Stevie Wonder the best. There’s also Probita Black, Norah Jones and Sade.
Lindsey Abudei: You have two songs with Atta Lenell Otigba. Who would you like to work with professionally?
Lindsey Abudei: Hmmm…two years ago I fell in love with orchestras again and I would want to do something with Metropole Orkest or Snarky Puppy. But if I’m thinking African, I would want to do something with Youssou N’Dour or Angelique Kidjo
3. How do you get your tone to be so perfect?
Lindsey Abudei: I try to sing everyday even if I’m humming. The thing I realise is that if you do not sing for a while, it’s like falling out of practice. So I warm up everyday, especially before performance. Like now I’m starving, but I can’t eat till I’m done. Err… I have voice lessons that I take as well.
4. How do you do your hair?
Lindsey Abudei: I wanted to go all natural but my hair is really think and stubborn, so I wasn’t taking care of it. So I went to the salon and I was told I was going to have to trim it. But triming it was going to make it a bob. So I was like…naah. ..so I said I want to cut my hair low. There was no going back. Lol
5. How hard was triming your album to just 10 songs
Lindsey Abudei: It was difficult. There were a bunch of songs that didn’t make the album, but I wanted to go with songs that first off had very strong and recognisable bass lines, and secondly, I was going for the very organic sound and I had to take some out. Maybe in future, I might just add them for the heck of it, but it was not that easy for me.
6. How we get your album?
Lindsey Abudei: Well it’s on iTunes and Spotify, but there are also download cards that are being sold out for N2000
7. Do you write all your songs
Lindsey Abudei: For ‘Brown’ I wrote ‘ When You Don’t Drive Me Mad’ with Atta but for ‘And The Bass is Queen’, he wrote ‘Freedom and I’ and we wrote ‘Libra Man’ together. I know I’ve been used to writing my own songs but with this album I wanted to try a different songwriter because I realised that with songwriting when someone writes a song for you you don’t sound the way you some when you write your own songs. So that was what I wanted to do, but i was very picky about who I worked with.
8. What is your favourite song on the album
Lindsey Abudei: Truth is my favourite songs are the live versions of songs. I don’t have a favourite on the album as it is. So today ‘Libra Man’ is one of my favourite live versions, especially when it gets to ‘Let me …’, I love that part, but I don’t always have a favourite song. I don’t have one except it’s a live interpretation
9. You’ve been truly faithful to your sound so far. Are we ever going to see you experiment
Lindsey Abudei: Possibly. I think I’m ready for experimentation. The only thing is i need to find a producer, but I’m at the stage where I want to experiment. I’m still keeping bite
10 I think I know you studied law, so are there any lesson from law that help with your music?
Lindsey Abudei: Drafting agreements, and helping with licensing. Also, an understanding the business side of music
11. How long do you see yourself doing music?
Lindsey Abudei: For life. Music has me.
12. What would you like to do after that?
Lindsey Abudei: Working with international organisations, which music can provide an avenue for
13 Where do you write from?
Lindsey Abudei: Everything, people I know, the scenarios I create in my head. I have a very wild imagination, conversation
14 Do you play an instrument?
Lindsey Abudei: I can play the guitar
15. It’s frustrating when your music is not mainstream. What keeps you going?
Lindsey Abudei: When Brown was released, I tried out for a French competition and I was one of the finalists, coming 3rd, and I got 1000 euros. It moved me further to think there’s possibly more. It made me realise I don’t have to do a same thing everyone does in Nigeria.There were times when I wanted to end it, but a random message sent by a fan would encourage us and we say let us try again. But the plan now is Nigeria is too small. I am not happy with representation of Nigerian music. It’s a bit of a bubble. Nigeria isn’t really up there in music.
I’ve been trying for travel grant, but it seems one can’t even take advantage of what takes place in our own community. Nigeria has to be more than one genre of music. We need more than that.
After answering our questions with grace, poise and sweetness, she performed my favourite song, ‘Leaving’, whispering and humming intermittently. The Stringed Quartet performed ‘Viva La Vida’ by Coldplay and Lindsey rendered ‘Libraman’ again, closing the evening on an amazing note.
This is Ose Binitie,
Changing lyrics to line up with confessions since the 20-teens