Abiyah
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Abiyah

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF

Cincinnati, Ohio, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Avant-garde

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Press


"Harmonies converge in weekend of wows"

Criss-crossing genres right and left - hip-hop, rock, electronica, industrial - Abiyah is one of Cincinnati's busiest and most popular performers. Famous for her poetry, she often mixes in a healthy dose of spoken word in her high energy performances. - Jim Knippenberg, Cincinnati Enquirer - 08/18/05


"Abiyah Appears on LA Art Rapper Open Mike Eagle's Latest Gem"

After responding to a Tweet requesting "lady vocals" for a Joy Division remake in December 2009, Abiyah began collaborating with LA Art Rapper Open Mike Eagle (Project Blowed/Swim Team/Thirsty Fish/Mush Records). Appearing on Eagle's June 2011 full-length release "Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes", Abiyah lent her vocals to the outro of closing track "Old Member Reclamation" in a redux of the chorus of Blondie's "The Tide is High." Look for an Open Mike Eagle appearance on an Abiyah tune in late Summer/early Fall. - abiyah.com


"Abiyah Appears on LA Art Rapper Open Mike Eagle's Latest Gem"

After responding to a Tweet requesting "lady vocals" for a Joy Division remake in December 2009, Abiyah began collaborating with LA Art Rapper Open Mike Eagle (Project Blowed/Swim Team/Thirsty Fish/Mush Records). Appearing on Eagle's June 2011 full-length release "Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes", Abiyah lent her vocals to the outro of closing track "Old Member Reclamation" in a redux of the chorus of Blondie's "The Tide is High." Look for an Open Mike Eagle appearance on an Abiyah tune in late Summer/early Fall. - abiyah.com


"All-Female Cincinnati Poetry Troupe Bitch's Brew Featured As Mixtape Darlings in A-Line Magazine"

Kathy Y. Wilson, Abiyah, Ophelia, Murray, Yvette Nepper and DJ Apryl Reign select their favorite tunes for Cincinnati fashion rag A-Line Magazine's Mixtape Darlings March 2012 column.

Abiyah's Picks:

TRACK 7: Sonic Youth feat. Chuck D, “Kool Thing” – Abiyah: “The true embodiment of my perspectives on being both a woman and a genre-bending artist, packaged in a gap-bridging tour-de-force of two artists whose music and being had a significant impact on both my entry into adulthood and my own musical style nearly 20 years later.”

TRACK 8: Bad Brains, “I Against I”/ Mos Def & Massive Attack, “I Against I”– Abiyah: “In this battle of verses, both are winners....Mos reinforces the need to win the internal struggle against your damn self in the midst of the wackass haters who love you.” - Courtney Tynan, A-Line Magazine, March 2012.


"Abiyah & Women of Cincinnati Hip Hop Featured in CityBeat Cover Story"

As a white woman with atypical music that crosses genres of spoken word, Rock, experimental music and Hip Hop — all music of resistance that transcends class and color in Cincinnati — Abiyah’s experiences crossing lines are somewhat unique to the group.

Abiyah, who, until recently, had worn her hair in dreadlocks since the ’90s, admits she “put some people off.” Despite that, she created networks in venues looking for eclectic entertainment.

“I networked my ass off,” Abiyah said. “That’s why I might get a call from the Contemporary Arts Center, Art Damage or Fountain Square.”

When asked if white privilege opened doors of access that women of color might be denied, she said, “Yes, white privilege did play a role because white folks here, that’s the stepping stone — like, ‘She’s safe.’ And then I would hook up everybody down the line like, ‘I got Mildred, I got Apryl, I got Jai … what’s up?’ ” In a 1995 article, former Vibe magazine editor Danyel Smith observed that women in Hip Hop were overshadowed in the industry because they had not created spaces to tell their stories, comparing this with the way women in Alternative Rock were able to create a concert outlet that spoke directly to their audience. - Mildred Fallen, Cincinnati CityBeat, 4/11/2012


"Point of Good Returns - The inaugural MidPoint Music Festival was a brilliant first step"

