Filling out St Stephen’s Church in the early afternoon slot at Bushstock 2018, the powerful voice and searing instrumentation stand out amidst an impressive line-up.
Homegrown talent Abi Ocia took her place among an impressive array of artists for the multi-venue festival held in Shepherd’s Bush, ten minutes from where the 24-year-old grew up.
Having attended Every Nations Church from the age of eight, for Abi performing at such a venue came naturally.
She said: “I’ve been going since I was eight and started singing there and I feel very much at home in church.
“Church is a massive influence for me, I grew up listening to a lot of Christian folk.
“It’s a great genre. There are some massive bands and I think the atmosphere they give in services is a big thing for me.
“I want people to feel something, and I think worship music makes you feel something.
“Even if you don’t necessarily agree with something you still feel something from the music.
“Whether that’s lyrical or instrumentation, I can take something out of a lot of genres.”
Having spent her formative years in the surrounding neighbourhood, Abi is delighted to see the area booming culturally.
Indeed, Bushstock is a fitting homecoming for her, marking the first time she has performed under her own name in her hometown.
She said: “Initially I’d never have assumed an area like Shepherd’s Bush would house something like Bushstock, but the venues do lend itself to that culture of music.
“I think everywhere needs an injection of creativity to keep it alive.
“This area for sure will benefit from this festival. I hope people who live locally can come, you’ve got to make these things accessible.
“It’s all good having festivals that cost x amount but if local people can’t attend then why are we doing it. You have to make it accessible to all people on all accounts.”
While this was a successful return, it’s clear Abi will be soaring to greater heights soon, with a performance at Latitude Festival on July 15 next on the agenda.
And Abi admits it will mark another important milestone in her fledgling career.
She said: “I love the intimate stuff but I also love the chance to go on a big stage. I haven’t done anything like Latitude yet, so I’m really looking forward to that chance.
“It’s a milestone.
“You get so fixated on some things and lose sight of the big picture.
“Sometimes you can forget to self-reflect and realise these are blessings falling down on me.
“I do feel very, very blessed and I do hope it continues.
“There will be more music. There’ll always be more music.”
Having made her mark with tracks including ‘Running’ and ‘Konfyt’, Abi admits there is more music coming very soon.
Yet, at a time when streaming and downloads are more in demand than ever, the Bristol University graduate remains resolute in her desire to release something in physical form.
“There’s definitely more music coming soon. Whether it’s as an album or something else I don’t know yet.
“We are in a culture where streaming and online presence is important. I’m a fan of bodies of work, wehter an album or ep something that reflects you across a time period.
“It will be in a nice, collectible form.
“Album is a great word, let’s keep that word alive as long as you can.
“Nothing compares to it. I like narrative and to be taken on a journey I think you can only do that as an album or EP where you can take the time to digest it.”
- 43Plethora of international classical musical stars will swarm to the annual non-profit Wimbledon Music Festival between 13-28 November, writes Kieran Walsh. Musicians will perform throughout the two-week event showcasing pieces from Chopin to Schumann to jazz for people of all ages and experience. Festival director, Anthony Wilkinson, said: “I think…
- 43Popular venue K West hosted the successful inaugural 'K West Live' night yesterday (March 15). Over 150 people from the music and fashion industries attended the new monthly music gig at the Bushstock Festival venue in Shepherd's Bush. Headliner and rising star, Rothwell, a young British singer-songwriter from Bristol, favoured…
- 40Shepherd’s Bush hosted another popular Oxjam musical takeover in support of global charity Oxfam this month. The Bush Theatre, and venues the Sindercombe Social and Defectors Weld played host to an eclectic mix of home-grown musical talent. The event was part of a nationwide festival that sees pubs, bars and…
- 36Gothenburg artist Nadia Nair attributes her growing reputation as one of Sweden's most exciting musical talents to a diverse heritage and a desire to avoid labels. Nadia performed at Bushstock Festival on Saturday, June 23, which is held across several locations around Shephard’s Bush, including The Library at Bush Theatre,…