Former front-man and founding member of iconic chart topping ‘90’s crossover R&B turned Pop collective, Color Me Badd, Bryan Abrams, finally embarks on his long overdue solo career with the release of his debut single, “Because of You.” The lush ballad is also featured in the recently unleashed Leslie Small-directed theatrical release, For The Love of Money, which stars Kat Williams, Rotimi and Keri Hilson.
We caught up with Bryan Abrams to talk about the new single, his Color Me Badd career and much more.
Parlé Mag: Friday December 10th saw the release of your long overdue premiere solo entry entitled “Because Of You” — Tell me about this particular track; how did it come to fruition?
Bryan Abrams: I’d been working on a solo project for years, and hung onto certain songs that were very special to me as representation of my growth as an artist and human being. “Because of You” was always one of those songs. So, when I was approached about licensing it for the film For the Love of Money, I knew it was time.
Parlé Mag: Of course (and I’m crossing my fingers here) “Because Of You” signifies that we, the masses, will finally be getting a proper solo record from you — That being said, what all specifically can you reveal about this forthcoming said body of work?
Bryan Abrams: The songs forthcoming—“Because of You” being the first—constitute my own personal diary through the years. Some people journal; I write and record music based on inspirations in my own life. It’s easier for me to express my emotions through music than finding the right words to say.
Parlé Mag: How then do these new materials either differ or compare to what your fans already both know and expect from you as the original lead singer of Color Me Badd?
Bryan Abrams: These songs are more of me than anything I’ve done with Color Me Badd. These songs haven’t been sifted through by the record label or the other three members of the group, or dumbed-down to appease a specific marketing plan.
Parlé Mag: During your hiatus your struggle with addiction became widely known, which even led to some past legal issues —How are you doing now?
Bryan Abrams: I’m doing fantastic. Let’s just say I’ve gone through a lot of growing pains, and I’ve learned to put my mental and physical health first because they both affect each other. I’ve also learned to use my voice to express myself, rather than through rebellious behavior. But I will continue to always be a student in growth mindset.
Parlé Mag: Congratulations on being 3 plus years sober now! My hat’s off to you — Well is recovery everything you had expected it to be (of course one day at a time)?
Bryan Abrams: Sobriety is way more fulfilling than I ever expected it to be! But I don’t underestimate that life can still have its challenges. Life still happens.
Parlé Mag: Reflecting, tell me your whole inception into music — When did you first become interested in it? And, how did it all begin for you, Bryan?
Bryan Abrams: Hearing my grandmother singing the beautiful hymns in church since before I could even see over the pews—I can actually see her face now, just in reflecting—I knew at the age of five that music would be the world I would live in. They sang their hymns a capella so I studied voice from a very young age.
Parlé Mag: Now you’re a native of Oklahoma City, correct? So growing up in ‘OKC,’ who all did / do you consider to be your strongest musical influences?
Bryan Abrams: Being in Oklahoma, I didn’t have much influence locally, aside from my grandmother and mother, so I received my strongest musical influence from MTV, BET and the radio.
Parlé Mag: In having said that, how do you classify your overall sound and / or style?
Bryan Abrams: My first love was R&B and although I have grown to love a wider spectrum of genres, I think my overall sound is that of an old soul. Some people may say it’s R&B / Jazz / Pop, and others may say I have that “blue tone” no matter what I sing.
Parlé Mag: Longevity, what do you attribute yours to?
Bryan Abrams: Sobriety and love from and for my family.
Parlé Mag: What do you want people to get from your music?
Bryan Abrams: Whatever they can. I leave that up to my lyrics to determine how they interpret what it is they want or need to feel fulfilled at that particular moment.
Parlé Mag: On a more serious note, are you happy with the current state of R&B?
Bryan Abrams: It is most definitely heading in the right direction again.
Parlé Mag: Do you have any other outside / additional aspirations, maybe even completely away from music?
Bryan Abrams: Yes, helping people who are struggling with mental health issues or alcohol and addiction.
Parlé Mag: To date, what has been your greatest career achievement(s), at least thus far anyway?
Bryan Abrams: Writing with one of my favorite writers and producers of all time, the late Khalis Bayyan, better known as “Ronald Bell,” the man who wrote all the hits for Kool & the Gang—dating back to before they even had a vocalist (e.g. “Summer Madness”).
Parlé Mag: Finally, what’s next for Mr. Bryan Abrams?
Bryan Abrams: Getting back down to my fighting weight! Haha!
Parlé Mag: Any “closing” thought(s) for our readers?
Bryan Abrams: If you find yourself in crisis, reach out to someone you love and trust, and don’t be afraid to share your feelings with them. It’s not the mistakes you make that determine who you are; it’s what you learn from them.
Connect w/Bryan Abrams Online:
Official Website: BryanAbramsMusic.com
main image credit Erik Johnson
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