This Calgary-based alt-rock artist released a breathtaking single about depression, vulnerability, and self-acceptance.
Odum Abekah is a producer, director, songwriter and vocalist based in Calgary, describing his personal style as primarily alternative, dipping into rock, folk and indie, or occasionally pop and EDM sounds. The band Switchfoot was Odum's initial introduction to the power of music, followed by a range of UK artists like Coldplay, Adele, Keane, etc.
"I also have an undying respect for Beyoncé and artists similar to her, which is where I get this penchant to play around vocally," said Abekah. "And then harder rock and pop bands like Paramore and 30 Seconds to Mars round things out. But for those who know me, my knees get weak for anything with good orchestration!"
The artist started writing his latest single, "Breath", back in 2019.
"I’d be driving home from work, trying to hum this epic song without lyrics yet," said Abekah. "It really took shape around February or March of 2021- I have an amazing songwriting mentor who helped me focus my ideas into the version of "Breath" that’s currently being released."
It took about a year and a half to finish the song, but only a couple of months after that to record. Odum recalls alternating between feeling great about his single, then just as quickly doubting his project.
"The lyrics are about my personal experiences with depression and acknowledging this inherent infirmity within me," said Abekah. "It’s about accepting that there are a lot of times where I feel weak and inadequate, while recognizing that I have strengths too, and can feel strong again. I spent a lot of my life trying to pretend that I had everything together and then the pandemic forced me to start processing more truthfully, so this song reflects that journey."
Odum created "Breath" with a little help from his friends in Calgary.
"Ethan Harder played some amazing drums, Chandler White played guitars, and I played and programmed the rest of it," said Abekah. "My friend Ben Laughland kept me focused enough to edit everything!"
The alt-musician and his friends recorded most of the instruments in their respective homes, but recorded the drum tracks at Evergreen Studios with Mark Troyer.
"We got it mastered by Cory Bitner here too, and Matt Huber did some amazing remote mixing," said Abekah. "I worked on the song form with my writing mentor Scott Groom over FaceTime in Australia, while these other pieces were in process. It was a longer journey because I’m still relatively new as an artist and I work several other jobs, but I’m so thankful for these people and the support I got from them to get the single done."
Odum hopes that his listeners find something in "Breath" that resonates with them, and allows them to have a space to honestly express how they feel.
"As an artist, I hope to connect listeners with something beautiful and unapologetic, whether it’s heavy or light," said Abekah. "Having a space to talk about important things like mental health matters."
You can help support the musician by listening to and purchasing his music, sharing it with friends, and sending words of encouragement.
""Breath" is the first of an EP full of songs that go similarly deep, and releasing music has been something I’ve wanted to do consistently for a long time," said Abekah. "But it’s a long process and sometimes I can get overwhelmed by it. Knowing that people enjoy it and it’s making a difference to even a handful of people would be amazing."