Abs Keeps On Movin'
Capital FM, August 2002
Ex-Five member Abs chats to us about Coco Pops and his love life, as he gets ready to launch his solo career.
When they spilt nearly a year ago, Five left a big gap in the world of pop. But that gap is about to be filled by 22 year-old London-born-and- bred Abs Breen, the first ex Five member to embark on a solo career. We found out what's rocking his world...
Hello, how are you?
I'm fine thanks. I'm doing this interview from Simon Cowell's office on a nice big leather sofa!
So what have you been doing since Five split?
It was a bit of a shock when the band split. I got a phone call from our manager who said 'Don't bother turning up for work tomorrow - no one else is'. And for two months I did nothing apart from watch 'Tricia' and eat Coco Pops. Then some producers I'd worked with in Five contacted me and suggested I work with them again, which was lucky because I'd started getting bored and wanted something to do.
Then what happened?
After that we went to a recording studio in Dublin where we wrote and recorded a lot of new material, including my new single and a whole album. But half the time it was eight hours of Playstation, then 'We'd better do some work'. I've been spending the weeks there and coming home for weekends.
So you didn't plan to go solo while you were in Five, then?
No, not at all. I was happy with Five and would have liked to have released at least another few singles and done another world tour with them, but I suppose these things always happen for a reason.
Do you ever see your four ex-bandmates these days?
Only Scott. He seems really happy which I'm glad about. He's a real family man now and has his own show on Essex FM. I haven't got a clue what the others are doing, which is a bit weird. We split on good terms but haven't bothered keeping in touch.
So tell us about your new single 'What You Got'...
I'm really pleased with it, it's based around 'Uptown Top Rankin' by Althea and Donna which was a hit in 1977, before I was born. I'd never even heard it when my producers played it to me, but I really like it. It's got a summery, reggae vibe to it.
Have you done any live solo performances yet?
Yeah, a few roadshows and some of the regional Party in the Parks. The crowd gets bigger and louder every time, which is a good sign. And I have six lovely women dancing on stage with me. They sent their tapes in and I got to choose them. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it!
Is it weird not having the others up there with you on stage with you?
It is being the focus of the attention. I had four others to hide behind before, and now I don't. But I get to do more tricks with my dancing. In Five I was the only trained dancer, so there were a lot of moves the other couldn't do.
Before you made your comeback, did you still get recognised in the street?
I did, but I've noticed it more lately since I've been out there again. I feel so lucky to have been given a second chance in the music industry. I mean most people only get one. It's great that some of the old Five fans like what I'm doing now, but I'm not relying on them. I'm getting out there and working to get new fans too. I'm not complacent.
So what's your new album going to be like?
It's hard to describe - it's just me let loose in the studio doing what I want. There's dance music on there, some proper singing, some rap, a bit of reggae-style stuff and some tracks that sound a bit like Usher. It's finished and hopefully I'll release it at the end of the year.
What do you like in the charts at the moment?
Um, the Prodigy, MC Harvey. But I'm a bit bored of the charts at the moment to be honest, which is why I'm here to rough it up a bit!
Apart from the album, what can we expect from Abs in the future?
I'm hoping to do a collaboration with Jay Kay. I've sent a track to him and asked if he wants to work with me on it. If he says yes, it'll be all over, I'm telling you. Is he a friend of mine? Not exactly. I don't know him all that well, but we stop and chat when we see each other. I really admire him. After I release the album I'd like to do a world tour and visit places that Five didn't make it to like Thailand and Hong Kong. But I'd better see how the first single goes before I start talking about that!
Did you watch much of Big Brother?
Yeah. I thought Jonny and Kate both seemed decent enough. But if I'd been stuck in a house with Alex I'd have had a fight with him straight away!
It seems a long time ago now but what about the World Cup?
That was wicked. My dad's Turkish and my mum's Irish, and I'm English, so I had three teams to support.
And finally, how's your love life at the moment?
I split up with my long-term girlfriend a couple of years ago and there's been no one serious since. I'd love to have a girlfriend to look after me, because I've been living on Coco Pops for ages! I tell you who'd be ideal - that girl in Darius's video, she's lovely. I tell you, she's in the wrong video - she should have been in mine!
Abs Breen’s new single ‘What You Got’ is released 19th August.