Single: “A Day Without”
Hometown: Midland, Texas
Influences: Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Keith Urban
While newcomer Abi may be new to the country music scene, the talented singer has been working since an early age. By the age of 17, Abi released 2 EP’s, including the aptly titled17, several singles and she hit the road with both Pentatonix and Kelly Clarkson, all the while fostering an acting career.
Musical theater may have led her to acting, but it was her passion for music that inspired her to make the move to Nashville. Fast forward to today and the 21-year-old is treating country audiences to her debut single, “A Day Without.”
A nod to her late father, “A Day Without,” written by the late Andrew Dorff, Jimmy Robbins and Lucie Silvas, is an emotional tune that tugs at the heartstrings about not being able to imagine a day without someone you love.
“A day without you / I can’t imagine that’s just something / I can’t do without you baby / I got nothing / I don’t want to know / no I don’t want to go a day without you / without you,” she sings in the chorus.
It was last year that Abi lost her father, who had been dealing with heart problems, to a stroke, giving her latest single new meaning. But soldiering on, Abi has found a new perspective on life, “It really allowed me to reach a more vulnerable, and to some points hurtful, place emotionally to be creative with.”
“I grew up in Texas and I have 2 siblings, we’re half and we’re 18 years apart. I’m not an accident, I’m actually in vitro. So I’m like really planned. We’re really close. We’re way closer now than we were. We just have more to talk about.
“I got my start in music in Texas. I would make everybody shut up at the dinner table and I’d perform from the age of 5. I’ve just always loved music and I think I’m just into all the attention. I started in musical theater. My parents threw me into everything. They were just like, ‘Go do things.’ I had a lot of energy and they were like, ‘Take her.’ Musical theater was really where I found my love of performing—love the attention.”
“I lost my dad last year. He had heart disease and had a triple bypass when I was 10. He had been through a helicopter crash previously, so his body had been through a lot. One day he was scuba diving and he had a heart attack. It just kind of went down from there. His heart was actually getting better. He was on this new technology, I forget what it is, but basically it functions as a heart and lungs. It was very new so it wasn’t as controlled. He was going to have to be a candidate for a heart transplant. But unfortunately, with that machine you have a really high risk of stroke. Eventually, he had passed from a stroke. I think that definitely gave me a huge redefining of my perspective on life. Especially at a young age. It really allowed me to reach a more vulnerable, and some points hurtful, place emotionally to be creative with. I had a great relationship with my dad. We were like best friends. I’m just thankful for the relationship I had with my father, because some people don’t even get that. 18 years was way more than a lot of people get. I try to look at the positives.”
A Day Without
“[The song] is really beautiful because it’s super open to interpretation. It’s basically this thought of losing somebody and you can’t fathom going a day without them. For me, when I first listened to it, it struck me as that moment before I lost my dad. It’s just such a fearful moment. You don’t think you’re gonna live. You don’t know how you’re gonna go on. I think everybody experiences a moment like that. And I think that because of that, the song is really customizable to each person’s story.”
A New Start
“Because of what I’ve gone through, I’m a totally different person. It definitely shows in my music. It’s a new chapter. I think of life as all these chapters that you’re continuously writing. Content-wise, I really didn’t put any restrictions on myself. I really wanted it to be like a sort of mixture of all the music I listen to. Because I listen to a lot of pop—I try to listen to everything—I wanted to incorporate that. I didn’t want it to be just like, ‘I need to have only string, only live drum.’ I didn’t have a very distinct direction that I wanted to take it in.”
“I describe [my sound] like a gateway or a door to country. I’ve done these pop tours, and the biggest thing that people always told me is, ‘I never really listened to country before you. You’ve opened this world to me.’ My music definitely has a lot of pop in it, but it’s also, at it’s core, country. And so I think that it’s those two condensed together.”
The Kelly Clarkson Connection
“Oh my God. Looking back at it, I’m like, ‘Girl, you were lucky.’ That was 3 months fresh out of graduating high school and I was on this huge tour. It was like a right place right time sort of situation. It was just the best experience. [Kelly] was awesome. I don’t know if it was her advice that she gave me that I took the most from or watching her perform. Just the way that she interacted even with the audience and the way that she—I mean, her singing is incredible. But it was more than that. It was the emotion and how she carried herself on stage that I got the most from. I was just so inspired by her presence.”
“I am currently working on new music. I don’t know if it’s an album yet. I really wanted to take the time to let ‘A Day Without’ work and then I have 3 other songs that all have their shiny bows on them ready to go. I might put them all on an EP, it’s still to be determined. But I’m constantly writing and just continuously growing. I’m really grateful that I’m still able to make the time to do so—continue to mature creatively.
“My dad always used to tell me, and it really pissed me off at the time. I thought it was really annoying, but he would always just be like, ‘How are you gonna change the world? What’s your impact gonna be?’ For him to allow me to think that big is one of my biggest treasures in life. But it also gives me the purpose with music. I’m writing because I want to impact somebody or change the way they think about something or help somebody.”