Abiyah mixed spoken word, soulful singing, creative beats, interpretive dance and a violin player to kick things off at Plush. The local poet's display of "floetry" was one of the more creative sets of the festival, drawing a diverse crowd, which was moved to dance, heartily by the end of the set. - Mike Breen, Cincinnati CityBeat - 10/03/2002


"Point of Good Returns - The inaugural MidPoint Music Festival was a brilliant first step"

Abiyah mixed spoken word, soulful singing, creative beats, interpretive dance and a violin player to kick things off at Plush. The local poet's display of "floetry" was one of the more creative sets of the festival, drawing a diverse crowd, which was moved to dance, heartily by the end of the set. - Mike Breen, Cincinnati CityBeat - 10/03/2002


"Citybeat's MidPoint Band Guide - September 2005"

Abiyah

(Cincinnati) Hip Hop/Experimental

Asking Abiyah to give up her musical flights of fancy and pick one genre would be like asking a tigress to change her stripes. Forget it. Which Abiyah will be playing the festival? The chanteuse-over-DJ, the Punk priestess, the erudite MC or the avant-garde performance artist? Whichever, her music will be clever, danceable, sensual and confrontational.

Dig It: Eryka Badu, Stereolab, Telemundo commercials (EW) - Ezra Waller, Cincinnati CityBeat - 09/21/05


""Ring Around the Rosie" Featured as Song of the Week in Metromix Cincinnati"

What we're saying: Remember that corny phrase in the 90s about girls kicking butt? It may be corny, but in this case, it’s totally true and apropos. Abiyah exudes a confident womanly energy in everything she touches, and this track is proof. First of all, it’s entirely a cappella. Secondly, she got the help of another awesome kick ass chick from the area to sing along with her, Dana Hamblen, from Fairmount Girls, Culture Queer and Darlene, featuring Marty Spitfly with the beats. Download a free version on her Soundcloud page (link below), and in the same vein of my favorite potato chip brand’s saying, I bet you can’t listen just once. - Daniele Cusentino, Metromix Cincinnati, 3/7/12


"Abiyah & Women of Cincinnati Hip Hop Featured in CityBeat Cover Story"

adsf - Mildred Fallen, Cincinnati CityBeat, 4/11/2012


""Ring Around the Rosie" Featured as Song of the Week in Metromix Cincinnati"

What we're saying: Remember that corny phrase in the 90s about girls kicking butt? It may be corny, but in this case, it’s totally true and apropos. Abiyah exudes a confident womanly energy in everything she touches, and this track is proof. First of all, it’s entirely a cappella. Secondly, she got the help of another awesome kick ass chick from the area to sing along with her, Dana Hamblen, from Fairmount Girls, Culture Queer and Darlene, featuring Marty Spitfly with the beats. Download a free version on her Soundcloud page (link below), and in the same vein of my favorite potato chip brand’s saying, I bet you can’t listen just once. - Daniele Cusentino, Metromix Cincinnati, 3/7/12


"Buzz cuts on cicada CD range from love to politics"

"Rise," Abiyah. If we didn't have cicadas on the brain, this beautiful cross-genre song, with a touch of hip-hop, funk and rock, plays as a sensual, elegant ode to unrequited love and missed romance with hardly a bug reference. Abiyah's dreamy voice sings such lyrics as "Sing your chorus to me, I'm attracted to your symphony/At night your vibe is way too low, way too slow."

Explained Abiyah: "I wanted to write something that wasn't a wedding dress song, where you have no other place to wear it. I wanted to get some shelf life out of it."

Ironically, Abiyah wrote about an old boyfriend, realizing their relationship time line was eerily connected to the cicadas. "I met him 17 years ago, because I remember living in Mariemont at the time and the cicadas were everywhere. And the actual time we started seeing each other was six weeks. The cicada references actually worked realistically with him." - Rick Bird, Cincinnati Post - 05/06/04


"Buzz cuts on cicada CD range from love to politics"

"Rise," Abiyah. If we didn't have cicadas on the brain, this beautiful cross-genre song, with a touch of hip-hop, funk and rock, plays as a sensual, elegant ode to unrequited love and missed romance with hardly a bug reference. Abiyah's dreamy voice sings such lyrics as "Sing your chorus to me, I'm attracted to your symphony/At night your vibe is way too low, way too slow."

