Afro-pop singer Abigail Chams, also known as Abby, has been named the Spotify EQUAL Africa ambassador for December 2023.
She is a multilingual singer who performs in Swahili, French, and English and is a multi-instrumentalist who plays five musical instruments, including the violin, piano, guitar, flute, and drums.
Abigail Chams was nominated for the Emerging Artist Award at the Tanzania Music Award in 2022 and has since gained over 67,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.
She released her debut EP 5 in September 2023, which contained six tracks, including collaborations with Marioo, Rayvanny, Whozu, and Chino Kid.
“Abigail is a true testament to the boundless talent and creativity that exists on the continent, having made such significant strides musically at such a young age. We are proud to have her join our EQUAL programme, closing off what has been one of the best years for African music,” said Phiona Okumu, Spotify Sub-Saharan Africa Head of Music.
In the male-dominated world of music, Abigail Chams had to learn to navigate it with a different compass. “One that is unfortunately twice as hard to use but has ultimately shown me that no force can stop a woman who knows what she wants and stops at nothing to achieve it,” she said.
The Spotify EQUAL Africa programme seeks to provide female artists with a platform to celebrate their music and foster gender equality.
What is that one surprising thing your fans might not know about you?
I’m most creative and write my best songs when I’m in the bathroom
When did you realise that making music was in your destiny, and what is your WHY for pursuing this craft?
I’ve always had a love for music and I started learning musical instruments when I was five years old. But when I was 8 years old, I performed on stage for the first time at a school talent show hall, on what looked like a gigantic stage but felt like home. From that day on, I knew that music was my destiny and the stage was where I belonged.
Which African songs or artists did you grow up listening to?
I grew up listening to such a wide variety of music. But P-Square was the duo that lit up my childhood! Growing up it was African artists like Davido, D’Banj, Tiwa Savage, Sauti Sol, and songs like 2Baba’s “African Queen”, and Davido’s “Dami Duro” that made me fall in love with Afrobeats. And artists like Vanessa Mdee and Diamond Platnumz made me fall in love with Bongo Flava.
To someone who has never heard your music, how would you describe the sound, tone, and style?
My music is characterised by lively pop melodies and arrangements, which allow me to show off my wide vocal range. A blend between Afropop and Bongo Flava in Swahili, English, and French
Any advice for someone who is dreading following their dreams?
My advice will be to always follow your heart. If you are a dreamer and have big goals and aspirations, those dreams are placed in your heart for a reason. It doesn’t matter how big, how far, or how wide they may be; that dream is in your heart and not anyone else’s because God knows you can achieve them.