London songwriter and rapper Abby Power talks to Tunebubble about keeping hold of her authenticity and letting inspiration come to her rather than chasing it. She's got some great advice for all artists too....
Tell us a little bit about yourself ... how did you get into music? So I used to watch Def Jam poetry slams on youtube, with artists like Kanye, Lauryn Hill, Mos Def, DMX (RIP) etc coming on to perform poetry/spoken word, as well as amazing poets like Shihan. The passion and emotion in their words and delivery really inspired me to start writing poetry myself, and then eventually after a few months and some persuasion from peers I turned them into lyrics. Then I decided to do music technology at college when I was 16 and it all kind of just went from there. Your Class of '94 EP is great - what's the story behind this? Well we'd literally only just released my other EP Home Is Where the Start Is in November when I started recorded some new songs produced by Frances, The Mute, and I think the first two songs I'd recorded were No Gimmicks and Thoughts of an Artist which we intended to release as singles until my engineer/producer Sam (aka SamXVI aka one half of Frances, The Mute) suggested we do another EP and I was like why not? So we kept the old school Hip Hop theme going and decided we'd dedicate this EP to our love of classic Hip Hop and what inspired us growing up. Do you find that female artists, especially female rappers, are treated differently to male artists in the music business? I think it's definitely getting better in terms of acceptance, but there's still a long long way to go. Think about it, female artists have been killing it for decades but we still don't get the same level of respect as the males do. I don't know why it is, I've had experiences where men have said they just refuse to listen to women rapping simply because they're women..which is strange but that's their loss. I've learnt not to care anymore, women are doing their thing, and as long as were supporting each other, then it's all good. I'm also glad to see the "sex sells" narrative going out the window, thanks to artists breaking through like Billie Eilish who refuse to let their bodies be the reason people listen to their music, and long may it continue.
Who or what inspires you when you write songs?...and where do you get the best ideas for your songs? It's strange but sometimes I go a few weeks without listening to music, and then I'll sit and listen to some instrumentals and whatever the first line is that I think of, I'll go with that, and build the song from that first line. I won't really use a beat if I can't think of a hook for it either. There isn't any one thing or person that inspires me, and I won't force a song either, if I don't have the words to write then I just won't write...which sometimes leads to no music being written for months but it makes the music I make more authentic when it is written I guess. The best ideas for my songs always come from the melody in the instrumental, I tend to write my hooks along with the melody so if it's catchy, I know the hook will be too. But yeah I don't really have a process, it's as simple as If I hear a beat and I can vibe with it, the first bar will come, or the hook will come and then the rest follows.
Abby's latest single 'No Gimmicks Cypher'
We heard that you prefer to perform on the internet and that you are not necessarily the type who wants to be on stage ... why do you prefer this? I'm very much an introvert. I enjoy making music and sharing it with people but the thought of standing on a stage and having people watching me makes me want to vomit LOL. I've never been great with live performances, or social situations as a whole, anxiety takes over and it just gets a bit overwhelming. Don't get me wrong when the actual performance is happening it's fun and it feels like it only lasts a few seconds but the build up before the performance is enough to make me shut off completely and lose my mind! I guess it's like Summer Walker, she loves making music but hates live shows, I find comfort knowing I'm not the only person who feels this way! But yeah my comfort zone is very much in a home recording set up, making music I love with people I trust! If there was the chance to share the stage/livestream with an artist of your choice ... who would that be? I would have to say Kehlani. I've seen her live twice now and her energy and overall aura is just amazing. She seems to genuinely care about everyone she shares a stage with and gives her heart and soul into every performance she gives. She also strikes me as someone that would comfort a nervous act and make them feel at ease...which is definitely helpful for an artist like me. Plus..her music is amazing and I'm a massive fan. What does a day in the life of Abby Power look like? Honestly it's not that exciting! I work Monday to Friday 8:45 - 5:45 (one Saturday a month also) as a supervisor for an Energy supplier (yawn) and then in the evenings I do my music promo, so sending out press emails for new singles/projects, making artwork, recording new material, writing new material...and walking my dog haha. I wish I could turn around and say I do lots of exciting things but I guess that's what makes me relatable to most people, I work a job to pay the bills and put time into my passion when I'm not working. Is there any advice you would like to pass on to young up-and-coming musicians that has also helped you so far? Stop watching everyone else. It doesn't matter that this person has reached 10k streams and that person has had 50k views on their video and your on 400 streams and 50 views...you are on your own journey...and if you think about it, 50 views still means 50 people have listened to your music, and if you put 50 people in a room to watch you perform, that's a lot of people! (It was actually my friend/producer hennessey_tk that gave me this perspective) it's so easy to get caught up in what other people are doing, just focus on you, and your passion and what you love and everything else will follow/fall into place. Remember why you started this in the first place. What's next for you? What can we look forward to? I'm trying not to plan things, I find it more authentic and natural to just let things happen as and when. What I do know however is there will be a single released each month till at least June/July 2021, my aim is to have one released each month because that's what I've done since last July but again this isn't something I can promise every month because if the material isn't there I'm not going to force it, but what I can promise is plenty of new music each year. We have a new single dropping on the 15th April (aka my birthday) featuring L Martin, Britizen Kane and Tony D, Prod by Frances, The Mute, so I'm super excited about that! Give us your top 10 favorite tracks! Okay now that's a question this will change every single time someone asks me to be honest, I'm going to answer this based on the songs that first come to my mind based on influence/memories growing up or even lately. But yeah these are in NO particular order, and you'll find it's extremely random, and should I be asked this question again it'll probably change. Ice Cube - Today was a good day Guns n Roses - Sweet Child of mine Eagles - Hotel California Fleetwood Mac - Everywhere Kehlani - FWU (or anything Kehlani) Rihanna - Cold case love (or anything Rihanna) Avril Lavigne - I'm with you (or anything from the Let Go album) Post Malone - I fall apart Koffee - Toast Bob Marley - Is this love Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your music? I just want to make music for as long as I can, for myself and for whoever stays around to listen. What I can promise you is everything I say in my music is genuine, and comes from a place of authenticity. I will never lie about things I've done, seen or owned, even if it means my music won't sell because of it! My music is the real me, and that's all I have to give!