Tropical sound: Catch Casey Abrams at the Penang Island Jazz Festival on Dec 5.
Casey Abrams set to cast his spell at Penang Island Jazz Festival.
COMING off American Idol, Casey Abrams said the most sound advice he got from one of the judges was simply “do your thing.” Abrams attributed the quote to music producer Randy Jackson. American Idol Season 10 alum Abrams had some memorable performances during his time on the show in 2011. Former judges which included singer Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler raved about Abrams’ unique soulful performances of classics like Georgia On My Mind, I Put A Spell On You and I Don’t Need No Doctor.
Though he didn’t win Idol (the season’s winner was Scotty McCreery), Abrams took Jackson’s advice and is now “doing his thing” in the music business.
Post-Idol, Abrams signed with Concord Music Group and released his self-titled debut album in 2012. On his single Simple Life, Abrams, 22, sings about not needing a television and a phone. In an email interview with Star2, he addressed the irony of the single.
“Yes, I got into people’s life with TVs and phones. The point of the song is to use it in moderation. I see too many people in restaurants, playgrounds or stores on their cellphones. There is a time and place for it,” he said.
Perhaps being under the constant radar of impending fame on Idol has had some ill effects on Abrams.
“People feel like they know me through the Internet, so it helps me a lot. But you don’t need to check on me every second of the day.”
Instead of checking up on Abrams online, fans can opt to catch the singer live at the Penang Island Jazz Festival (PIJF).
Abrams will be sharing the stage with local singer-songwriter Liyana Fizi on Dec 5 at the Grand Ballroom in The Bayview Beach Resort Gardens, Batu Ferringhi in Penang.
Abrams’ stand-alone concert is part of the PIJF’s 10th anniversary celebrations.
“This is the first time I’m coming to Malaysia to play on a stage with my own music. And it really feels good, because music is a universal language.”
Abrams’ music easily fits into a roots music based festival, a jazz fest, a folk fest and also a rock festival. Does he think his music adapts particularly well on any festival/concert stage?
“Yes! I would hope it does. I love playing in any environment, so I try to make my music as versatile as possible,” he added.
The multi-instrumentalist will also be backed up by his band at the upcoming gig in Penang.
“I will have a guitar player that also plays bass, and a saxophone player. I shall play piano and upright bass, maybe some more surprise instruments.”
The double bass is synonymous to the Casey Abrams experience. But does he pick up new instruments with ease?
“Yes I do, learning new music and new ways of interpreting songs makes me happy. If you play one song on one instrument and that same song on another instrument, it will be a little different and give you a different feeling when you hear it. So sometimes I’ll play one of my songs on the accordion or sitar just to feel the song in a new way.”
On his upcoming performance with Liyana, Abrams doesn’t know if they’ll do a duet but he’s certain of one thing.
“I was thinking of maybe playing some bass for Liyana on a song.”
The multi-talented singer also hinted that some songs will be given a new twist.
He also described his debut album as a “great mix of music”. Fans can take that as an indication that Abrams will take them on a musical journey like no other.
“It takes you on a journey, through the mountains of my hometown, Idyllwild, to the subways of New York City. We are even in London at one point.”
n As part of the Penang Island Jazz Festival’s 10th anniversary celebrations, Casey Abrams plays a stand-alone concert at the Grand Ballroom in The Bayview Beach Resort Gardens, Batu Ferringhi in Penang on Dec 5. He will also hold a “Workshop by Casey Abrams - Music and Life and How Music Makes You Feel” at the concert venue at 4pm. Entry by concert ticket. For more info on the PIJF festival schedule and activities, visit www.penangjazz.com. Tickets are available now at www.ticketpro.com.my.