After a massive year in 2018, we caught up with Irish hip-hop collective Chasing Abbey to chat about their history, their new music and what they’ve got planned for this year.
How did Chasing Abbey get together and start making music?
The three of us went to the same school together in Tullamore. A school competition came up with the opportunity to perform a song on the local radio station. Our music teacher, Stacy Hogan, brought the three of us together to take part in that competition and it was the first time the three of us played music together as a group. After that we explored different music avenues separately and came together in 2016 and began making music as Chasing Abbey.
What is the modern hip-hop & urban scene like in Ireland?
The hip-hop & urban scene in Ireland right now is the strongest it’s ever been. There’s loads of artists making quality music. As well as that there’s loads of artists selling out shows, doing millions of streams and gaining recognition from abroad too. It’s really exciting and something we are proud to be apart of.
Tell us a little about the latest single ‘Hold On’.
‘Hold On’ is a ‘weather the storm’ type track. It highlights the struggles you face in the industry/lifestyle but can be applied to normal life too. It’s about sticking together through a tough time with the hope that when you get through it things will be better. It’s also kind of a brothers in arms track, and sticking by each other. The line ‘my bis they tell me Hold On’ highlights this. ‘Bis’ is a term we use for very close friends; your real ones. Production wise it takes inspiration from trap/urban/hip-hop sounds with a big chorus and melodic rap throughout. We’ve been told it has some Post Malone type vibes which is cool.
What’s the story behind The Odyssey Project EP?
The Odyssey Project was written in a 4 week period, just off the back of our headline tour in September of 2018. The tour was amazing and just really inspired us. So much so, that the day after the tour ended we hit the studio straight away. The Odyssey Project reflects our journey from the very beginning up until now. It highlights the trials and tribulations we have faced but also the good times we have had too. It’s just been an absolute journey for us, full of ups and downs, and we feel ‘The Odyssey Project’ really captures it. As for the name, ‘The Odyssey Project’, it comes from a video game Teddy was playing at the time we were in the studio writing for the project. He was playing ‘Assassins Creed Odyssey’. He just really loved the word ‘odyssey’ and when we learned its true meaning we knew that’s what the EP had to be called. An epic journey.
How does this latest release compare to your previous work?
It’s a little different from a our previous work, it’s much more urban/hip-hop, but the format is basically the same. Big chorus, melodic rap, a beat that hits hard. Things that always come through in our music. That’s pretty much just our sound.
How do you usually approach writing new tracks?
It can happen in lots of different ways but usually it starts with the beat first. Bee will get the beat sounding good and then if we all agree it’s worth continuing Teddy will throw down a hook. From there Teddy and Outro will put down a couple of verses and maybe a middle 8. When we have the bare bones of a song we then get stuck into the nitty gritty of it all; adding nice fills and bass lines, transitions, nice sounds and drum patterns.
2018 was a big year for you on the live circuit. What were the highlights?
The highlight of 2018 for us live wise was definitely our sold out headline tour. It was our first headline tour so it was an amazing experience, one that we will never forget.
What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
Our plans for 2019 are to release ‘They Odyssey Project’ in April, then do a series of headline and festival shows from April to around August. In between all of that we hope to get 1 or 2 more singles out and announce an Irish/UK tour sometime in Autumn. We have loads of plans for music videos and other exciting content too, so it’s gonna be a very busy, exciting year.
Which artists are you most inspired by and look up to?
Dr. Dre, Eminem, Michael Jackson, Johny Cash, Migos, Biggie, Travis Scott, Drake, Post Malone, Skepta.
What are you listening to most right now?
Travis Scott, Drake, Post Malone, Dave, Migos, Skepta