U.K.’s Zak Abel Has MNek’s Talent, Bruno Mars’ Vocal Skill & Miguel’s Charisma as an AfterBuzz TV Quarantine Music Discovery!

Written by: James Maple – April 22nd, 5:21pm pst


Music has the power to inspire you no matter your locale. Across seas, across the street and sometimes, especially now, from the comfort of your quarantined home. Afterbuzz TV is here to help you discover new music during this time of self isolation with a series of emerging musical acts that may not be on your radar. Our Quarantine Music Discovery series continues with another United Kingdom based artist. Also, like last week, we’ve included a complementary Spotify playlist of our top ten songs for our selected artist available HERE

If you are a fan of the raw talent of MNek, the vocal styling of Bruno Mars and the charisma of Miguel, then our featured artist this week, Zak Abel, may be your new favorite singer. 

We hope you haven’t traveled too far from our last article covering the amazing Sinead Harnett from London. A small trip on the London Tube is all it takes to find ourselves in the musical embrace of her friend, or mate depending on where you’re reading this, Zak Abel.

Born to Morroccan and English parents, Zak began his music career after a pretty successful stint as a table tennis player.  Zak’s table tennis skills took him quite far.  He was ranked number one at the 2009 Cadet Boys’ Singles National Championship at age 14. Realizing the repetitive nature of table tennis, Zak turned his attention to turntables and began to make music. Garnering an online following after uploading several videos of him performing locally in 2012, Zak carved out his musical niche and has made a name for himself since. 

Combining elements of R&B, pop and electronica, Zak was able to work with fellow emerging producers Kaytranada, Wookie, Tom Misch, Jarreau Vandal and Avicii to enhance his already unique style. After several singles, features and EPs, Zak has gained the attention of many music fans, ourselves included. We’ve compiled a list of Zak Abel’s top ten songs to help you as you discovered our favorite new artist, Zak Abel.

  1. Zak Abel “Love Song.” Love Song. 2018

Credit: Genius.com

“Love Song” starts off our playlist for its playful nature. On the surface, you may think this is a song which needs very little explanation, you’d be wrong. “Love Song,” is cleverly titled to hook you in. A song about rejection and moving on. With lyrics like,”I had so much love to give, you took it all. I ain’t falling, falling for it. Do you hear these words, the way they’re meant at all? Oh, you probably think this is your love song, baby. This ain’t nothing like a love song, baby. Just because I let you drive me crazy. You’re probably thinking it’s your love song, baby.” This is the perfect revenge song.

  1. Zak Abel. “Running from Myself.” One Hand on the Future. 2015
  2. Zak Abel. “Flow.” One Hand on the Future. 2015

Now this song is a bop! Opening with a simple acoustic guitar, then a series of claps, this song is sure to put a smile on your face. Moving to a very heavy bass and Zak’s flawless vocals, “Flow” definitely has the sound of a proper featured single. Although it was never realized as one, this song still remains as one of our favorite early Zak Abel songs.

  1. Zak Abel, Wretch 32. “Rock Bottom.” Only When We’re Naked. 2017


  1. Don Diablo, Zak Abel. “Bad.” Bad [Single] 2020


Credit: Genius.com

  1. Tom Misch, Zak Abel. “Beautiful Escape.” Beat Tape 2. 2015

Now we are finally getting into the meat, well veg because Zak Abel is vegan, of his music. As we mentioned Zak has worked with many up and coming producers and musical acts. Tom Misch is one of our favorite collaborations. “Beautiful Escape,” is just that, a beautiful escape. This song takes us away, it’s almost as if it is a musical vacation. The use of the steelpan, gives us heavy Trinidad and Tobago vibes. Especially given our new reality an escape is much needed right now. With lyrics like, “Now I’m feeling like you’re with me. As my heart’s pouring on my sleeve. I don’t want this rush to go. Oh I’m trying to let you know. I just wanna go there. I just want a beautiful escape. I just wanna move ya. I just wanna take you to that place.” It’s easy to pick up on those escapism vibes right? Making yourself a pina colada enhances the overall experiences of this song, we know from experience. 

  1. Duke Dumont, Zak Abel. “The Power.” The Power. 2019


  1. Zak Abel. “Don’t Belong.” One Hand on the Future. 2015

Credit: Genius.com


  1. Zak Abel. “Soul Child.” One Hand on the Future. 2015

1.Zak Abel. “All I Ever Do (Is Say Goodbye).” Only When We’re Naked. 2017

“All I Ever Do (Is Say Goodbye)” takes our top spot at number one because of its execution. This song has an amazing build to it. Percussion heavy, “All I Ever Do (Is Say Goodbye) is at its heart a sad song. Clearly about break-ups, the lyrical content of this song will definitely make you reflect on past relationships and what one could have done differently. Young love is never easy, it can leave some heavy emotional baggage. This song unpacks this emotional baggage in an effort to help listeners reflect on their past yet the song maintains an uplifting and motivational tone with lyrics like:

“Too young, they fall

That’s just the way life goes

One more empty home

Can’t eat, won’t sleep, missing a part of me

Things are different now you’re gone

Praying one day that we’ll meet again

Say the words we never said

Every day I’m such a mess

What I’d give for

Just another moment by your side

(All I ever do is)

It’s hard livin’ without you in my life

(All I ever do is)

Man, I gotta laugh before I cry

(All I ever do is)

‘Cause all I ever do, all I ever do

All I ever do is say goodbye

Is say goodbye, is say goodbye”

This song gives us ALL THE FEELS! We did a bit of digging and stumbled upon an acoustic version that is a definite improvement from the original album released version. This incredible performance can be found on the official Zak Abel YouTube page but we’ve also included it below.

We definitely hoped you enjoyed our latest pick for Quarantine Music Discovery. If you did, we’ve included a Spotify playlist HERE to keep you jamming! Per usual, we threw in some extra Zak Abel songs as well that are great but didn’t quite make our top ten.

Check back weekly for new artists that we are enjoying.  If you love discovering new music as much as us, check out some other emerging musicians HERE from our Eboné Chatman or HERE from our Sana Moore. For the latest music, news and articles, tune into Afterbuzz TV for daily updates on your favorite celebrities!

About The Author:

James Maple is a LA based TV Host with a passion for music, interviews and outer space. A comedian at heart, James believes laughter, communication and a good 90s jam is a remedy for anything. You can follow him @terrelljamesmaple.

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