Spotlight: Anabel Rose on her music, creativity and not boxing her sound
An all-round Creative Genius taking the music scene by storm
By Nana Kojo Mula on 24th November, 2023
2023 came with some amazing surprises for Ghanaian music consumers. We have been introduced to some amazing new talents with a wide range of sounds. One such talent that has brought us some fresh perspective on our sound is Anabel Rose. The versatile Creative released her debut single earlier this year and followed it up with her second single, DND, which has been receiving wild reception across social media.
Her introduction to the industry has received great reception with her two singles both taking a unique turn from the mainstream Afrobeats and Afropop sound currently topping our charts. Despite championing a not-so-popular genre of music, Anabel is not backing down and has her sights set on building on the current reception to elevate herself, her community, and the sound. In an interview with Spark Magazine, Anabel opened up about things in her career, some background information, and a peep into what she hopes to achieve in the future.
SM: Hello Anabel, It is great meeting you. Can you briefly tell us who Anabel Rose is?
AS: My name is Anabel Rose Kubabom, I am an alternative pop singer, creative director, and digital marketer but I am focusing more on the music thing. I am also a performing artist who performs at private events.
AS: I understand you are biracial, how do you balance those two parts of your life, and how has that influenced you to become who you are today?
AS: I went to the Philippines in May to visit my grandma. We do not go there often but I still connect with that part of my life. Because I grew up here, my Ghanaian side has influenced me more. But my Filipino side influenced my singing because we are big on Karaoke and we have a Filipino community in Ghana where we connect with other people in the community and my mum would make me sing. Through that, I developed my love for music by learning and playing the guitar by age 10.
AS: Has the goal always been to make music? At what point did you finally say “Okay, now I want to take this professionally”?
AS: Not really. I have always had music in my life in some capacity. I started by pursuing a career in computer science and later switched to digital media studies. It was during my studies that I took some classes in other media-related things like creative direction, music production, and digital marketing, and then eventually ventured into music. I moved back to Ghana and started moving around in the creative space by meeting producers and other creatives. I got a job as a performer and eventually found my way into making music.
SM: How would you describe the music you make to our readers?
AS: I classify my music as alternative pop. At the foundation, my sound is pop, and then I diversify it into other genres. I am currently starting my career, and I classify it as sonic exploration. I am also not trying to box myself despite having a pop foundation. I classify My first song, Love Me or Die, as rock, and DND is still pop, but there are still other influences in there, like the Afro-percussion at the end. An inspiration for me is Amaarae; you cannot pin her sound to one thing, but she has been consistent with her sound in the foundational term. I do not know the direction for my third release but it will be interesting.
SM: How has the industry been treating you so far? Are there any challenges you have faced?
AS: It has been interesting. It has been cool to meet a lot of people in the industry. I am learning a lot about how the system works or does not work. It has also been hard being independent.
SM: You are a member of the 99phaces collective. Can you tell us about the collective and why you felt you needed to be part of it?
AS: Being with them has helped me a lot because we try to help each other, and if it were not for them, I would not have known a lot of things I know. There is a lot that we do not know that we need to know. We help each other a lot with our songs and as a collective.
SM: The music scene is currently having a facelift; what is Anbel doing to position herself to take advantage of the shift?
AS: I mean it is a common thing to say that the whole year, you have to prepare for December. You work on your catalog, you practice your live performances while you wait for the right opportunity. You just have to put yourself out there. I think if you are open to putting yourself out there, a lot of good can come out of it.
SM: Aside from music, you do a few things. You recently creatively directed a video for Herman Suede. How do you balance all these creative aspects of your life?
AS: I started working with Herman last year. He saw my profile on Instagram and liked it. We talked, met, and worked on a few things with him. Later his team reached out with directing opportunities. Before that, I had no experience aside from what I had learned in school. But yeah, Kumabaya was an amazing experience. Through that, I have been able to learn how to direct my stuff. Right now, I am freelancing. I quit my job earlier this year to do this full-time. I have to structure my life now because there is no 9-5 to fall back on. At every turn, I have to remind myself why I am doing this and the balance will come.
SM: There is a notion that female artists do not get enough push or attention. What is your take on that assertion, and how will you describe the current female artist space?
AS: I would say that growing up in Ghana, there have not been a lot of female acts to look up to compared to men and there is an environment of competitiveness surrounding the women. People like to pitch the few that are rising against each other. But looking at what we have right now, with the new wave of female artists, we just have to support each other as best as we can. I like to say we have built a community for female artists where we can support each other and share ideas. So it is looking pretty good.
SM: What should we expect from you going forward concerning your career, especially music?
AS: So I am planning on releasing a few more singles early next year, leading up to my project that will come out next year. As far as this year is concerned, this is my last song of the year. The project which will come after the singles is an EP.
SM: What are your last words for your Rosalindas and our readers?
AS: I think it is looking very hopeful for independent artists now. Maybe because of the mindset of community and supporting each other. Also with the way Ghana is positioned right now, a lot of things look good right now. It is a very good time to be creative or just let your creative side lead you in the things that you do.
Check out Anabel Rose’s latest single “Do Not Disturb” and follow her on her social media to keep updated with new releases
About the Writer
Nana Kojo Mula is a Creative Art enthusiast who loves to document Ghanaian Creative stories through his writing. Follow him on social media