Explained Abiyah: "I wanted to write something that wasn't a wedding dress song, where you have no other place to wear it. I wanted to get some shelf life out of it."

Ironically, Abiyah wrote about an old boyfriend, realizing their relationship time line was eerily connected to the cicadas. "I met him 17 years ago, because I remember living in Mariemont at the time and the cicadas were everywhere. And the actual time we started seeing each other was six weeks. The cicada references actually worked realistically with him." - Rick Bird, Cincinnati Post - 05/06/04


"MidPoint Music Festival - One 10-buck ticket gets you dozens of bands on 15 stages over two nights"

Best of the fest

Here's where to catch the best of the fest, regardless of genre. You'll cover a lot of ground, musically and geographically, but you definitely will get your money's worth.

Friday
9 p.m. - cari clara (experimental rock, local), BarrelHouse.
10 p.m. - Digby (pop-rock, Louisville), RBC.
11 p.m. - Abiyah (hip-hop, local), Lava.
Midnight - Greg Mahan (singer/songwriter, local), Moose on Main.
1 a.m. - Stapletons (alt-country/rock, local), Mr. Pitiful's. - Larry Nager, Cincinnati Enquirer - 09/26/03


"MidPoint Music Festival - One 10-buck ticket gets you dozens of bands on 15 stages over two nights"

Best of the fest

Here's where to catch the best of the fest, regardless of genre. You'll cover a lot of ground, musically and geographically, but you definitely will get your money's worth.

Friday
9 p.m. - cari clara (experimental rock, local), BarrelHouse.
10 p.m. - Digby (pop-rock, Louisville), RBC.
11 p.m. - Abiyah (hip-hop, local), Lava.
Midnight - Greg Mahan (singer/songwriter, local), Moose on Main.
1 a.m. - Stapletons (alt-country/rock, local), Mr. Pitiful's. - Larry Nager, Cincinnati Enquirer - 09/26/03


"Warped Tour a heady brew of punk, pop, hip-hop"

There were more locals on the tented Code of tha Cutz side stage, which hosted hip-hop acts. As Cincinnati's Abiyah began her set a crowd formed, initially looking to dodge a soft drizzle. Abiyah's brainy lyrics, which she rapped, sang and delivered in spoken word, kept the crowd hanging around after the skies dried up. - Chris Varias, Cincinnati Enquirer - 06/27/03


"Warped Tour a heady brew of punk, pop, hip-hop"

There were more locals on the tented Code of tha Cutz side stage, which hosted hip-hop acts. As Cincinnati's Abiyah began her set a crowd formed, initially looking to dodge a soft drizzle. Abiyah's brainy lyrics, which she rapped, sang and delivered in spoken word, kept the crowd hanging around after the skies dried up. - Chris Varias, Cincinnati Enquirer - 06/27/03


"Moms rock kids' worlds"

[...]
On the local scene, musical mothers can be spotted at the area's playgrounds by day, clutching their drumsticks in one hand and a juice box in the other. At night, you can spy them at clubs all over the area, where they alternate between wailing into a microphone and ducking backstage with their cell phones to check in with the sitter.

[...]
Some rock moms, such as Hauser and Cheek, were rocking the stage long before they began rocking a cradle. Others, like local cross-genre artist Abiyah, took up music after they became parents.

Abiyah, decided to set her rhymes to a beat three years ago. The Clifton woman sat down with her son, Zeque Walker, to discuss the time commitment she would need to make, and explain why pursuing her creative goals was important.

"I decided that, in order to spend as much time as possible with Zeque, I had to make him a part of my musical life," she says.

Some of the most respected artists in town, including Clabbergirl and Chuck Cleaver of the Ass Ponys, played Zeque's 12th birthday party at York St. Café in Newport.

[...]
Zeque, a student at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, recently wrote the music to one of Abiyah's lyrical compositions, "Lipstick," and he's performed with his mom twice at the Vans Warped Tour. He isn't gunning for a rock career, though; he'd rather take his talent to Broadway.

