Last night I saw Jess Glynne perform in Chicago. That will be another post; however, at this moment we are discussing her opener, Abir. Frankly, I am a horrible concert-goer. I rarely check out the openers because I like the surprise. At times they are pleasant, and sometimes they’re not. Abir was beyond pleasant. I was impressed.
I love concerts because it’s a true testament to the music. An artist can lip-synch for their lives but the audience will be able to tell. They can either hold a note or they can’t match the magic of production. They can either have stage presence or fade into the lights. Their music can either translate or fall flat. Abir successfully does it all. She has stage presence, she has VOCALS for days, and her music almost sounds better live.
Abir Haronni, or simply just ABIR, is a Queens, NY-based 23-year-old. An Arlington, Virginia native with a Moroccan background and a robust voice that hears hints of soul. At 14 she began singing professionally, but it wasn’t until 2016 that she began to professionally release music. Waves featuring multi-instrumentalist rapper/singer Masego was the first taste the world received. Girls, Playground and a myriad of other songs were just the lead up to her debut EP, Mint.
Mint brings so much to the table. Tango, the playful opening track, shows the flexibility her voice has. Bridging classic pop sensibilities with R&B grooves and some hip-hop like inflections throughout verses, Tango features Abir floating through it all seamlessly.
For Ya was a standout to me during her concert. It took on a different life live when compared to the production stylings on the EP. Live it sounded more like a pop masterpiece. A joyful moment of pop bliss. On the EP it is a bit more edgy and darker; which proves that her music does have crossover potential but also translates very well when moving from studio recording too live productions.
Finest Hour is another favorite of mine. An impressive moment on the EP that showcases vocals and raw lyrics.
Abir is also a nice person. She stood in the lobby and took a moment to meet with new fans. The attention is well deserved. She is interesting and also has talent to spare. It’ll be interesting to see where the music industry takes Abir, and where her music finally settles. Frankly, it seems like she doesn’t need musical boundaries, but it will be interesting to listen to the song that provides that big “break”.
Abir, it was a pleasure meeting you.