Interview with Jason Curtis

Music runs deep within Paul Abro and his debut album 'Another Way of Being' bares testament to a talent challenging and distilling convention at an acoustic level.

No stranger to the world of music, Cape Town native Paul Abro begun his love affair with acoustic alchemy at the tender age of six. Years later his relationship with infectious melody and critical song writing has born a debut album entitled 'Another Way of Being'.

Besides significant acclaim from his peers when the album was first released locally, invitations and confirmation of the album's international release in Japan soon followed. Canada and a further dozen territories around the world have also tuned in and are all embracing 'Another Way of Being' for the powerful statement it clearly is.

Ambitious, passionate and gifted, Abro's journey in music is coloured with a palette rich in influence from Nick Drake, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell through to James Taylor and Paul Simon – all who have aided in determining the original offerings that appear on his first full-length inaugural offering.

If a label is required and with it definition; Abro's music celebrates a bouquet of possibilities from contemporary jazz right through to pop, all neatly arranged and played out with corporeal intoxicating ease. Each asking little of the listener, yet offering hulking wedges of honest familiarity, all filled with perpetual promise in return.

His first signs of breaking out beyond the confines of Cape Town came when in 2004 Abro launched his recording career, releasing a limited edition EP entitled Song From The Small Settee which, as a tester and taster, set the bar with college radio across America embracing its rich content.

With the catalyst and confirmation to continue firmly in place, Paul took to Street Level Studio's accompanied by producer Chris Tait, drummer Kevin Gibson, bassists Wesley Rustin and Dave Ridgeway, James Stewart (piano), Tom Fox (guitar), Mark Maingard (harmonica), Rubert Mellor (accordion), Julia Jakobson (backing vocals) and Rayelle Goodman on violin. "I co-produced with Chris [Tait]," Abro elaborates. "With recording being split over more than six months it was important that the thread that holds each of the album's songs together was tightly woven. Working closely with Chris allowed that to happen.”

Looking for and attaining a sound that stands up to the best in the business insisted that the culminate production ascend confidently on any platform, continent or Top Ten that welcomed it. "I wanted it to be clean and clear," Abro adds. "It needed to be the best it could possibly be and popular sentiment seems to be it is, so I am very happy."

With a successful medical career Paul's talents are clearly multiform as seen and heard in his music. Another Way of Being's CD sleeve sports another Abro original – an oil painting produced by the man himself and stands as yet another example of his artistic flair and creative conflagration that burns brilliant in all that he does.

The music written, recorded and performed by Paul Abro seeks to find that which knits us together, "as well as that which makes us all unique beings," he interjects. "Perhaps one of the greatest challenges we face as individuals is the struggle to stay out of the boxes that society seeks to define us by. It’s important to plot a path that resonates uniquely for each of us – sometimes against the stream of convention. To assist in the unravelling of the great and wonderful enigma that each one of us is – and to go out and live it!”

Powerful words from an equally assertive talent Paul Abro is more than music. He’s a medium through which great art travels. Engage with the man, envelop yourself in his songs and understand a little better what is possible when it all comes together as beautifully as 'Another Way of Being' does. 

What people are saying...

Lisa Brink

Real feel good music! I found the words of 'Angels Collide' and 'To The Moon' lingered on in my head for hours after I first heard these songs and the rest of the album makes equally enjoyable listening!

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