Introducing 28 year old soul-singer ABBIE from New Zealand who just returned from performing at Deebs Day Festival in the UK and just released her new album LOST/FOUND which is a perfect blend of electro-pop and R&B with beautiful, soulful vocals, showcasing an ability to create and capture a moment. Get to know a little more about this talented new artist from the following interview I got the chance to have with her:
MHB: How old were you when you realized you could sing? Did you always know you wanted to be a singer?
ABBIE: Singing was a very natural thing for me, I cannot remember a time when music wasn't a part of who I am or who I was going to be. As a young child, I would watch videos of singers and copy the sounds they were making until I could understand how they were making those sounds and produce them myself. I remember the feeling of writing what would be the start of my first song around 5-7years old about Sparrows! The song was called 'Little Birds'. I was in love with music before I knew what the word meant. I have wanted to be a singer since forever!
MHB: How long has music been a part of your life and how did it come to be a part of it?
ABBIE: I recall singing in my first talent quest when I was 5 years old and putting on shows for my family in our small lounge where I would stand on a chair and sing them songs haha. I became more interested in music and stage performance as I grew older and continued writing songs and singing for friends and family. It was something that I sort of became known for and a part of my identity growing up. I honestly do not know who I would be without music in my life.
MHB: Do you play any instruments? If so, which and for how long?
ABBIE: I played the recorder for a a good few years and the violin for two, sadly I never stuck with any instruments long enough to become a pro. I can shake a tambourine and play the spoons haha.
MHB: Who are some of your biggest musical influences and why?
ABBIE: Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston are two singers that had a huge impact on who I grew up to be, listening to them sing and the beauty and control they had with their voices inspired me to try which lead to understanding and a hunger to learn more. I adore Lauryn Hill, a skilled lyricist and again a voice like no other. I am a huge fan of the greats including Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke and of course Aretha! Who had such an impact on the music we listen to today the quality of their music and lyrics mean that they will be songs that we treasure forever. Right now I am loving the vibe that Jack Garrat and James Blake are putting out. Their music is emotive and has so many layers to it but, can at times, be so naked and honest. Flume is killing it right now! Adele, Paloma Faith, Labyrinth, Kiiara and the list goes on.
MHB: What genres of music do you enjoy most?
ABBIE: I adore soul and blues music, it's just so honest and relatable and I love the vocals whether in an older classic song or a more modern electronic mix etc. I am also loving ambient-pop right now and always have an ear to the ground for anything super original and progressive.
MHB: What is your creative process? What is the inspiration behind your song-writing?
ABBIE: I find inspiration everywhere, I feel very blessed that I live in a world that is constantly giving.
Words, phrases, images, smells, interactions between lovers and friends, food, the feeling of pen to paper.
I also draw a lot from personal experience and will incorporate those moments into my music. I tend to 'be inspired' say by a combination of words and then hear a tune in my head that I feel belongs with those words and my song will start from there. Recently I have been shaking things up and using beats as inspiration, I feel it is important to learn and grow and always be pushing what 'limits' threaten to hold a person back. I am 100% a songwriter that adores pen and paper. As far as the time a song takes to create, a couple of my favourite songs have come together in minutes or an afternoon while other times, a song can take days or even months to create.
MHB: Where do you see this project in 5 years?
ABBIE: I see myself on stages around the world performing the songs that I have written, collaborating with other insanely talented and passionate musicians. Laughing every day and sharing music, meeting new people, encouraging up and coming artists and supporting my local community (this is something that really drives me).
I would imagine I would have written, recorded and released much new music by this time! That is so exciting!
MHB: If you were stuck on an island with only one record forever, what would it be?
ABBIE: Great question! I'd possibly steer clear of anything that mentioned beaches or boats and water....
I would say 'Summertime' as sung by the late great Ella Fitzgerald would be something that I could listen to on repeat forever as well as enjoy singing along with and you can sing this song 100 different ways so it would always be fresh.
MHB: What is the ultimate driving force that gets you up in the morning?
ABBIE: Being able to create and share music for the rest of my life. Music helps with learning, helps people through breakups, shares the best of times with you, comforts you at a time of loss, delights the elderly, brings whole communities together.... To be able to live a creative life and be who I am is a magical thing. To have people invest in me share in this journey, that is beyond words amazing.
MHB: What does music mean to you?
ABBIE: Music is everything to me, when I write songs I see in pictures. When I think, I think in tunes. Music is my life. Music is this special language that everyone speaks and relates to on some level. Music is powerful and can make statements and change lives. I sang to my beautiful nana before she passed away and that was one of the last times that I saw her smile. Music to me, is honesty and love.
ABBIE and her management team are currently in the process of locking in dates and venues for a tour of New Zealand as she continues to work on and write songs for the next release of music. Check out my personal favorite off of her album called 'Ships' as well as her video for her single ‘Million’ below: