An Interview with Ade Fabola AKA Dr. Fabola

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All photos courtesy of Rouge PR

Recently, I sat down with Ade Fabola AKA Dr. Fabola to discuss, among other things, what he’s been up to during the lockdown, his newest music, his thoughts on the music scene going forward, and what he’s looking forward to the most once COVID-19 breaks.

If you would like to learn more about Dr. Fabola, head over to Ade’s website here, and dig in. Once you’ve done that, check out this interview with Ade Fabola . Cheers

Andrew:
Ade, I appreciate you taking the time today. How have you been holding up over the last year or so? What have you been up to?

Ade:
I’ve been doing my best to stay sane, creative, and happy. The past year has been challenging for a lot of people, and I feel fortunate to be able to continue to make and share music. The pandemic has given me the opportunity to get a fresh perspective on a lot of things, and it’s also afforded me a bit of extra time to write songs. I was also able to get some studio time in between lockdowns, so I’ve got lots of new music coming your way.

Andrew:
Before we dive into your professional career, let’s go back a bit. What first got you hooked on music?

Ade:
I think there was always something about the beauty of music, the way it moved people. Growing up, I remember there was a lot of Reggae music around, as well as lots of western pop and West African highlife music. Then I came upon Bob Dylan’smusic; “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” might just be the most influential for me. Everything from the storytelling to the instrumentation left a mark; I often say that’s probably where my interest in fingerpicking came from.in terms of how I got into it, I took music courses in school and enrolled in a few summer schools for music when I was young. I didn’t take it seriously at. First, I just wanted to learn to play the instruments that looked cool, so I gravitated towards the piano and bass guitar. Even though I didn’t realize this at the time, it laid a solid music theory foundation for me. I later picked up the guitar and got really into fingerpicking, and this led me down a path to what I now consider “my sound.”

Andrew:
Who were some of your early influences?

Ade:
I’ve always loved Bob Dylan’s storytelling, Passenger’s voice and fingerpicking, Tallest Man on Earth’s folksiness and all-around stage presence, and Tracy Chapman’s voice; these are some of my biggest influences. I also listened to Bob Marley, Jack Johnson, and Jason Mraz a lot when I started making music.

All photos courtesy of Rouge PR

Andrew:
Let’s talk about recent events first. Tell us about your new album, No Tomorrow.

Ade:
My latest release is called No Tomorrow, and I wrote it as a reminder – a note to self- to be kind, to love others, to love myself, to laugh, and just live life to the fullest. Does this sound basic? Like the quote Live, Laugh, Love? Well, that’s the idea; the good life is meant to be basic, but we overcomplicate things, and this song is a reminder of just how simple and beautiful life can be. Laugh like there’s no one watching, and love like there’s no tomorrow. It’s one of the most upbeat tracks I’ve ever written, and the folks at Animal Farm Ltd did an excellent job of capturing the bright and sunny, upbeat vibes in the production.

Andrew:
What lyrical themes are you exploring with your new music?

Ade:
My new material explores themes along the lines of love (both on a personal, romantic level and in society), resilience (dealing with uncertainty and difficult times), and looking for the good in everything and everyone. I’ve been exploring a lot of these themes (and the resulting tracks) as coping mechanisms to help me get through the difficult times we face at the moment, and I hope that my words and music can resonate with people.

Andrew:
How about the production side of things? Do you self-produce, or do you bring in outside voices?

Ade:
I know very little about production. Thankfully I’m surrounded by pretty talented people that bring out the best in my music in the studio. Shout out to Mat at Animal Farm Ltd for producing my last couple of records that I’ve released, as well as the ones that are yet to come later this/next year.

All photos courtesy of Rouge PR

Andrew:
Are you into vinyl? Cassettes? CDs? Or are you all digital now? What are a few of your favorite albums and why?

