Sat in a cafe after an A&R meeting, rising musician Zak Abel is about to embark on the biggest moment of his career thus far. Since the release of his first EP, Joker Presents, Abel has kept one eye fixed on the future.

His latest track, 'Say Sumthin'' produced by KAYTRANADA, showed the world just how multi-faceted the North Londoner is. The self-taught pianist and guitarist has the vocals to match, proving that he's far from being a one trick pony. You can hear the level of progression Abel has made since Joker Presents and it bodes well for the full-length album, which is already in the creative stage.

Ahead of the release of his second EP, One Hand on the Future, I caught up with Zak Abel to discuss his career to date.

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What are the major differences between your first EP and One Hand on the Future?

OHOTF is broader because I worked with Karma Kid, Tom Misch, KAYTRANADA as well Joker (who produced my first EP). Musically, it's a step on from Joker Presents, and it's moving quickly towards where I am going next. Hence the snappy title.

How would you describe your music journey so far?

It's been one constant journey figuring out stuff on the way - ups and downs, and documenting it in songs.

What would you like to achieve in your career?

I want to make something that's both meaningful and real to me, but also meaningful and real to other people.

You're a self-taught pianist and guitarist, when did you first start learning?

I started playing piano when I was about 14 and then I realised it was difficult to lug a piano around with you so I started playing guitar at 16. I'm actually quite terrible on guitar.

When did you make a conscious decision to start pursuing music professionally?

I started getting serious when I was 17. I got glandular fever, mucked up my AS levels and at the same time got offered a record deal. Music is what I wanted to do anyway, so it seemed like a convenient time to drop out of school.

How do you get in the zone when you're making music?

I've never found a way to make it consistent. Whenever I have planned anything in the studio it always goes wrong, so I just turn up and hope for the best. When it comes to vocals I go through phases. I went through a stage of eating loads of grapes before singing and then I went on to chewing raw ginger. Neither of them really worked!

Who are your favourite artists in the British music scene right now?

Lianne La Havas is sick - her voice is just incredible. Tom Misch, I just love his production, he's got that J Dilla vibe mixed with the sickest guitar playing I've heard for a long time. And of course Kwabs, who is a great vocalist and songwriter.

How do you spend your time when not making music? What's the best way to switch off?

I like the cinema, I like playing frisbee in the park with my friends and I spend a lot of time eating.

Are there any plans for a full-length album?

Yes. I've got quite a few songs already and am going to start working on it full time in October. I actually like to focus on one thing at a time, so putting aside a couple of months for the album is ideal for me.

What does music mean to you?

I think music is a way to know you're not alone, whether it's a sad ballad or a happy party tune. It's a way to bring people together.