Le 26 juillet 2016, 05:26 dans Lifestyle • 0
“I would say Atlanta has had a huge influence on my style, but also at the same time, I don’t know what my style is,” says R&B singer Abra. The London-raised artist, whose new EP, Princess, is set to release this Friday, and who now calls the hip-hop music capital home, swivels in her chair as she contemplates this. “I’m just trying to figure it out as I go because before, it was never a thing where I needed to have style. It was more like, ‘This is cute! I’ll put this on.’ ”
It’s surprising—and refreshing—to hear this kind of instinctive approach in an age of celebrity stylists, and particularly so considering that Abra’s sultry jams were brewed right in her Georgia bedroom closet and have quickly found favor in the fashion industry. Just last season, sound engineer Michel Gaubert masterfully mixed her song “Roses” with music by Throbbing Gristle for the J.W. Anderson Fall 2016 show. Anderson’s models stalked the runways in Anderson’s structural, futuristic designs to the sound of Abra’s breathless vocals and the throb of ’80s synthesizers and drums: a pairing right on par with the sci-fi mien of the “Darkwave Duchess.” Even though today her outfit is relatively normcore—a six-pack-baring crop top, a pair of thigh-skimming shorts, and an oversize hoodie—her style signatures are certainly on display.
There’s the gilded septum ring subtly glinting from her nose, the perfectly executed cat-eye flick that rims her doe eyes, and, of course, the freshly dyed platinum hair that have quickly set apart the the young woman from her alt R&B songstress peers. “A lot of girls with darker skin are afraid to pull [blonde hair] off. It was risky but it was kind of a look,” Abra explains. “It sort of feels like I’m starting a wave and it’s the first time I feel like I have an influence.”
Abra also craves juxtapositions in her overall look. For instance, keeping her beauty feminine, the singer splices tomboy accents like oversize shirts and sneakers, backward hats, and high-waisted mom jeans into the mix. Deliberate contrasts are part of her artistic identity on the whole: Abra is a member of the mostly male-dominated Awful Records coterie, a outlier crew swiftly taking over Atlanta with a sound that stands apart from ATL’s rap oeuvre. And for her current European tour that takes her from Poland to Amsterdam, it’s all about pulling pieces that are “aerodynamic.” “I have high-energy performances so I have to try to look cute, but I have to be able to breathe, I have to be able to sweat and not look gross,” Abra says. “I have a lot of tube tops and baggy boy pants that are breathable.”
Accenting these dance-ready pieces with black Timberlands, her concert ensembles at first seem to evoke R&B predecessors like TLC or Aaliyah. Capped off with the custom-made gold grill she had fitted in Atlanta, though, when the singer hits the stage, she does so with a style that’s distinctly her own. “I want my shows to have a genuine experience,” Abra says emphatically. “I want to look genuinely like myself.”