"Asking Abiyah to give up her musical flights of fancy and pick one genre would be like asking a tigress to change her stripes. Forget it. Which Abiyah will be playing the festival? The chanteuse-over-DJ, the Punk priestess, the erudite MC or the avant-garde performance artist? Whichever, her music will be clever, danceable, sensual and confrontational." 

--Cincinnati CityBeat's MidPoint Music Festival Band Guide

“As a musician, you wish that your music has enough range and understanding to create a personalized approach to an amalgamation of various styles that speaks to the sum of your influences but still retains a voice that is uniquely your own. Look no further than Abiyah.” —Beans, founding member of legendary alternative electro hip hop group Antipop Consortium

Abiyah is a genre-bending Cincinnati-based vocalist and songwriter whose sound is based upon a highly workable concoction: she fuses her punk ethos with her love of new wave and post-punk, trip hop, alternative hip hop, dancehall reggae, indie rock, floetry, and experimental noise with the fierceness of a free wild muse. “I would say my sound is like a curveball,” she muses. “Because you don’t know what you’re getting next.” No doubt that the adventure-loving listeners who’ve been following Abiyah’s artistic arc—as well as those who are new to it—can’t wait to find out what that will be.

Few figures in music ever really live up to the title of “renaissance artist,” but Ohio firebrand Abiyah has truly earned the epithet. Not satisfied with simply sticking only with her musical and lyrical base, she has to do it all. A six-time CityBeat Cincinnati Entertainment Awards nominee and six-time MidPoint Music Festival veteran, Abiyah has toured and performed at NYC’s both now-defunct Sidewalk Cafe and Trash Bar, snagged slots on the Vans Warped Tour, sang and DJ’ed the 2022 BLINK Cincinnati festival, and has opened for NOLA bounce legend Big Freedia, Alice Bag (poetry set), Mike Ladd, Beans, Serengeti, and clipping. (featuring a pre-“Hamilton” Daveed Diggs),, while also appearing on LA art-rapper Open Mike Eagle’s second full-length offering Rappers Will Die of Natural Causes. "Abiyah is the queen of all the mechanical parts of your heart," says LA-based alternative hip hop artist and now-comedian Open Mike Eagle. "Her songs let you breathe underwater. She's the only thing your brain and your hips can agree on.” She is also an all-vinyl dancehall reggae DJ with Cincinnati- based Queen City Imperial Soundsystem.

Additionally, Abiyah’s acclaimed discography swelled with single after sweltering single: “Boom” a duet released on cassingle with local emcee Evolve (2017), the double A-side electro-pop single “Crylike”/“Masked” (2018), the Portishead-like “Mirror Flower” (2019; also released as a Eugenius remix), and “Champion Plaque” (2019), a track featuring Fake Four Inc. label maven Ceschi, who in April 2021 invited her to perform on his famed Fake Four Friday livestream during the COVID pandemic.

Over the last two decades, she’s also racked up recorded collaborations and stage-to-the-page performances that resonate to this day—a poet published in the anthology Bum Rush the Page: A Def Poetry Jam (Three Rivers Press, 2001), Abiyah killed it on her impressive 2002 EP debut single “Free Wild Muse” produced by N8tiveSun (Eargasms: Crucialpoetics, Vol. 1), got all Grace Slick on 2004’s Coltrane Motion remix of her psychedelic cicada love song “Rise,” and tweaked Bobby McFerrin’s notion of melodic vox on “Ring Around the Rosie,” an a capella/beatbox meditation recorded with Fairmount Girls’ Dana Hamblen and beatboxer Marty Spitfly.

With her first full-length release December 2023), the Eugenius-produced Strangers Love Me, Abiyah returns to her new wave roots, singing more than rapping or toasting while also diving deeper into the avant-garde and experimental sonic waters that she’s visited in the past—along the way further crushing musical boundaries and pushing not just herself as an artist, but her fans as well.

From her iconic days at the forefront of the floetry genre when she pre-dated and sidestepped the stereotypical lovelorn verses spit at coffeehouse open mics, to her postmodern style smeared and sometimes sung across any style she chooses, Abiyah still has something to say. And it’s gonna be in a language she invented. And it will be spoken and sung to the ages.

Recommended If You Like: Santigold, Massive Attack, New Order, Portishead, Alice Bag, Mike Patton, Thievery Corporation, Ari Up, Kraftwerk, MIA, Sister Carol, Sonic Youth, Björk