Brandon Abdullah Powell is a music artist/producer and content creator originally from Columbus, Ohio. Abdullah has 18 years of experience in producing soulful instrumentals and in recent years he has also began to tell his story through songwriting and performance. Through his artistry Abdullah seeks to uplift others, inspire thoughtfulness and creativity and pay homage to those who have been influential in his life.
Abdullah began producing instrumental music at the age of 18 after being inspired by empowering hip hop records from artists such as Nas, Gangstarr and Black Star. While at the University of Cincinnati Abdullah went under the producer name BWill (short for Brandon Willis) and became connected with Cincinnati’s underground hip hop scene. At the time Abdullah would manipulate samples from oldies soul, funk, rock and r&b vinyl records and arrange them with his own original drum patterns using an early version of the music production software called Fl Studio. During this time he produced music for a number of respected artists such as Holmskillet, Moxy, and Infinit Evol. Under the name BWill, he would continue to make music with Infinit, which lead to their joint album entitled “The Professor and The Mutant” which was produced nearly entirely by Abdullah and distributed by Day by Day Entertainment/Complex Blue Sound Design, an independent label lead by well known hip hop artist MF Grimm.
In 2005 Abdullah embraced orthodox Islam and also took on the name “Abdullah” (which means one who serves God) and also changed his last name from Willis to his fathers surname Powell. During this time Abdullah began to volunteer at a newly established hip hop youth center in Cincinnati’s inner city called Elementz. After obtaining a B.A. in Electronic Media from the University of Cincinnati and music production certification from the Recording Workshop he was hired at Elementz to lead their music production program. Known at the center as “Brother Abdullah” he taught recording and music production to thousands of youth who attended Elementz studios from various Cincy neighborhoods. In 2009 Abdullah became the Program Director of Elementz and his title changed to Creative Director in 2012 as Elementz moved to a new location in Over the Rhine Cincinnati. Through Elementz Abdullah has also made music with a number of highly talented artists including Napoleon Maddox, Mars Shinobi, and DeVonte.
Over the years of his work with Elementz Abdullah continued to develop his craft as a music producer. From 2005 on Abdullah began learning to compose original arrangements using a midi keyboard with the music production software called Reason. He would then combine these arrangements with his expanded collection of oldies samples to create his own sound. This lead to the release of his first instrumental album in 2012 entitled, Journey: The Sound of Life.
In early 2019 Abdullah released a solo album entitled Reaching Higher which showcased his progress as a music producer and for the 1st time as a songwriter. Songs on Reaching Higher were mostly inspired by Abdullah’s reflections on growing up, and the experience of witnessing the birth of his four children. With the release of Reaching Higher Abdullah began performing his music for the first time through artist showcases and concerts that were produced by Elementz.
Abdullah released a 2nd recording album entitled A New Challenge in January 2020. On the first 7 songs of the album Abdullah shares more details about his upbringing. During 2nd song entitled From a Boy to A Man Abdullah dedicates each verse to the impact of both his step father and father on his life. There are also songs dedicated to Abdullah’s talents as a youth in video games, his reflections on how fast time seems to move now as an adult, and the idea that new challenges will continue to occur along the journey of life. The last 5 songs of the album are a mix of instrumentals, an R&B/funk song featuring the vocal talents of Cincinnati singer Devonte, and the album is concluded with a freestyle by Abdullah.
In recent years Abdullah has began to experiment with other music production technology and continues to further polish his workflow. He currently uses Reason as his main production software program but also incorporates Fl Studio and Native Instruments Maschine. Most of his current music brings together his talents in playing out melodies and drum patterns by hand with his earlier talent in manipulating samples. In the summer of 2021 Abdullah acquired his first analog polyphonic synthesizer called the Prophet~5 by Sequential. This classic synth was developed in the 70’s and has been used by a number of renowned musicians from various era’s. Abdullah is now incorporating the Prophet~5 into his instrumentals and is currently brainstorming a new music project influenced by the sound of his new keyboard.