Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Songwriter Feature - Abigail Neilson

This week I'm taking you out of Nashville and across the country to Seattle to meet the beautiful and talented Abigail Neilson! I met Abigail on Instagram awhile back and I've loved following her journey! She recently released a bop called "Left Unsaid!" I can't wait to introduce you to Abigail and this new song of hers!

I hope you'll join us tonight on Instagram LIVE at 8pm central time for some original music! In the meantime, I would like to pass the mic over to Abigail Neilson so you can get to know her!

When did you start singing/playing music?

I started pursuing music when I was 13. I had gotten a guitar that had been laying around my house for a while and one day decided to get onto YouTube and teach myself some chords. Once I realized that just about every song on the radio had the same 4 chords, so I quickly learned the top hits of 2014 and started busking at farmers' markets. That following summer, I joined a band and I've been singing and performing ever since!

How did you get into songwriting?

I've always been a writer even before I was writing songs. I would write stories, poems, and many diary entires. I started writing songs seriously once I learned how to play guitar. Once I knew I wanted to pursue music, I knew I had to write my own songs. I'm a very big Taylor Swift fan and she inspired me to write my own songs, as well as learn to play guitar. Since I started writing songs when I was 13, my early songs are based off stories I would make up, young love, and were usually inspired by the TV shows I was watching at the time. Since then, I've gained some life experience and now mainly write about my own life experiences, and get inspired by my own feelings, as well as my friends experiences, and still the occasional song inspired by a made up relationship. 

Who are your biggest influences?

My top few influences have to be Kacey Musgraves, Taylor Swift, Jade Bird, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Twenty One Pilots.

What are you listening to right now?

Right now I've been listening to a lot of Twenty One Pilots and Jade Bird. I've always loved how Tyler Joseph's lyrics paint such a clear picture. I also just about a year ago discovered Jade Bird and I love her music so much. The stories she tells are very relatable and her melodies always get stuck in my head. Both of these artists are also absolutely amazing live.

If you could only listen to one artist for the rest of your life, who would it be?

I'd have to say Taylor Swift. I grew up listening to her music and I don't think that I could live without her songs. She covers so much ground lyrically and musically. She also has been able to cover so many different emotions throughout her career, as well as showcase the same emotions in different songs on different albums, and how she has reacted differently in her own stages of life. She’s been able to show the world that you can hit rock bottom and get up again and still be your best self, if not even better. Her music has inspired and motivated me so much throughout my life, so I definitely couldn’t live without her music.

What is "Left Unsaid" about? What do you want listeners to know about what the song means to you?

My latest release, “Left Unsaid” is a song about heartbreak and being left to wonder why someone suddenly doesn’t want you anymore when you thought everything was alright. I wrote this song about my own personal heartbreak. The thought that I kept coming back to was wondering if they were better saying they didn’t love me anymore, so I made that the songs hook. I want my listeners to know that it’s oki to be left wondering what happened with a failed relationship because people sometimes do leave you without any explanation. I want this song to be one they listen to when they feel alone, to remind them that they’re not. 

If you could write a song with any person dead or alive, who would it be?

It's always been my dream to write with Taylor Swift, so I'd have to choose her without a doubt.

What was/is your experience in quarantine like as a musician?

In Seattle, live music is currently banned until further notice, so I haven't played a live show since March. Not playing live shows has been the biggest change for me. But I've been able to work from home doing live streams, zoom writes, and also releasing my new music. I'm very thankful for my family and that I'm able to work from home. And once it's safe to do so, it'll be really fun to get back to playing live shows.

What advice would you give to an aspiring singer/songwriter?

No matter if you think it's good or bad, too long or too short, write every single day. Whether it's a diary entry, a song, part of a song, or just a few thoughts, make it a habit to write every day. What I've learned that has helped me the most with songwriting is that the more you write and learn about your own writing style, the moment you have an idea or are inspired, you will have the tools to develop your ideas and emotions.



For Country/Pop artist Abigail Neilson, the heart and soul of music is rooted in its ability to connect with others on a deeper level, and coincidentally, she has a lot to get off her chest. Thematically, her honest and captivating ballads cover the spectrum of human emotion -- everything from the joy of falling in love, to the agony of heartbreak and the strength of female empowerment.

​The young artist has built up a formidable reputation in the Nashville scene, working with producer Robbie Artress (Chris Stapleton, Ben Folds), and backed up in the studio by Gideon & Gabriel Klein (Miranda Lambert, Delta Rae, Lauren Jenkins), Ellen Angelico (Delta Rae, Ty Herndon, Uncle Cracker) and Grant Mickelson (Taylor Swift, George Strait, Brad Paisley, Kenny Chesney). 

​Coming from a family that encouraged creativity, Abigail is no stranger to music, and has been writing and performing her own material since the age of 13. Her latest single, “Ruby,” has landed on coveted playlists such as Spotify’s “Breakout Country,” “Fresh Finds: Country,” and “New Music Nashville.” Her latest single, "Left Unsaid," is the first leading single off her upcoming EP, "Summer of '17," and was released August 28th. You can listen to her music on all major streaming platforms.

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