At the very end of July, Manchester producer and rapper Abnormal Sleepz released his latest album ‘The Meditape III’ – and we’ve pretty much had it on repeat all month.
So, it was only fair we crowned it The Manc Audio ‘Album of the Month’ for August.
If you’re familiar with Abnormal Sleepz, you’ll know that he’s all about honest, introspective and contemplative lyrics.
His music is a refined blend of soul, hip-hop and rap which produces a laid-back, easy-listening soundscape which compliments a multitude of moods.
And as Sleepz has become more versed in his craft and more experienced as an artist, he’s fast-become an integral part of the urban music scene in Manchester.
Armed with a clear vision for his music, he set out on the release of his first solo series of mixtapes ‘The Meditape’, based on the ‘Ten Perfections’ that are practised in Buddhist culture.
Above anything, the project’s experiment concept is testament to Sleepz’ fresh approach to music making. And this latest album, ‘The Meditape III’ is the third instalment to the mixtape series.
The Manc Audio caught up with Abnormal Sleepz to learn more about this intriguing project.
“The Meditape mixtapes are really about a sound being a metaphor for how I identify with myself and the person I want to become through my growth in life and music,” said Sleepz. “They each stood for different times of my life, all a few years apart.”
So, as number three in the series, we wanted to know how this one differs from its predecessors.
“It differs in a way that this is the first Meditape I have included my own production on,” said Sleepz. “The growth, quality and flow of this one makes it its own. It has feels of the earlier tapes with a newer sound – it’s a lot more mature now.”
“‘The Meditape III’ is all about easy-on-the-ear vibes. It isn’t supposed to be too serious, and is more of a vibe to allow myself and others to just get on through life whilst being present.
“The importance of now is a big thing these days. But the main thing was growth, where I was to where I am, and how life experiences and my relationship with spirituality have helped me get to this point.”
On listening to the album, you’ll spot that Sleepz is a big fan of collaborating.
So, you might recognise the voices of some fellow Manchester artists throughout the mixtape. For example, features from [ K S R ] on the track ‘Down Down’, with Francesca on ‘Saturday Story’ and with HMD on ‘Running’.
“Collaborating always allows me space to think and do more,” he said. “More brains are greater than just one sometimes. So, to be able to connect and have these people on my journey in different ways was a blessing.
“I work with people I’m a fan of regardless of their status and how known they are.”
We’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite song.
But stand-out tracks include ‘Lem & Ginger’ – a deeper insight into the usual Abnormal Sleepz productions – as well as the more upbeat ‘Not Today Satan’ which is on a total different vibe.
But both highlight the peaks and troughs that make up the journey on this album.
Sleepz admits this is actually the second version of the album, after scrapping the first. He’d been working on the first version for about a year before deciding to reinvent it into what it is now.
Whilst this might have added a couple of months to the production time, it proves Sleepz’ attentive and committed approach to producing the best possible work – and that you can’t argue with.
So, with the success of the Meditape trilogy, we’re keen to know what Sleepz is working on next. The answer: lots.
“I’m looking to provide a few more visuals, feature releases and productions. “I’d like to spend time pushing the tape and getting on as many stages as possible. The creative process never stops. So, of course, more music will be made for the next rodeo.”
Featured image: Abnormal Sleepz