Everyting didn’t start so well for Jodie Abacus. The south London keyboard man’s annus horribilis was 2013, a year during which he threw every penny he had at launching a music career that stubbornly refused to take off, almost died of pneumonia and then, as the icing on a particularly nasty-tasting cake, split up with his girlfriend of five years.
“That was the worst, mental, fuck-with-my-head year,” he says. “It was the year I worked my hardest, putting all this money into making videos for my songs that never got completed.”
He was also working two jobs, assisting an autistic boy in a primary school by day and singing in a Motown tribute show at night. “Then in the midst of all that I came down with pneumonia.”
After years of slogging round London’s open mic nights and talent contests, sharing bills with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Jessie J and watching them leave him behind for the pop charts, it finally marked the South Londoner as a bright young one to watch. Zane Lowe played it. Household signed him. And it’s gratifying to note that there is plenty more sunny, surreal electronic funk where that came from.
He was in and out of hospital in Croydon, misdiagnosed with a bronchial infection at first. When he was hospitalised for the last time, it was a close thing. “They said if I hadn’t come in when I did, it would have been curtains.” And then he became a single man. “By the end of that year I wished I could still have the pneumonia instead of such bad heartache. I was crumbling, sitting in an empty room, just me and a bed and my keyboard.
So I started to play…” In last February he released his 1st Ep “FOR REAL LIFE AND NOT PRETEND”: . Future That dream is now well on the way to coming true. His long gestation period puts him in the rare position of being a new artist with a formidable back catalogue of great songs. He has been working with a slew of distinguished collaborators and producers recently (among Ed Banger Records).