Multi talented Manchester artist Abnormal Sleepz has dropped his debut album, Kaleidoscope. The album made up of 15 tracks, is strung together by downbeat, jazz-inflected beats. With the majority of songs produced by Abnormal Sleepz the production gives space that allow Sleepz’s vocals to take centre stage.
Introducing: Abnormal sleepz kaleidoscope
With singles already released including Textures, which video pays respect to the Windrush generation and Norf freestyle, where Abnormal Sleepz is venting about life, we’re excited to listen to the project in full. We caught up with him to discuss the album.
Congratulations on your release, what does Kaleidoscope mean to you?
Thanks! For me as people we have lots of layers where our emotions are concerned so it was important that this project reflected my energy and how I felt through the constant changes. A kaleidoscope has different colours and shapes that are constantly changing. Similar to how this project has lots of layers, feelings, and vibes but on a similar frequency. It marks a transitional period for me. It's almost like an hour long therapy session with myself.
How did you come about picking your features for this project?
I'd had a few people in mind for this but it just came together naturally. I had planned to already to work with the people featured, but it so happened that the songs we did were strong and fit my vision. It made sense having Fox & DRS - two of Manchesters OG's on board as they already had TNQ affiliation. HMD's my brother so he was always going to be part of this. Misha B actually grew up with me through high school and whilst recording one of her singles with me she ended up contributing to a really special song.
How would you say your sound has changed since The Meditape 1/2?
I'd say my sound has developed a lot since The Meditape 1/2. This project I had more control over the sound and the production. Having produced 13 out of the 15 tracks the sound has shifted so much but the vibe and frequency is the same. This project isn't like the Meditape series, its one of its own kind. Theres a lot more of me given to this project and where as Meditape involved a lot of different people & energies, this one was mainly just me in solitary.
Your video for Textures paid homage to the Windrush generation, how important is it to represent these things in music?
I think it's really important that I represent my culture and background through music and visuals. It also helps creates awareness to things that have happened locally and around the world. People like relatable things too, so if the theme or concept relates to the audience its already a better experience for them. It's easy to forget about things like the Windrush generation these days with so much going on.
You produced majority if the songs on this project, whats your musical process like?
For this project I had a lot of songs made at different times and my process is different every time I approach a song. Generally, if I got what I call an 'itch' to create, at the time it consisted of me in my studio completely alone. It was a lot of late nights and early mornings so I'd set the vibe, light my candles and search through sounds and samples. I'd acquire the right sound for my mood and literally write my song whilst building the beat until I had something solid produced. Once I got a loop I'm straight on the mic recording whatever I wrote in the moment and building a structure as organically as possible. Once it feels right I'll tweak but never overcook it. It's always important to listen to it on fresh ears the next day though. Done this for a year straight and I had a lot of music. It was difficult eliminating songs and hard to choose what made the cut.
What song of the project are you most excited about performing live?
Textures is already one of the favourites but in terms of the tunes I've not done yet, I'd say its between Lean & Girls. I'm not sure which but the energy of the songs and vibe gets me. I'd enjoy taking it in and performing them live. They slap too.
What do you want people to take from Kaleidoscope when they listen to it?
I want people to interpret the music in their own way. Enjoy the music for what it is and take my mental journey and turn it into their own. I want people to be able to vibe with it and take their time. I hope it's a good distraction but i want people to understand me better as an all round artist and not just a 'rapper'.
You can listen to Kaleidoscope here.