INTERVIEW: Zak Abel ahead of this weekend's headline slot at Barn On The Farm Outdoor Stage

Photo: @mattmoorhouse_

Photo: @mattmoorhouse_


Zak Abel is a London bred artist who combines soulful influences with electronic compositions, to create a new version of pop. He is a particular favourite in the live music scene, and hand in hand, his 2017 debut album “Only When We’re Naked” stormed internationally. 


Touring has been a particularly huge part of Zak’s career in the past year. The 2019 tour ‘Date Night’ let Zak complete one of his biggest life goals yet this year in 2019: Headlining a sold out Camden Roundhouse.


This Roundhouse night came amongst a string of European dates, which he described to be “significantly sweatier” than London. But the most notable show for him was Seoul in South Korea: “I was really blown away when I went there. It’s the best place in the world, and the best shows I’ve done. The people there made such an amazing crowd. They did things like, a lot of them asked for the set list in advance, and then organised between themselves and planned what they were going to do on certain songs. For example, during “Deserve To Be Loved,” everyone got their phones out and did the torch thing, and it was so beautiful to see from stage. Or during “Unstable,” everyone held up “Welcome to Korea” banners. I’ve never experienced that before. It was sweet and beautiful, and a really unique, wonderful experience for me.”


The recording process for Zak is very un-formulaic. It comes from just jamming with one or two friends, and recording some ideas in the moment, which ultimately turn into the final piece. But on stage, Zak’s band is slick tight.  The opportunity to play with a band of professional musicians with a rehearsed set is one where Zak sees it as an opportunity to bring a new perspective or interpretation to the music. Whilst touring is only once or twice a year, the adrenaline he has on stage and the opportunity to connect in person with his fans feels priceless. “It’s the only time you can really properly connect with people in an immediate visual way. You know if someone likes your music, you can see them moving and singing along. It’s a special thing that can’t be replicated other than when on stage.” 


Zak has a string of festivals lined up to play this summer, including a headline slot for Barn on The Farm’s Outdoor Stage taking place this weekend (4th-7th July), Saturday 8.25-9.20pm – a coveted slot taken by Dermot Kennedy last year (who headlines this year) and is shared with Lewis Capaldi who’ll be taking to the Outdoor Stage on Sunday.