How to be an international success with Abraskadabra
Our Masters student Thiago Jorge from the Brazilian ska punks tell us how to make an impression on the global stage...
Brazilian ska punks Abraskadabra have been doing their bit for the scene's international relations ever since they formed in 2003.
Citing diverse influences from third wave ska to melodic hardcore, the group feature the talents of our student Thiago Jorge. After years of well-received gigs and albums, they're enjoying a hectic 2019 with plenty of live music on the agenda in between studies.
With dates at the legendary Boomtown Festival on the horizon as well as a tour of Japan, we caught up with Thiago to learn more about the band and how they've taken their music to the world stage...
What are you studying and what drew you to ICMP?
I'm studying the Masters in Songwriting. I came from Brazil to London almost four years ago to get a different perspective and see how the music world runs around here. After playing and working with so many unbelievable songwriters and musicians, I thought it was time for me to absorb and share some knowledge and take my songwriting to the next level.
What have you learned with us that has shaped your musical projects?
Everything I'm learning at ICMP is being put to practice everyday. Not only on songwriting itself, which has evolved enormously, but also on subjects that are a good grounding for any artist, like professionalism, productivity, self confidence, sincerity and musicianship."
How did you end up in the band Abraskadabra?
Abraskadabra is my first ever band. We got together as school friends who wanted to start a band around 16 years ago and nothing has stopped us doing music since.
What's the band all about?
One could say we're a straight up ska-punk band. But we believe that we do put a little bit of our Brazilian roots into the songs, and have our own foreign interpretation of both genres, giving us a different, twisted sound. We love abusing of melodic horn riffs and vocal lines, with a punchy and fast instrumental.
You're in the process of booking an international tour including dates in Japan - could you go into the logistics of this? Where do you start when attempting to arrange/sort?
The whole tour is a product of many years of work and investment. Long story short, we toured the USA for the second time in April last year, right after releasing our second full length album, and started working with a PR agency to reach a new audience.
As it worked out we got mentioned in many magazines and blogs like Alternative Press, which caught the attention of bookers, agents and bands around UK, Europe and Japan. We started answering and contacting them around October last year, and managed to combine UK festivals with the tour in Japan. For Japan we have a booking agency, RNR, taking care of almost everything. In the UK it's pretty much a DIY effort with the big help from friends and bands like Popes of Chillitown, Call Me Malcolm, and Be Sharp Productions, which we are so grateful for.
You're also due to play at Boomtown this summer. How do you impress big festival bookers? Are there any promotional assets you need in place or things you need to do to try and win festival promoters over?
We are more than stoked to play festivals like Boomtown, Rebellion and Level Up on this tour. Once again it's about keeping up the good work and counting on friends and good people in the scene who are willing to help."
Through this bands and friends mentioned we met a few people who run stages on the festivals, showing them what we've been doing having a solid material to rely on did the rest.
What's the best piece of advice you've received about the music industry?
Well, we have so much information and hear about different experiences with the music industry nowadays, everyone has their own take on it. I think that we should do what our heart tells us to do, and trust the good human beings that are in it to truly help and be fair to artists.
Where do you look for musical inspiration/influence?
On people and bands, like the ones mentioned before, who are doing what we are trying to do, who help each other, conquer their space in the scene and do music for the love of it.
What else does the future have in store for you and your music?
We really hope that all of this creates an intercontinental connection between bands, and all of us can share the stage and be heard not only in Brazil, UK, Japan or USA, but anywhere.
Visit abraskadabra.com for more. Watch the video to their track, 'The Dream', below:
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