"I hear no question marks." That was one of the greatest compliments I could receive. During the mixing sessions of BOTTLES, the engineer said that to me. Along this journey, industry clamor made it easy for me to doubt myself. Over the last three years, I worked consciously to own what I knew I possessed all along. I was inspired for the BOTTLES concept after a walk on the beach of Dead Horse Bay three years ago. Hearing the shards of glass embedded in the ground being teased by the water created a chime that I could not ignore. It was like a strike of lightening to my soul. The title, BOTTLES came to me.
Over the writing and recording process I prayed for the understanding of this title. The songs were flowing but the concept was rather vague although I was certain of it. One day I heard "Are you content with your content?" It was a powerful revelation and gave me the clarity I so desperately sought.
On BOTTLES, I felt a new sense of freedom to create and take things further and even take some risks. I wanted to make my best record; yet inspire my fans, and maybe even gain new ones. Partnering with my bassist and co-producer Keith Witty, we went back to the studio with my touring band: Marvin Sewell, Chris Eddleton and David Rosenthal. We'd been playing new songs on the road over the last two years, which helped me to be much clearer about what to record.
I wrote seven new songs and arranged two covers. The first song I considered recording was a cover of "What's Love Got To Do With It" by Tina Turner. I am not only a writer, I am an arranger, and I love making new landscapes of old songs. What's love is a gem and I would love my fans and generation to re-discover this song through a new lens. The first single "Scent of a Woman" is what I would call an ode to women, "the greatest creature God ever made." I wanted to write something that celebrated women for the beauties that they are, for the simple things they do and the complexity that they embody. Afterall, where would we be without our wives, mothers, sisters, aunts, grannies—you know, all the lovely women of the world?
Another song I am proud of is "Gone." Most people know me as a balladeer but I stretched myself to create an addictive groove that represented the anguish of love that has slipped away. This was a song that really wrote itself — sometimes the pain of live creates the beautiful art. "Little By Little," another original was written for the film "Little Ballers" on Nickelodeon. My desire was to inspire people that dreams can become reality little by little. I would say the lyrics are so indicative of my life and I'm sure of yours as we work hard to accomplish our dreams. "Crazy In Love" which I'd been performing in concert as a ballad for the last seven years. I was bound to record it and wouldn't you know Beyonce would make a new ballad of it for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. She beat me to it but that wouldn't stop me from releasing my version. I think mine is better. :)
"Please Don't Take Your Love Away" is a song that was inspired by composer, Robert Schumann. Classical music is a big part of my life and the ability to infuse it into my music is very organic. The longing in the piano melody is the real foundation of the song. Probably the last song written was "Sorry." One of the biggest changes in my life has been marriage. One of the greatest lessons I'm learning is the humility of sorry. "It's the word that rights the wrong." Then there's "So In Love", a prayer of sorts. It's usually how I set the tone of a concert. Love is more than between people but also love of God. This song grounds me and connects me to God and I thought it important to share that love story too. It also happens to be one of the most beautiful songs on the album.
The title song "Bottles" closes the album and really captures the essence of the theme, "are you content with your content?" The play on words and the sentiment are massively important to the theme of the album. A sort of anthem to the album, I believe this song will touch you in places long left unattended. What's music if it can't touch your soul?
I'm not sure if liner notes are still read, but if you've gotten this far, THANK YOU. This was my attempt to give you a gift and help you understand more about me, and the process making the concept album, BOTTLES. I hope you love my new album and it inspires you. See you on the road. Love, ABIAH