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Zak Abel on hearing loss, the King’s coronation and dancing in the metro

Hanna Kantor: A few years ago I discovered a video from Sofar London where you were singing an acoustic version of the song ‘Unstable’. I was very impressed by your charisma and your voice. That was 6 years ago but I read that your music adventure began much earlier, when you were only 14. Tell us how your romance with music has started.

Zak Abel: I was in a big period of indecision in my life. I wasn’t sure which school to choose, or whether it was better to focus on table tennis or give it up. I found the whole decision-making process really difficult so I decided to write a song about how I was feeling. I found it as a really cathartic experience and songwriting has stuck with me since.

ph. Hanna Kantor
ph. Hanna Kantor

Hanna Kantor: Apart from being a super-talented musician, you’re also an amazing dancer. We could see that in the series of reels recorded in the most crowded public places in London such as Chinatown, underground, or in front of Buckingham Palace. Was it fun or was it the worst nightmare to record them in those places?

Zak Abel: I didn’t like it at first but I got used to it. I like doing things outside of my comfort zone and trying go over my fears. It was actually a really fun experience. I wouldn’t call myself a good dancer so I appreciate you saying that 🙂

ph. Hanna Kantor

Hanna Kantor: You had many obstacles in your way related to hearing loss which is obviously very difficult, especially for you as a professional musician. Yet you never give up, no matter what challenges live through you. How would you define your relation with music and what does it mean for you?

Zak Abel: It’s a way of connecting with other people and with myself. It’s also a way of documenting my story. I suppose it means to be alive in any given period of my life. That’s a real blessing to have that expression so I am very grateful to still be able to do that.

ph. Hanna Kantor

Hanna Kantor: You had the honor to perform at the coronation of King Charles III and I know that there is a very interesting story behind it. Could you share some behind the scenes?

Zak Abel: I was chilling at home, watching Desperate Housewives in my underwear and I got a call from my Management saying one of the singers who was supposed to sing no longer can make it: „ Would it be possible for you to perform in 3 days?” I asked about the song, the answer was “Never forget about me”. I said: „Cool, I’ve never heard about it. I will do it!” 🙂 That same day I went to Windsor Castle for rehearsals. It was a crazy and beautiful 72 hours, learning the song, rearranging it from female to male vocals, trying to get last-minute fittings… On the day of the performance, there was just the feeling of celebration and joy in the air. It was a blessing to be a part of it.

ph. Hanna Kantor

Hanna Kantor: We met today in Warsaw, after your first show in Poland, which went really great! What are your plans after the European tour is over?

Zak Abel: I’m going on honeymoon and back in the studio in January. I have also some plans to go to Crete to do some writing. I have never been there before and I’m really excited about the next chapter. I know I’ve only just put music out but the tour got me inspired to write new songs thinking about what the audience will want to hear. I find it very inspiring.

Hanna Kantor: Congratulations Zak and fingers crossed for your new projects!