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Abi Ocia

These things take time.

Abi Ocia began working on what would become 'Konfyt' two years ago, returning to it sporadically in that time.

Chipping away at the song, Abi finally unveiled the finished product a few days ago - and the response was ecstatic.

Intimate, personal songwriting, it displays both her innate breadth and her quiet ambition.

Clash invited Abi to tell us more about the track, and she revealed her working practices, her approach to songwriting, and her inspiration.

Tune in now, then check out her words after the jump.

‘Konfyt’ was written about two years ago – around the same time I started working with a producer called Mkulu. It was our third or fourth session together; I picked up the electric guitar and started to play a riff that seemed to stick. Placed into the gifted hands of Mkulu – we walked out of the studio with the backbone of ‘Konfyt’ a couple of hours later.

Lyrically ‘Konfyt’ was easy to position. I was writing from a place of hindsight, in which past experiences are always 20:20, clear enough to talk openly and honestly about. In the process of being vulnerable with myself, I wanted ‘Konfyt’ to also give its listeners the space to do the same – to be able to look back on the familial with a sense of warmth, and to look back on grief with a sense of acceptance. Mkulu brilliantly translated this narrative into his production – mixing warm tribal textures with simple chord progressions, allowing the song to breathe. The opening conversation on the track stems from a phone call with my cousin and her voice, like my mothers, never fails to remind me of home.

After sitting with the track for a good few months, Mkulu and I agreed that we could push the production even deeper into its lyrical content. We began work on ‘Konfyt’ again, this time along side producer Felix Joseph and three wonderful musicians – Todd Oliver (guitarist), George Moore (pianist) and Philippe Clegg (bassist). We stripped back the song, added textures of live instrumentation, layered drums and chorus vocals and received a beautiful mix from Felix.

Two years down the line, ‘Konfyt was finally ready and its message still remains true. We all have hiding places that are ‘unfamiliar’ to those around us, where the ‘darkness’ and ‘light’ of our own selves tirelessly battle, and I hope ‘Konfyt’ can be a reminder of home in those moments.

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