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"Local Profile: AB"


Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from originally?
I’m a God fearing man working hard in the music business to reach my goal of becoming a successful musician. I’m originally from Cleveland, OH and currently reside in Washington DC. I left Cleveland in 2001 to attend Howard University where I spent four years studying music and decided to stay in DC after I graduated from Howard.

Musically, I am a composer, songwriter, producer, musical director for my band as well as hip-hop duo Slum Village, vocal arranger, score writer, and singer.

What’s more important where you’re from or where you’re at?
Both. It’s very important to study your progress over time to see growth so that you can appreciate where you are, but it is most important to always remember where you came from. Those beginnings are your foundation, your roots. The roots of a tree run deep and assist the tree for the rest of its life. That’s why it is important to remember where you come from. But, you must remember, you can not stay there. You have to progress.

Your sound has been compared to D’Angelo among other neo-soul artists. That being stated, how do you go about establishing your own identity?
I feel that no matter what you do in this society you will always be compared to someone. It’s flattering when I get the D’Angelo, Bilal, Maxwell, and Van Hunt comparisons, but I feel I am not worthy of those comparisons yet. I believe that we share the same role models such as Sly and the Family Stone, Prince, James Brown, The Ohio Players, EWF, and all the other styles that are emulated.

But, I still feel I shouldn’t be mentioned in the same sentence as these successful artists as of yet. In order to establish my own identity I plan to remain true to my vision and continue to create the original music that I hear in my heart and my head.

What’s the best and worse thing about working in the music industry?
The best thing about the music industry is an artist gets what he puts into the music. This industry demands much dedication and much hard work. If artists sit around and wait for music executives to do things for them, then they will be just sitting and waiting.

However, if an artist works hard consistently, then that artist will definitely see the fruit of his labor over time. The music industry teaches you that talent isn’t enough. The artist must have ample desire, discipline, and patience. Having the opportunity to network with other artist who are equally talented and hardworking is vital also.

The worse thing about the industry is if an artist decides to sign to most labels, the label then control your artistry! As you probably realize, the music industry is a copy cat business. The label decides what type of music should be marketed to the public based upon past success stories. Once you as an artist decide to listen to your label’s idea about the type of music you should write and perform, you no longer have control over your work. Then once they market that work to the public and the record sales are not outstanding, the label blames the artist and will possibly drop that artist from the label.

If you could look back on your past and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing.

What are your top 5 favorite songs?
That’s too difficult!!! Too many songs but off the top I’ll say.

1.) “Color Me True” - Sly & The Family Stone
2.) “Dazed and Confused” - Led Zepplin
3.) “Even This Shall Pass Away” - The Sylvers
4.) “Earth Song” - Rufus
5.) “Black Maybe” - Syreeta

Best local Cleveland place to eat at?
Big Al’s Diner or The Inn on Conventry

What was the title of the last book you read?
Sister Gumbo by Ursula Inga Kindred & Mirranda Guerin-Williams

Cavaliers or Browns?

What’s your best moment growing up in Cleveland as a kid?
Chillin’ at Woodhill Park in the Summer time and playing rec ball at Fairfax against all the other recreation centers in Cleveland year round.

If you could change anything about Cleveland, what would it be?
Create different venues to enhance the night life for adults and create a music scene for up and coming artist.

- Eighty81.com

"SOUND SPOT: Aaron "AB" Abernathy"

Before I get into some music, let me speak on one of my favorite new comers in the soul music game named Aaron Abernathy a.k.a. AB. I first came across AB and his band The Souljourners when they were an opening act for Dwele a couple years ago. Normally, open acts are nothing more than time fillers in between the headliners, and most of them are forgotten once they exit the stage. That was not the case with AB & The Souljourners though. These musicians made their presence felt with soulful vocals and heavy rhythms. At some points during the show, AB’s vocals actually reminded me of vintage D’Angelo, but that was the only resemblance. AB has his own original style, so if you’re looking for a clone, go that way. Soon after discovering this group, I heard word that these katz had signed on as Slum Village’s official band, and planned to tour over in Europe with the crew. This opportunity opened the door for AB to collaborate with Detroit artists like Elzhi, Black Milk, T3, Bishop Lamont, Buff1 and Zo! Now, AB is slowly becoming a household name amongst soul music lovers. If you don’t know about him, it’s time to get familiar.

Outside of working with The Souljourners, AB is also working on a solo project with super-producer Daru. I have heard several songs from the upcoming collaboration album entitled “A Work In Progress,” and it could be a banger. Definitely, keep your ears out for that one. - Soundnexx

"AB is on deck"

In baseball a player is on deck when he’s next in the batting order, waiting to take his shots at the plate to send one into the cheap seats….you might as well consider this player Barry Bonds of the music game (NO *)

This Cleveland native and Howard University grad has performed everywhere from the West Coast at B.B. Kings to S.O.B’s in NYC to Europe as the vocalist/keyboardist/music director for Slum Village.

Ab (Aaron Abernathy) has opened for the likes of Betty Wright, Dwele, Patti Labelle, Doug E. Fresh, the Whispers, and Enchantment… he has helped create and compose songs for artists like Black Milk, Bishop Lamont, and 14KT, among others.

