We had the good fortune of connecting with Abeje TheAtre and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Abeje, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
The most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make? I’d say leaving my job full-time to focus more on my career. My most recent job was a lot of mind work; it became very overwhelming. There was so much I had to deal with everyday, that by the time I got home, I didn’t really want to do anything but chill. I’d open up my iPad and watch a show until I felt myself get really sleepy. Occasionally I’d try to work on my craft. I’d pick up my guitar and songbook, but not much would come out and I’d give up before you knew it. One day I decided enough was enough. I needed to quit my job to focus on my craft; the job was sucking the life out of my soul and my creativity. But it was a battle; I had made certain plans and goals with this job and leaving was going to slow those plans down in a major way. I also made a promise to my boss that she’d have me there for 1.5 to 2 years. She and I had become very well acquainted and I felt like I would be not only letting her down, but breaking my word. But as each day went on, I could feel myself dying more. Eventually I put in my month’s notice, but that was a hard day. I almost didn’t do it. I could feel my heart beating fast, my stomach was queasy, and I wasn’t going to do it. But I DID. The struggle didn’t stop after that though. Technically, my husband and I didn’t “have the money” for me to be quitting my job. I was simply operating on faith that we would be alright by the time I was done. Many times my manager and coworkers asked me to stay or just go part time. I considered it many times. But I’d remember why I was leaving. September 4th was my last day and I did not look back. Right after putting in that notice, a few doors had opened up for me to work on my craft. I was amazed at how God was blessing me. I am amazed at how God is blessing me. And though every now and then I may think about going back to work, I remind myself that God has honored me in my decision and He is keeping me in this time of transition.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
“Everybody wants to be in the music industry.” That’s something you hear all the time. The person to your right wants to be a famous rapper and the person to your left wants to be a famous singer. Well, to be honest, I don’t want that. While I am a singer/songwriter, I just want to make my music and make some money off it. I don’t need my name in flashing lights; I don’t need to be in any huge magazine. Would I like to be recognized or well-known, yes! I say this because my music, while it is open for people to hear and I want people to hear it, it is more for the person I dedicate it to: my husband. I am an acoustic soul artist as some have said. Others have just said I should create my own genre. But regardless if I’m playing the guitar or the ukulele or not, one thing is for sure about my music: it has a purpose and a very straight forward message. I write about REAL love. The love that a husband and a wife share. While I do have inspiration from a few popular artists in today’s time, my ultimate muse is classical music. From the lyricism to the instrumental itself, so much thought and care is put into my work. I want my listeners to have an experience, not just hear a nice song. Oddly enough, I’ve been pretty good with words for years before deciding to take this career path, but meeting the man of my dreams was the icing on the cake. He literally brings forth inspiration! The biggest challenge I’ve had to overcome and the fear of people not accepting my music. One thing my mother has always said is that the people who are meant to have your service (music) will have it. So I stopped thinking about who wouldn’t accept my music and focus on those who have and the more who will. I believe that God will let my music reach the ears of those who need to hear it. My music is more than just a means to express myself and get money…it is a ministry. I want people to be inspired in their marriages when they hear my music. I want little girls to know that not all men are bad, that there is a specific man God has for her that will love her. And I have personally witnessed my music change lives. That does it for me more than anything else. To see my music affect change in such a positive manner, that is the ultimate goal, no matter how far I go!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, being a foodie I gotta talk about food first! As a plant-based boss babe, I definitely have to take my bestie to Slutty Vegan. I don’t eat there often myself, but their burgers are SLAMMING! We’d also have to check out Go Vegan Grill, The Plant-based Pizzeria, and Envegan. And of course I’m taking her to Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market! For activities, first we need to go to the Southlake Mall, not necessarily to buy anything but just for her to see the “style” of ATL (or the outskirts). We’d also have to go to Ponce City Market! We’d go to an open mic at Urban Grind Cafe. Gotta go axe throwing. And of course all the main “touristy” sites: Coca Cola (where I will not warn her about the Beverly from Germany – gag), the Aquarium and the Zoo. She’s definitely gonna have to check out Painting with a Twist in McDonough. And lastly, we’d need to go to the theatre near Lenox because where we’re from, I don’t think they had reclining seats where booze can be brought to you (at least not in a regular movie theatre).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to dedicate a. special thanks to my husband, William Simmons. Throughout this entire journey, he has been nothing but supportive and understanding. Not only that, but he has also been patient and really pushing his craft even more so that I’d be able to quit my job! But not only does he deserve recognition for being a great husband, he has also been a wonderful collaborator. I couldn’t have asked for a more qualified and unique music producer and engineer (and I’m not just saying that because he is my husband). He always helps bring my ideas (and others’) to life. Thank you SIKRAM LAMAJ aka William Simmons for being such a rockstar!
Other: 2nd IG (host on DOPE OR NOPE SHOW): https://www.instagram.com/dopeornopeshow/
Dean Anthony II