One of the more accomplished unsigned acts male or female on the Hip Hop landscape currently, New Jersey native A.B.Y.S.S has performed both domestically and internationally asopening act to rap artist Maino, Reggae superstar Serani, and for comedian Tommy Davidson gracing stages such as legendary New York City venue S.O.B’s for the Who’s Next! Hot 97 and the Funk Master Flex Car Show, which received great reviews on some of Hip Hop’s leading websites and a mountain of recognition from leading brands such as Remy Martin, XXL and even legendary producer Rockwilder. Recording No Accident in Swizz Beats’ studio with affiliated artist Drag-On from Ruff Ryders, Abyss accomplished placement via Koch Records, now known as E1 with the release.
2010 saw her drop her street album titled Tha Wife Not Tha Mistress which racked up over 30,000 downloads within the first month, and set the stage for her 2012 album independently titled, A.I.M (Abyss.Is.Mandatory) which received great reviews and accolades from her music industry peers and executives. Currently working on a new EP titled Rhythm & Byssness, set to be released shortly which offers a confident, conservative yet sexy, & positive image that will introduce her to a new audience.
For those who may not know, what does A.B.Y.S.S stand for and how long have you been recording and performing under that name ?
A.B.Y.S.S. as an acronym stands for “Ask Before You Speak Stupidity”; who would know me better than me, right? But the name as a whole means, my creativity, combined with my passion for what I do is limitless, so you never know what to expect.
Give us a list of some crowning achievements in your career thus far, which have served your brand well ?
I was blessed to win the part as 16 Bar Challenge champion, presented by Liquor Brand Remy Martin as well as XXL Magazine’s “Block Talk Battle” Runner Up. I have also performed at the Fuck Flex Car Show, recorded with Drag-On and been on a single released by Koch (now E1 records) which allowed me to be featured on All Hip Hop. I had the pleasure of working with Dave House formerly of Interscope Records on my street album Tha Wife Not Tha Mistress a project which got 30 K in downloads. Lipstick Radio presented me with the Award for Best Female R&B Singer and I’ve been featured on The Hype Magazine recently; And I definitely want to mention that I am nominated for Best Female Artist by the All Star Music Awards coming this November 30th
You have opened for a very good list of artists, most notably Maino, Serani, Comedian Tommy Davidson to name a few. In moments like that, what do you feel becomes the greatest lesson you have learned maybe something shared via conversation or just in the course of business?
There’s no such thing as too much practice for your craft. You never know what kind of opportunity will present itself, so you must be prepared. Make sure you have the right music to please a specific audience. The audience never lies, so listen to their reaction after your performance. Always have merchandise ready to sell, or at least a card with your information for people who are interested in your brand.
You have touched the stage of many renowned venues citywide; what night or nights would you say stand out as memorable performances or a moment where you felt you have arrived, and the hard work you have put in has finally began to pay off?
I learn every time I touch a stage, so they’re all memorable for me. But to be able to mingle with industry greats like Funkmaster Flex, Jazzy Joyce, Monse, Roc Wilder, etc, and get positive feedback like “Keep going, never stop, you’re dope, you’re gonna make it“, is priceless! To be able to soak up the knowledge they have, and take a couple gems to rock with, is everything!
You got the chance to work with Drag-On, whom we all know from Ruff Ryders fame on a record titled, No Accident; how did that come about?
Back in 2009, I decided to get a well known entertainment lawyer to represent me in the process of submitting my music to various labels. He introduced me to Grady & Panther of Grind House Studios, and they immediately fell in love with my skill. The funny part is that they wanted to really see for themselves if I write my own stuff. Drag-On was already coming through, so they locked me in the studio, and told me if I could write a song in 2 hours, they’d get him on the track. I wrote that joint in 45 minutes!
Over the years you have released some critically acclaimed projects, lets start with Tha Wife Not Tha Mistress which is a dope title, talk about some of your favorite records on that tape.
Thank you! I love the whole album. I think it’s a classic joint. But my favorite tracks are Respect My Grown Woman, Far From Over & Deeper. The first 2 are tracks that just go in! I often listen to them for inspiration. And Deeper has that timeless sex appeal, that flows so well. I think years from now it’ll still be dope!
You hit Bronze with that mixtape, what did you do to celebrate?
Back to the music! Bronze is cute, but it’s not enough. I’m grinding until I no longer have to introduce myself when I go anywhere.
A.I.M was the next up: Talk to us about the progression of yourself as an artist between those two releases.
I feel like I matured to a level of self consciousness, and became more aware of my surroundings. On this album, I shed light on different things concerning the industry, other artists and my peers.
You are currently working on Rhythm and Byssness correct; when can we expect a release ? What should we look forward to content wise?
Actually, “Rhythm & Byssness” was released on August 22, 2014. It’s an R&B ep dedicated to giving my fans the softer side of A.B.Y.S.S., while incorporating the emcee they already know & love. This ep is inspirational, fun, sexy, & talks about strong love and heartbreak. You can find it at http://abyssthabyssness.bandcamp.com
I’m currently working on a project titled Black Suits & Pink Slips, which I’ll be taking my time with, to perfect it, and release it when I’m absolutely ready. I’ll be getting back to my hip hop roots on that one. I have official videos coming soon of songs from the R&B ep, and the grind continues! Thank you so much for rocking with me!
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