Ade Fabola AKA Dr Fabola is a singer-songwriter whose music is characterised by upbeat guitar fingerpicking and lyrics with influences from folk, blues and roots music.
Here’s what Ade had to say when we got the chance to ask him some questions.
How did you become the artist you are now?
“I guess it all started with an enrollment in a music summer camp when I was younger,
and a few “compulsory” music classes I took in school. At first I didn’t take it all that
seriously and I originally learned the piano and bass guitar just to look cool. Though I
didn’t realise this at the time, it laid a foundation for me which I’ve built on over the years. I later picked up the guitar and got really into fingerpicking, started writing songs, then performing in music venues, then releasing music, and that brings us here really. I
recently adopted the stage name – Dr Fabola – by combining my professional title
(Computer Science PhD) and my surname (Fabola) for uniqueness ;)”.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
“I’ve always loved Bob Dylan’s story telling, Passenger’s voice and fingerpicking, Tallest
Man on Earth’s folksiness and all-round stage presence and Tracy Chapman’s voice;
these are some of my biggest influences. I also listened to Bob Marley, Jack Johnson and
Jason Mraz a lot when I started making music”.
What made you want to be a musician?
“I think there was always something about the beauty of music, the way it moved people.
Growing up, I remember there was a lot of Reggae music around, as well as lots of
western pop and West African highlife music. Then I came upon Bob Dylan’s music;
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright might just be the most influential for me. Everything from
the storytelling to the instrumentation left a mark, I often say that’s probably where my
interest in fingerpicking came from”.
What has been your best gig?
“I played a gig at Matt & Phreds before the pandemic, which was pretty cool. It’s such a lovely and iconic venue and the staff are so supportive :)”.
Can you tell us a bit about your music?
“My music is a blend of folk, blues, Jazz and world music. It’s predominantly acoustic and
driven by warm nylon string guitars that produce intricate melodies. My sound is
predominantly warm and it’s characterised by soft, soulful vocals paired with precise
guitar fingerpicking. You can hear some of these in my latest release, No Tomorrow (out
wherever you get your music), as well as the upcoming releases (details below)”.
Can you describe your music in 3 words?
“Warm, Sweet, Soothing”
What makes you stand out from others?
“My sound is largely inspired by Folk, Blues and Jazz music, blended together in
predominantly acoustic fashion. At the centre of it all is my West-African heritage and
early exposure to Hi-life and Reggae, which I’ve combined with classical guitar
techniques and my love of Folk storytelling, Blues guitar and Jazz improvisation.
I like to think I’ve developed a style that’s somewhat recognisable, both in terms of my
appearance and my sound. My style is the way it is because that’s what I feel comfortable doing, and in time it’ll help me stand out from others. You probably hear this a lot, but I try to be my original self with my true voice, and I’m on a quest to be the best at what I do. Afterall, I’m the best at being me :-)”
What are your plans for the rest of 2021?
“I’m releasing some more music this year, both new tracks and re-issues of old ones. I’m
releasing my 8-track “Good Times EP” pretty soon; and the first single will be out on June
25 th (2021). The EP is a collection of old songs, written at a time that’s not so long ago but yet feels like ages because of all we’ve been through recently. There’ll also be some new tracks coming out which we worked in the studio at the end of last year. Keep an eye out on my socials for latest updates and more info :)”
If you had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?
“Basic human decency 🙂 It may seem like I’ve not set the bar high enough with this, but I
find that we could do with more kindness, love and all round decency in the world at the
Any gigs coming up?
“Yes…On Saturday June 19 th , I’m playing a full set at WitchKingsRum in Ancoats,
Manchester. This is the only one I can announce at the moment in light of the latest
government announcement; hopefully there’ll be more soon :)”.
By Siân Parker