Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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AHI: Fully Focused

AHI interview
AHI interview AHI interview AHI interview AHI interview AHI interview AHI interview AHI interview AHI interview AHI interview

With a voice described as "gravel on silk" and an introspective writing style that weaves narratives inspired by both human connection and the human condition, Canadian indie-soul artist, AHI [Pronounced 'eye'] has created a sound that is as vulnerable as it is strong.

AHI's latest album, “Prospect”, produced by Grammy Award-winning producer, Paul Mabury, sees an artist who is growing in confidence. Nowhere is that confidence more present than on AHI's single “Danger”, an ode to the many lives lost through gun violence.

His gift for combining anthemic hooks with heartfelt, relatable story-telling gives AHI's music a feeling of warmth and timelessness. With themes of hope, love and compassion, AHI aim is simple - to uplift his audience through music. While his well-received 2016 studio debut “We Made It Through The Wreckage” saw him garner the attention of music fans and industry tastemakers alike, his subsequent release “In Our Time” made an even bigger impact, receiving a Juno Award nomination for Contemporary Roots Album Of The Year in 2019. “Unarchived”, meanwhile, AHI's unofficial release of 2021, finds him sharing a collection of reimagined and never-before-released songs with fans for the very first time. Stopping by B&S for a chat, AHI talks story-telling, new music, family and his early days as a rapper.

On his experience of writing and recording his new album, “Prospect”, AHI begins "I wrote all the songs by myself for the record over a period of about 2 years, some of them are even older than that. I brought those songs to Paul [Mabury's] studio in Nashville. We made sure we liked the arrangement of the songs and I tweaked some of the lyrics. I made sure that I was happy with the message in the lyrics. We would track it there in his home studio. We would just do the vocals and guitar, track it, and maybe put some drum tracks on it. From there we would take that to Smoakstack Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. We brought the full band in, 2 guitar players, bass players, keys, and we did the tracking there for the rest of the band live off the floor. It was a bit of back and forth but it was a really healthy process. It was a great experience and everyone was contributive to the product, all the players were giving ideas and feedback. No one was waiting for direction. Everyone had something to bring to the table.”

The album “Prospect” and single “Until You” are out on 22ND SENTRY/Thirty Tigers

You can read more from Karen Lawler's interview with cover star/B&S one to watch AHI, including his thoughts on the Black Live Matter movement, the message in his music and his storytelling ability, his appearance on YouTube popular watch Tiny Desk, his rap beginnings and where his love affair with music began. All in the latest issue of Blues & Soul magazine - click the 'BUY NOW' link below to order straight from the B&S shop or read on for high street retailer details...

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Words Karen Lawler

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