Those closest to us will often inspire us the most. They naturally push us to reach the potential we don’t even see. As her star began to rise with packed shows and countless streams, Texas-born and Nashville-based country singer and songwriter Abi was faced with an inspiring question from her dad.
“He asked me, ‘How are you going to change the world?’,” she remembers. “It was his way of reminding me that I have one life and need to use it to positively impact people.”
Wielding a powerhouse voice and equally powerful pen as a writer, the 20-year-old songstress has been diligently working towards making that “impact” since her childhood in the cozy town of Midland, TX—population 134,000. Inspired by everything from the marvelous pop expanse of The Beatles and Shania Twain to the “storytelling” of Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, she crafted her first song in third grade and hasn’t stopped prolifically writing ever since that composition. By the age of 12, the family had traded the Lone Star State for Southern California.
The singer smiles, “That was in part due to my passion for music. My parents might not have went for it if they knew how bad the traffic actually was,” she laughs.
At 14-years-old, she cut her teeth playing in famed clubs like The Whisky-A-Go-Go before receiving an invite to join Jesse McCartney’s 2014 North American tour.
Simultaneously, she organically attracted a devout following. 2015 saw Kelly Clarkson handpick Abi to open a massive summer headline run, while she hit the road alongside Pentatonix a year later. Simultaneously, she earned praise from The Boot, HUFFPOST, AXS, and many others.
In 2017, her single “Matches” independently caught fire. Striking the sweet spot between simmering country soul, twanging guitars, and a fiery hook, “Light me up ‘cause baby we’re matches,” CMT fanned the flames an early champion. Eventually, it clocked over 154K YouTube/VEVO views.
Along the way, she devoted countless hours to penning songs. The process unearthed raw emotion and a world-weary wisdom that belies her 20 years.
During intense Nashville sessions, she didn’t mince words about love, loss, and life. Instead, she went all-in…
“In order to create a lasting connection, it’s necessary and imperative to be painfully open and very honest,” she goes on. “I don’t hold anything back in my songs. I’m used to being vulnerable, so the songs are true to my heart. I think the vulnerability is crucial.”
Throughout the last year, she assembled what would become her 2018 independent debut EP, Heart Broken. That same honesty coursed through the recording process.
“After touring so much, I had a lot of perspective,” she says. “I redefined what I wanted to say and what I didn’t want to say. The audience responded to ‘Matches’, so I carried on discovering my own voice. I did what felt right. I appreciate a catchy chorus, but there’s nothing better to me than an emotional story with music to go along with it. One of the main incentives to write my own experiences is to share something real.”
On Heart Broken, “Boomerang” swings from buoyant verses into an infectious chant that as Abi puts it, “represents my wild side.” Then, there’s the cathartically catchy “Day Without You.” Originally penned by recently deceased Nashville songwriter Andrew Dorff [Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney], Jimmy Robbins, and Lucie Silvas, the song struck a chord with the singer following the January 2017 passing of her father.
“It’s super close to my heart, especially after losing my dad,” she remarks. “Whenever you go through a tragedy, you have more sympathy towards people who have experienced similar things. When I heard ‘A Day Without You,’ it meant so much to me. Hearing what happened to Andrew, it hit just me. It’s really special. I hope it resonates.”
In the end, Abi stands primed to make her own “impact” in a big way.
“My main goal is for listeners to think, ‘Wow, I relate to that. I feel something because of the song’,” she leaves off. “That’s my entire intention. After making this EP, I know who I am. I’m an honest, bold, and vulnerable young woman who’s empowered by her own self-awareness and ability to experience emotions both good and bad and try to help others do the same.”