Last Saturday (23rd March), we weaved our way through the packed streets of London’s West End and headed to Denmark Street, where Casio Music we’re hosting a music-filled afternoon in celebration of Learn To Play Day. As well as giving members of the public the opportunity to try their hand at piano playing with taster sessions, the event also hosted a special acoustic performance and Q&A with South London musician, Jodie Abacus.
Located inside the basement of the Musicroom store, we walked down into Casio’s freshly revamped showroom, featuring a bold collection of keyboards showcased around the room. As Jodie began to play, the small scale of the intimate setting became apparent. With a cluster of attendees, a Casio keyboard and Jodie’s musical talent occupying the space for the hour long set. Giving us a special opportunity to fully lose ourselves in a man and his music.
The day was set up to welcome us into a zone of music creation, as well as performance. Each track presented us with the opportunity to learn about the inspiration and creative process behind it. As well as hearing how each song represented a part of Jodie’s life. We listened to a selection of stripped-back renditions of songs from his debut album, Take This And Grow Flowers, such as ‘When Sunday Comes’ and ‘Save The World’. The acoustic delivery giving the music a new vibe entirely compared to the upbeat original versions; as through the performance we not only heard what he was singing, we felt it too. His delivery of one of our personal favourites ‘Liquor Store Day’, shined a light on the colourful storytelling that features heavily in his music. As Jodie explained how his inspiration for the lyrics was created by imagining possible scenarios on how people might find themselves down dark paths in life, such as alcoholism.
The Q&A that sat between each song, was a credit to the day. Jodie welcomed us in wholeheartedly, answering open and honestly in his response. It was inspiring and most definitely insightful; shining a light on the down-to-earth nature of his personality. It was when Jodie introduced us to his final track ‘I’ll Be That Friend’ that he brought us in deeper than we would have expected. Despite the upbeat and happy vibes that radiate through the tune, he shared how the track was actually born through one of the darkest points in his life. From hitting a hard place in his career, to falling Ill from pneumonia and having his heart broken all at the same time. “You kind of question life”, Jodie explains. “If I knew someone that was in the situation that I was in, I would give them a hug. That’s what I needed at that moment. At that moment in time, I needed someone to tell me that everything was going to be alright”. While sharing his story, Jodie became emotional. It was a heartwarming moment. Before going on to explain the positive of sharing something so personal with the world, “I was able to take that situation and make something of it. And then it blesses other people”.
You can catch Jodie playing at the Jazz Cafe on May 9th – more info and tickets here
Listen to Jodie’s debut album Take This And Grow Flowers below:
To find out more about Casio visit: https://music.casio.co.uk/
Written by Demi Leigh