INTERVIEW: Abigail Nelson
Pic by Taylor Steinhoff Photography
Hi Abigail, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
I’ve been so great! The release day of my latest single “Space” was insane and so amazing! I’ve been writing music like crazy and am super excited to release more songs this year!
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Space”?
“Space” is about empowering women with being able to say “no” when it comes to love and relationships. In the song, it starts out with me apologizing for not being interested and annoyed by how bad this guy wants to talk to me and be with me. As the song goes on, there’s a shift where I realize that the other person is the one who should be at fault. I think it’s too often where girls are called out as rude or mean because they’re not interested in someone or a relationship. I think girls shouldn’t be afraid to tell someone no without the fear of what they will do to them.
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
Yes, it is! It was based on an experience with a guy who called me hundreds of times and left me thousands (yes, thousands) of text messages on my phone begging for me to be with them, as if that is appealing. When I started writing this song, I wanted to put those specific things in the lyrics because I for sure am not the only girl out there with this issue. I wish I could go back and tell my younger self that I don’t need to give someone an excuse on why I don’t want to go out with them, and I shouldn’t feel bad about not wanting to go out with them. I hope this song gives girls more confidence to stand their ground and feel completely unbothered by telling a guy she is not interested in them.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
The video was filmed by Kyle and Taylor Olthoff. It was an all-day shoot in Snohomish, WA. In the music video, I’m hanging out with 2 friends (Alexis Fahlman and Sierra Renee’ Christensen) and there is a boy (Hunter Johnson) who comes to the door bringing flowers, pretending to be a mailman, and crying on my doorstep. My friends and I are just trying to have a good time, but this guy just won’t leave me alone. I think a lot of women can really relate to this song. Filming this video was a lot different than my last video “Without You”. I got to be sillier and more personal with it which made the filming process even more fun!
How was the recording and writing process?
The writing process was very interesting for me. I wrote “Space” at the beginning of 2019 and I started out with the idea of a song with wanting space from someone, but not wanting to sound mean at the same time. So, I wrote the whole song and started thinking about the things I was saying, and I didn’t feel like it was what I wanted, but mostly, I didn’t agree with what I was saying at all. I kept apologizing and trying to not be mean in the song, and after writing it all I decided to start over, re-write it with an unapologetic intention, and that’s when “Space” was written. Recording was so much fun because I originally didn’t plan on recording this song. I was in Nashville over the summer to record my upcoming E.P, but we ended up having time to record 2 singles and “Space” ended up being one of those songs! I was very open minded going into the studio with this song from the instruments to the overall sound of it because I hadn’t planned on recording it. But it was so much fun getting to try out new instruments I had never recorded with before. We had such a fun time recording this song and I’m so happy with how it all turned out.
What was it like to work with Robbie Artress and how did that relationship develop?
Robbie reached out to me over Instagram about a year ago after seeing a video I posted on YouTube. The video was me playing an acoustic version of my song “Sleep Talking” and he wanted to produce a song of mine. I had the idea of wanting to record my upcoming E.P, and thought it’d be really cool to try a song with him and see if he’d be a good fit to produce the E.P. So, I went to Nashville where he’s located, and we recorded “Without You” and from that moment on I knew he’d be perfect to produce the E.P which we did last summer, and it all sounds amazing. Robbie was able to understand every piece of gibberish that came out of my mouth when I was trying to describe the sound I wanted. He’s such a great person and working with him every day for almost 2 weeks was so much fun and I can’t wait to do it again!
How much did he get to influence the song?
Since we originally didn’t plan on recording this song, we were both down to try anything at all. The players on the song, Gideon Klein, Gabe Klein, and Ellen Angelico just kept bringing out instruments and we recorded with almost everything. I was very hesitant on there being banjo in the song, but we tracked it just in case and it ended up being my favorite part on the song.
What role does Seattle play in your music?
Seattle is where I’ve lived all my life.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Yes! I’m hoping to release 1-2 more singles this year as well as an E.P. The next single is planned to release this spring, and the E.P is planned for a summer release! All of these upcoming songs between the singles and the EP are a lot more personal than what I’ve released before. I think it will really give people another look into my personal life. I share a lot through social media, but there is even more that I haven’t shared because I’ve poured it all into these songs. I’ve never been so proud of a project and I’m extremely excited to finally hand these songs off into people’s hands.
Any tentative release date or title in mind?
I’m hoping to drop my next single in early April and my next E.P. this summer.
Any plans to hit the road?
Not at the moment!
What else is happening next in Abigail Neilson’s world?
I’ve been doing tons of writing for myself as well as co-writing with others, so you can expect more music from me very soon!
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