Photo credit: Taylor Olthoff Photography
Introducing Seattle based Country/Pop artist Abigail Neilson. For the budding artist, music is all about connecting with others on a deeper level, with her tracks often tackling subjects such as female empowerment, love and of course heartbreak.
Earlier this year the singer released the single “Ruby,” which was added to Spotify’s “Breakout Country,” “Fresh Finds: Country,” and “New Music Nashville.”
Predicted to follow suit with her new single “Left Unsaid”, Abigail sits down with IndustryMe to discuss her inspirations and plans for her upcoming EP
You’re currently based in Seattle. What is the country community like out there?
It’s small but diverse. There’s everything from traditional country, country rock, and country pop artists like myself.
With being said, considering that you have quite a formidable reputation in the Nashville scene, have you ever thought about moving there?
Yes, absolutely. I’m definitely going to be moving there sometime soon. With the pandemic happening right now, I personally feel like it’s safer to stay where I’m currently at here in Seattle.
You’ve previously mentioned your family being pretty supportive of your creativity. What are some of the things they did to encourage you at the start of your journey?
I think the biggest thing was that I couldn’t start vocal lessons until I started to teach myself to play guitar. My parents wanted to teach me how to be self-sufficient not only in life but in music as well. This made me want to become a better musician and artist and has given me the opportunity to write and accompany myself on stage.
Do you think you’d be the artist you are today without that support system?
Absolutely not. I feel so thankful that I have the support system that I have. My family has backed up my dreams and has helped me turn those dreams into goals. I started out in music when I was 13. I wouldn’t have been able to play shows every weekend or attend every open mic I could if I didn’t have a ride. They’ve encouraged me to accomplish my goals, big and small. It would’ve been so very difficult if I didn’t have the support that I have and I’m forever grateful for them.
Since starting what’s been your most memorable performance to date?
There’s this anti-bullying event called WE Day in Tacoma, WA that I had attended right before I started doing music in 7th grade. I made it a goal to play that event, and sure enough 3 years later, I got to play to play the same event with about 3,000 7th graders screaming and cheering. I had a lot of kids come up to be after that performance wanting pictures and advice about getting through middle school, and it was such an amazing moment.
Talk to me about the writing process for “Left Unsaid”?
“Left Unsaid” was written during a time where I felt alone. I had so many things that I wanted to say to one person, but I wasn’t able to. So, I wrote this song instead. I originally wrote it on piano and thought it would be more of a slow ballad, but I realized at the core of the song, the true emotion I felt was anger. This song is the start of a story that will be told on my upcoming EP, “Summer of ’17,” that will be released this fall.
Do you feel like you needed to write the song to move on?
Personally, for me, writing is my reaction to everything that happens in my life, whether it will be shared later on or not. I feel like a lot of the time until I write about something, I can’t move on from it because writing is my personal way of ending a story, starting a new one, etc. For this song specifically, I defiantly wasn’t able to really move on until I wrote about it.
In the opening scenes of the video you’re smashing a guitar and really letting out some frustration, what was it like filming those scenes?
It was actually very fun smashing the guitar. That was the first idea I had when brainstorming ideas for this video. I wanted my fans to have an understanding of how angry and hurt I felt in this song, and they all know how much music means to me. So, what better way to show off my anger then smashing something that is a main role in my life, such as a guitar.
For me “Left Unsaid”, The song alluding to the chaos that ensues without closure. Is closure a myth or do people need it to move on?
I think it depends on the person because everyone moves on from situations so differently. Personally, I don’t like the feeling of wondering if things are okay with someone, or if they ever will be. In this situation, the only way for me to feel any kind of closure was through writing this song.
What do you hope listeners take away from the song?
I hope that they are able to see that, sometimes you are left wondering why someone went from adoring you, to not wanting anything to do with you, and that’s okay. I want them to know that they’re never alone and it’s okay to not always feel okay.
Finally, Abigail, what’s next for you?
Left Unsaid is the first leading single off my upcoming EP, “Summer of ’17.” So, I have much more planned for my fans coming up very soon.