Ade:
I think Vinyl is making a comeback, and there’s something about it (maybe its “retro-ness”) that seems very cool, so it’s right up my street. CDs and Cassettes are great…for those that have CD and Cassette players. These traditional media – Vinyl, CDs, Cassettes – position music as tangible objects/positions that people can relate to, and it strengthens that sense of ownership and relationship that people have with their music in a way that digital media just does not. That said, digital media –streaming, downloads, etc. – obviously have their place and their benefits (e.g.arguably better reach), so in today’s world, the ideal situation involves some combination of both traditional/physical and digital. In terms of favorite albums, Passenger’s Whispers is one of my favorites. Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life is another. As for recent ones, Passengers Songs for the Drunk and Broken Hearted and Taylor Swift’s Folkore are some of my favorites this year.

Andrew:
What other passions do you have? How do those passions inform your music, if at all?

Ade:
I enjoy writing and journaling as a way to process my thoughts and emotions. I do this a lot, and sometimes it’ll turn into music, but not always. I also enjoy moving; I like taking long walks/runs and listening to audiobooks, podcasts, and music. I consume a lot of content this way, and this obviously translates to some of the ideas that I express in my music.

Andrew:
In your opinion, what is the state of the music business these days?

Ade:
There’s so much that can be said about the state of the music business, and there’s hardly anything I’ll say that hasn’t already been said, but from my perspective, the music business we operate in today is quite different from what it used to be. Full disclosure…I haven’t been around long enough to know what it used to be, so I can only position these arguments based on accounts from trusted sources. If we accept that the music business is changing or has changed, then I’d argue that it’s just different now and not necessarily better or worse than it used to be. I’d also attribute these changes largely to technology and the Internet. Case in point, consider how the internet has made it a lot easier for artists (especially independent ones) to reach audiences directly; this is obviously great for artists, and there are some pretty cool success stories. However, one could argue that it has cheapened music as a commodity; this is debatable (and I’m not even comfortable making this argument because I’m still learning about the industry), but the increase in supply (because there are more artists and they’re more accessible) has led to a decline in value…basic economics and all. This is a bit of an oversimplification of a rather complex issue; for me, it’s easier to accept that things have changed and are changing still, so it’s best to adapt to the times.

All photos courtesy of Rouge PR

Andrew:
Should artists be hopeful? Scared? Both?

Ade:
I think artists should always be hopeful. There’s not much left if all hope is lost, is there? That being said, there’s nothing wrong with being scared; it’s perfectly normal, and it just means that artists care about their art and careers enough to cope with the high stakes.

Andrew:
Last one. We seem to be nearing a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of COVID-19restrictions. That said, what’s next on your docket? What are you looking forward to most in the post-COVID world? What’s next?

Ade:
Some new music, some old re-issues, and some re-branding. We’re planning to release a bunch of tracks we recorded in 2020, so there’s new music on the way. In addition to that, we’ll be re-issuing some of the older tracks (on my old music profile before my artist name change to Dr. Fabola), so it’ll be nice to give these songs a new life. I’ve also been writing new tracks that I’m looking forward to recording and sharing with the world.

I’m also looking forward to live music, playing to/for people in the same room, listening to people in the same room, interacting with other artists at gigs and festivals.

Image credit: Farrow Films & Photos

Interested in learning more about Dr. Fabola? Check out the link below:

Dig this interview? Check out the full archives of Vinyl Writer Interviews, by Andrew Daly, here: www.vinylwritermusic.com/interview

About Post Author

Andrew Daly

Andrew has always felt himself to be a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of person. With an immense passion for music, a disposition for writing, and an eagerness to teach and share both, Andrew decided to found Vinyl Writer in 2019 as a freelance column under the column Stories from the Stacks. Over time, the column grew into a website which now features contributors who further the cause of sharing both a love of music and the art of journalism with the world through articles and interviews. While Andrew enjoys running the website, his real passion lies in teaching and facilitating others to do what they do best, and giving them the opportunity to explore their passions in the process.
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