AFTER taking a look and a listen to the music below be sure to check out Ab’s first album: Ab & The Souljourners “Lyrically Inclined 1.3: The Odyssey” (available on iTunes)

Don’t let this be the last you hear of Ab! Check out more Ab tracks on YouTube, Myspace and absgreatmusic.com - Atypical sole

"AB & Daru - "A Work In Progress""

Proving I haven’t been up to scratch with my blog trawling in the last fortnight, would have surely posted this sooner with urgency had I known…

One bugged out when he heard this LP last night. Magnificent, thumping, bumping, burning, euphoric Soul-Hop.

“This new Midwest sound is a combination of live instrumentation and the refreshingly vibrant, eclectic soulful vocals of Ab placed over the music of beat maker/drummer, Daru.”

Been waiting on AB (one of my favourite new Soul vocalists) and Daru (one of my favourite recent Hip-Hop producers) to drop this little atom bomb.

In my humble opinion (which real heads should always listen to) it’s amongst the tightest full-lengths of the year so far. Most loved joint is ‘Gossip’, that actually killed me when the moody bass dropped in my earphones: like an update of some old Wu sh*t ridden by the offspring of Bilal/D’Angelo. Headphones on!

Best of all, the artists have offered you their work for complimentary indulgence which I suggest you partake in immediately (limited period only). It also features support from Black Milk and Slum Village. Detroit demolitionists all round

You can also purchase AB & Daru’s A Work In Progress via iTunes now < Especially you late comers!

Peace, Love & A Work Realised.

Fantastic**t. - Pinboard


ALBUM: "Lyrically Inclined 1.3, The Odyssey" LP
Release Date: November 3, 2005
Label: None

Black Milk and Bishop Lamont
ALBUM: "Caltroit"
Release Date: December 01, 2007
"Go At It" feat. AB (uncredited)

Black Milk and Fat Ray
ALBUM: "The Set Up"
Release Date: March 04, 2008
"Take Control" feat. AB

Buff 1
ALBUM: "There's Only One"
Release Date: August 12, 2008
"Real Appeal feat. AB"

El Zhi
ALBUM: "The Preface"
Release Date: August 12, 2008
"Growing Up feat. AB"

ALBUM:"The Golden Hour"
Release Date: October 14, 2008
Label: A-side Worldwide
"Less Than Enough feat. AB"

Black Milk
Release Date: October 28, 2008
Label: Fatbeats
"Long Story Short feat. AB (vocals and Keys)"
"Reppin for U feat. AB"

AB & Daru
ALBUM: "A Work in Progress"
Release Date: March 12, 2008
Label: None



Refreshingly vibrant, eclectic and soulful: you have just been introduced to Aaron Abernathy aka “AB.” Traveling throughout the music scene AB and his talented band “The Souljourners,” have captivated audiences and music pioneers across the globe. Opening for such acts as Betty Wright, Dwele, Patti Labelle, Dougy Fresh, The Whispers, and Enchantment, AB is fresh and versatile.

Whether he is rocking on the East Coast with Neo-Soul musical icons Eric Roberson at SOBs, Kindred at the 9:30 Club, appearing at Urban Organics Anniversary with Julie Dexter and Jaguar Wright, opening for the hip-hop duo Dead Prez at Mirrors in Washington DC, Big Daddy Kane at the New Hazlett Theater in Pittsburgh, Algebra at the House of Blues, or performing at The Black Family Reunion Series in Cleveland, you have no choice but to be amazed at the plethora of talent AB possesses.

AB and the Souljourners have also performed on the West Coast at B.B. King's and Macy Gray's Academy of Music. AB has also toured Europe as the vocalist/keyboardist/music director for the legendary hip-hop group Slum Village and shortly after AB and The Souljourners became the official band of Slum Village. They have also played at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans.

Innovative and invigorating, this singer, songwriter, composer and vocal coach—is in demand! He has been commissioned to create songs and composition for such artist as Slum Village, Black Milk, El Zhi, Dr. Dre’s protégé “Bishop Lamont,” Zo!, 14KT, Green Tea, and many others.

Breaking new ground into the realm of corporate America, AB was also commissioned by Nike Inc. to compose and perform musical scores for Nike Untold Truth (www.nikeuntoldtruth.com) and Nike Black Five (www.nikeblackfive.com). AB has performed for the NAACP as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation for the Mervyn L. Jones Golf and Tennis Gala as well as the C.B.C.F. ALC Conference during Congressional Black Caucus Week.

Whether it is Hip Hop, Funk, Soul, Jazz, Fusion, or any other genre, AB will deliver. AB’s album “Lyrically Inclined 1.3: The Odyssey,” has been tagged as the “epitome of cooled out soul and playful funk. Critics have said, “there is cushion and bounce to the funkier tracks, and a laid-back sweet-soul air to the slower material. Excellent.”

Determined to inspire the masses with his spectacular music, AB is journeying, maneuvering and exploring all avenues, from corporate America to the music circuit, seeking to reach his destination—the hearts and minds of music lovers. If you haven’t heard of him by now—TRUST—he is not singing the same old song!