With a new project set for release this summer, Afro fusion hotshot Gabzy talks his alter ego, growing up in Peckham and everything about his latest track, ‘Piano’.

Afro-fusion has truly taken over London. From its humble beginnings in West Africa to its current status as a global phenomenon, it’s taken British clubland by storm. Melding traditional African drum patterns with electronic, highlife and more contemporary sounds like R&B and dancehall, it’s a staple on the dancefloor, embraced by music veterans across the globe, all the while flourishing when a new face pops up in the scene.


Once a fresh face in the game, now a seasoned professional, Gabzy’s ascent into Afro-fusion royalty is well deserved, as he whisks up a brew of Alté, R&B and Afro with a contemporary undercurrent. Jumpy instrumentals illuminate his soulful crooning, as he sings poignant lyrics that stem from personal experience and pluck on your heartstrings.


Growing up in the heart of Peckham, Gabzy’s home was always filled with the sounds of Nigerian music veterans. His dad’s array of CDs blasted out the likes of Fuji king while Wasiu Ayinde was a ‘go-to’ to bring the vibes. Drawing inspiration from his father’s collection, and artists like Wizkid and Burna, a quintessentially Gabzy sound swiftly evolved, blurring genre and fine-tuning traditional African sounds in a newfangled way.


Releasing a slew of singles since his inception in 2016, Gabzy has also got three EPs under his belt. From Malone, a mishmash of bailie funk and soul, to Summers, a project filled with raw emotion in collaboration with Melvitto, Gabzy now looks to ascend even higher, with his first LP set to drop this summer.


He gives us a taste of what’s in store on his latest track, ‘Piano’. Linking up with Lekka Beats, the track is a sultry brew of Afrobeat and Amapiano. Delving into the depths of a relationship, we see Gabzy grapple with frustrations, as he wears his heart on his sleeve atop a laid-back production filled with rhythmic drum patterns and swooning synths.


Booking in further tours, whilst adding the final touches to his LP before the summer, we catch up with Gabzy and talk about his alter ego, growing up in Peckham and everything about his latest track, ‘Piano’.

Congratulations on the release of your latest single, ‘Piano’! Talk to us about the inspiration behind this one? What references were you pulling from?

Thank you! It was a very organic process. The Disaronno helped inspire this one for real. 

We love the melancholic Afro fusion and Amapiano vibes on the track. How did it feel wearing your heart on your sleeve in such a raw and honest way?

The producer Lekaa Productions and I were recording in an apartment in Canary Wharf. The drinks were flowing and it all came together naturally and effortlessly.

You cite Summers, your collaborative EP with Melvitto as a turning point in your career. Why is that project so special to you?

It was a special project to me because it was my first project. A lot of emotion and real feelings went into it. I knew once it was finished that this was a special project that would connect with people. I had a feeling!

You recently collaborated with King Promise on ‘Perfect Combi’ which led to a top 10 of the UK official Afro-fusion charts. Why do you think you and King Promise came together and worked so well on that track?

I don’t ever like to force things, this was again a very organic process where King Promise came to the studio and we vibed. We got on really well and ‘Perfect Combi’ came together naturally.

Mr. Malone is an alter-ego of yours. What should we know about him that fans might not know already?

Mr Malone is painted as a bad character, but he is actually more honest with his feelings than Gabzy. He is more direct and black and white. Gabzy might sugarcoat certain things or exaggerate, whilst he doesn’t. 

You credit Peckham and its multicultural vibe with shaping your art. Were there any places locally that mean something to you in the context of your career?

Peckham on the whole. You walk through Peckham library and you might see someone on the mic rapping or someone singing gospel music. Walk towards Peckham Rye, and you see some guy with dreadlocks singing reggae or dancehall music. Walk further down, and you might see someone making suya playing some Fugees. I feel like you can hear all these elements and inspirations in my music.

Nurtured in a Nigerian household, what songs or artists really resonate with you when thinking about Nigeria?

Growing up, definitely Wizkid, Burna and Davido. My dad was a big Styl-Plus fan, so we had them playing a lot. We would also have Wasiu Ayinde playing… so, lots of different sounds in the house.

You’ve sold out various shows here in the UK and over in East Africa too. What can people expect from a Gabzy show? 

At a Gabzy show I like to take the audience into a different world for that time. Expect a theme and live music. I always like to bring a different vibe and a different energy.

What’s next for Gabzy? Any more releases or shows we can look forward to?

Lots of new music. I will be dropping another single at the end of May. I am also currently putting the finishing touches on my new project which I am excited to share. We are also working on tour dates so there will be lots to look out for this year!

Finally, as an Arsenal fan and ex semi-professional footballer, are the Gunners winning the league this season?

I am going to have to humble myself. Based on experience, I’d say we will knick it on the final day of the season. Last year I was overly confident and thought we would win it with a couple of games to go but this year I reckon we will win it. COME ON YOU GUNNERS!

Listen to 'Piano' now: