This month, we spoke with Brooklyn-based artist Abbi Press on her collaborations with Yaeji and Mark Redito, favorite venues, and go-to-gear for making music. Read the full conversation below!
What inspired you to start creating your own music?
Listening to Imogen Heap, ’Hide and Seek’. I remember one of my friends telling me that the singer had also created the song and I had to know how. It was around that time I started making things in GarageBand.
In addition to your solo work, you've been involved in a number of collaborations with artists like Mark Redito and Yaeji. What drew you to working with them, and what have been some of your favorite collab experiences?
I was a huge fan of Mark’s work from his Spazzkid days and the ‘Promise’ EP. We met when he was touring in Portland, OR - maybe 2014? Then, when I moved to Brooklyn, I saw him perform at Glasslands and we just kept in contact. He’s always been a great friend and supporter in music so when he asked me to sing on one of his tracks I was over the moon!! The song we started 2 years ago is actually coming out next week!
And the stuff I’ve done with Kathy (aka Yaeji) is the most organic process you can imagine. We’re friends first, so whatever projects she has going I support in any way possible and she does the same for me; everything just happens naturally. Those are my favorite ‘collabs’ because what you’re creating is interwoven into your relationship with each other.
Do you have a pre-show ritual?
I think my main pre-show ritual is not drinking lol. It has a direct effect on my vocal quality and tone, so I try to save it for after the show.
What is your favorite piece of gear or plugin currently in your arsenal?
My mini Korg Volca Keys. I brought it back into my main process after not using it for awhile and I’ve always loved the organic sound it brings to my music. I want more analogue - been fiending after the Electribe for awhile.
When do you feel most creative?
On the weekend when the sunlight is pouring through my window, got a HamEggAndCheeseOnARoll for breakfast, iced latte in hand, and I don’t have to think about work for a few days…
If you could cowrite a song with any artist (living or dead), who would it be?
This is such a hard question and I wish I didn’t have to pin it down to one person but I think writing with Bjork would be the ultimate experience. When she collaborates with other artists she builds worlds with them through genuine connection. It sounds like it would be more like going on a journey than writing a song.
What are some of your favorite hangout spots in Brooklyn?
Nowadays is my fav venue right now. They have powerful artists like Beta Librae and Umfang come through with relentless techno, a big beautiful dancefloor, and no-phone policy. The no phone on the dancefloor thing actually makes such a huge difference because you get lost in the fog and the lights and the mass of people without distraction. A couple Sundays ago I also went to their Planetarium night - an ambient session with Aurora Halal. No phones and no talking when you’re inside the area of the speakers so that the hi-fi listening is maximized. And they have blankets so you can cozy up with your friends, lie on the floor, and bask in the sound. So relaxing. Otherwise, Fort Greene Park ain’t bad for a hang!
If you were a style of eggs, what would you be and why?
Sunny side up cause I love that runny ooze that sauces everything up real nice. Put a sunny-side up egg on a pizza - game over.
What have you been listening to recently?
This track ‘Touch Absence’ by Lanark Artefax. I’ve been throwing it into all of my sets lately when I DJ under my side project Othere.
As a woman living in the United States, how do you cope with and/or address a lot of the issues our country is facing today?
Being flexibility so the energy doesn’t break me. The constant barrage of headlines can take a massive toll, but flexibility is useful to channel energy in a productive way; to move with the changing dynamics, and drive home my ideals for our society as an empathetic community in my day to day dialogue and interaction with coworkers, family, friends, and passersby.
Do you have any upcoming shows, announcements, or recently released projects you can tell us about?
‘Cloud Keep’ with Mark Redito is finally going to be released next Tuesday! yay! so keep your eyes peeled for that!
And - if you’re in NY, come say hiiii when I play Pianos next Wednesday, April 25th.