[...] - C.E. Hanifin, Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/8/05


"Moms rock kids' worlds"

[...]
On the local scene, musical mothers can be spotted at the area's playgrounds by day, clutching their drumsticks in one hand and a juice box in the other. At night, you can spy them at clubs all over the area, where they alternate between wailing into a microphone and ducking backstage with their cell phones to check in with the sitter.

[...]
Some rock moms, such as Hauser and Cheek, were rocking the stage long before they began rocking a cradle. Others, like local cross-genre artist Abiyah, took up music after they became parents.

Abiyah, decided to set her rhymes to a beat three years ago. The Clifton woman sat down with her son, Zeque Walker, to discuss the time commitment she would need to make, and explain why pursuing her creative goals was important.

"I decided that, in order to spend as much time as possible with Zeque, I had to make him a part of my musical life," she says.

Some of the most respected artists in town, including Clabbergirl and Chuck Cleaver of the Ass Ponys, played Zeque's 12th birthday party at York St. Café in Newport.

[...]
Zeque, a student at the School for Creative and Performing Arts, recently wrote the music to one of Abiyah's lyrical compositions, "Lipstick," and he's performed with his mom twice at the Vans Warped Tour. He isn't gunning for a rock career, though; he'd rather take his talent to Broadway.

[...] - C.E. Hanifin, Cincinnati Enquirer, 5/8/05


"Chicks keep festival rockin'"

[...]
Abiyah and Hungry Lucy. Electronically based music sometimes casts a chill over live audiences. But these two local artists, who played on Friday and Saturday, respectively, seamlessly incorporated electronic elements into sets that pulsed with warmth.

[...]
Cincinnati musician Abiyah debuted "Fighter Jet Setter" at the Southgate House Friday night. Her powerful vocals and cross-genre fluidity were festival highlights. - C.E. Hanifin, Cincinnati Enquirer, 4/11/05


"Chicks keep festival rockin'"

[...]
Abiyah and Hungry Lucy. Electronically based music sometimes casts a chill over live audiences. But these two local artists, who played on Friday and Saturday, respectively, seamlessly incorporated electronic elements into sets that pulsed with warmth.

[...]
Cincinnati musician Abiyah debuted "Fighter Jet Setter" at the Southgate House Friday night. Her powerful vocals and cross-genre fluidity were festival highlights. - C.E. Hanifin, Cincinnati Enquirer, 4/11/05


"The Highs and Lows at MidPoint"

Abiyah's dynamic showcase at RBC Friday drew a large crowd of both fellow musicians and fans. The singer/spoken word artist played an expressive, funky and sensual set, with her words and vocals greatly abetted by the full-band backing of rockers Paperback (who were downright intuitive in their groovy approach), co-singer Amy Constantine, Animal Crackers/Glue turntable whiz djdq (unfortunately mixed too low) and electronics twiddler Michael Bond. - Mike Breen, Cincinnati CityBeat, 9/29/04


"The Highs and Lows at MidPoint"

Abiyah's dynamic showcase at RBC Friday drew a large crowd of both fellow musicians and fans. The singer/spoken word artist played an expressive, funky and sensual set, with her words and vocals greatly abetted by the full-band backing of rockers Paperback (who were downright intuitive in their groovy approach), co-singer Amy Constantine, Animal Crackers/Glue turntable whiz djdq (unfortunately mixed too low) and electronics twiddler Michael Bond. - Mike Breen, Cincinnati CityBeat, 9/29/04


"Cincinnati Enquirer 2004 MidPoint Music Festival Blog"

(9/25/04) - Funky goddess Abiyah floors me with her incredible stage presence. Her forceful rhymes flow with wit and soul, and she's the only female performer I can think of who can still get away with using the word "bootylicious." Hollywood and Stoltz, who started their days much earlier than I did, call it a night after Abiyah's set reaches a crescendo with a fierce admonition to "Wake Up," enhanced by DJ DQ's emphatic beats. - C.E. Hanifin, Cincinnati Enquirer, 9/25/04


"Cincinnati Enquirer 2004 MidPoint Music Festival Blog"

(9/25/04) - Funky goddess Abiyah floors me with her incredible stage presence. Her forceful rhymes flow with wit and soul, and she's the only female performer I can think of who can still get away with using the word "bootylicious." Hollywood and Stoltz, who started their days much earlier than I did, call it a night after Abiyah's set reaches a crescendo with a fierce admonition to "Wake Up," enhanced by DJ DQ's emphatic beats. - C.E. Hanifin, Cincinnati Enquirer, 9/25/04


Discography

Flow Tectonics EP (self-released; 2001)
Freaky-Deaky Room b/w Too Much Noise (Ghetto Beatbox Remix) (2003; self-released; 2003)

Appearances on:

--Open Mike Eagle's "Old Member Reclamation" - Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes (Hellfyre Club, 2011)
--Roman Beats' "I'm the Beatboxer, They're the Rappers" - (Roman Beats, 2006) -
--2003 MidPoint Music Festival CD
--Seventeen Year Itch: Mating Songs of Cincinnati USA (Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce; 2004)
--Datawaslost Records' Split Single.05 (Clabbergirl/Abiyah) (Datawaslost Records; 2003)
--Flobonics Floetry Mix CD (Rebirth Entertainment; 2002)
--White Is Gray CD, performing the Mark Brasington-penned poem "Blood" (independent release; 2005)
--2merica's "Firstakes", performing "Lift Me Up" (independent release; 2005)
--Bgyrl4Life! - the b-gyrl.com compilation (b-gyrl.com 2002)

Photos

Bio

"Abiyah is the queen of all the mechanical parts of your heart. Her songs let you breathe underwater. She's the only thing your brain and your hips can agree on."
--Open Mike Eagle (LA-Mush Records/Hellfyre Club)

"Abiyah is the genuine article. A woman who is unique, talented and writes her own sh*t."
--louis logic (NYC-Fake Four Inc.)

Abiyah is a master of live performance. Abiyah's voice is the girl next door; real, honest and friendly. It’s something that has been missing in mainstream music.
--Kid Lucky, Founder of Beatboxer Entertainment (NYC), the American Beatbox Festival and the NYC/International Hip Hop Subway Series

Criss-crossing genres right and left - hip-hop, rock, electronica, industrial - Abiyah is one of Cincinnati's busiest and most popular performers. Famous for her poetry, she often mixes in a healthy dose of spoken word in her high energy performances.
--Jim Knippenberg, Cincinnati Enquirer

Asking Abiyah to give up her musical flights of fancy and pick one genre would be like asking a tigress to change her stripes. Forget it. Which Abiyah will be playing the festival? The chanteuse-over-DJ, the Punk priestess, the erudite MC or the avant-garde performance artist? Whichever, her music will be clever, danceable, sensual and confrontational.
--Cincinnati CityBeat's MidPoint Band Guide - September 2005

It's like getting blitzed by Chuck D and Maya Angelou at the same time!
--Ezra Waller, cincymusic.com

Now packaged in a pixie ‘do and a svelte figure, Abiyah flows and sings with the fury of a free wild muse, her cross-genre vocals and floetic lyrics blurring boundaries of avanthiphopdubrocktronica beats. A three-time CityBeat Cincinnati Entertainment Awards Hip Hop nominee and six-time MidPoint Music Festival veteran, Abiyah has performed at NYC’s Sidewalk Cafe with beatboxer Kid Lucky and Carolina Chocolate Drops beatboxer Adam Matta, opened for avant-hip hop vanguards Mike Ladd and Beans and Brooklyn alt-rapper louis logic, and, in 2011, appeared on LA art-rapper Open Mike Eagle’s second full-length offering “Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes” (Hellfyre Club). She is also a poet who has had her work published in the anthology "Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam" (Three Rivers Press, 2001), and is a member of the Cincinnati-based all-female poetry troupe Bitch's Brew. Abiyah is planning a Summer 2012 release of "Ring Around the Rosie" on cassingle, with a B-side remix by Coltrane Motion's Michael Bond featuring louis logic, and is currently in the midst of several collaborations, including, but not limited to, EP projects with future jazz/lo-fi hop hop Russian producer Possible Address and Kry Kids' Dave Rohs, as well as a song with MC/producer King Solomon. She is currently in the midst of shooting video for "Ring Around the Rosie", an effort directed by Brooklynati-based Hip Hop group Tanya Morgan's Ilyas Nashid.