Taking The Risk: Rising star Abigail Rose discusses her new single and what she’s learned thus far

Photo credit: Jasmine Archie
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with artist Abigail Rose. Abigail just released her debut single, “The Risk” last week, and she’s getting ready to make a major name for herself in pop music. Earlier this week, I was able to sit down with Abigail and hear about her experiences in the music industry.

What is your backstory?

I’m from Nashville, TN and from a very young age, it was clear I wanted to be an entertainer. Starting around two, I would sing (very loudly) in public any chance I got, including grocery stores, the mall, school — really to anyone that would listen. When I was 10, I remember watching a recorded live performance of Sheryl Crow playing at The House of Blues in 1994. I had a broom stick in my lap as my “guitar” and I pretended to play with her. Next thing I know, I was begging my parents for an actual guitar. After learning a few chords, I started writing my own songs. I was lucky enough to have a lot of successful songwriters in Nashville take a chance on me when I was so young. From 13 till I was 18, I was performing anywhere I could. First, it was open mic nights in town, then songwriting festivals, fundraisers, and eventually I was the opener on headlining tours with audiences from 5,000 to 10,000. At 18, I went into the studio to record my first album, but something was missing from my music. The only way I knew how to find it was to keep writing, putting a hold on releasing new music. Now, at 21, I know that was one of the best decisions I could have made, because it lead me to my most authentic music that I’m now ready to share with the world, starting with, “The Risk.”

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that has happened to you thus far in your music career?

A few years ago when I was heading to one of the biggest shows I had ever been a part of, we got stuck in a terrible traffic jam, and if missing my sound check wasn’t bad enough, I had also consumed large amounts of water that day and was dying to go to the bathroom. After 2 hours in a van, that was supposed to take 30 minutes, we finally got to a gas station. My manager at the time basically carried me to the bathroom, then I had to quickly change and finish getting ready before rushing to the venue, getting on stage, and play like everything was fine. Looking back, it’s one of my favorite memories because although at the time it was a mess, I think it all served as a good distraction from any pre-show jitters.

What are some of the most exciting projects you’re currently working on?

I have lots of new music I can’t wait to share! I’m currently working on revamping my live show to be a whole new experience unlike any of my other shows in the past, and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.

Who are the most famous people you’ve interacted with? What was that like?

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some legends, like Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn — women who helped shape the music industry for female artists. Honestly, I don’t get very starstruck. But when you meet icons like that, it’s hard not to feel a jolt of inspiration afterwards. Growing up in Nashville, seeing famous artists around town becomes a very normal occurance. I’ve eaten sushi next to Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman and grocery shopped with Taylor Swift. One really random encounter I’ve had, that might be my favorite, is when I walked past Liam Neeson in Paris. It was right after Taken was released, so I felt safe knowing that if I got kidnapped, at least he was there to save me.

Who inspires you? (Can be musical or just general historic figure)

Sheryl Crow is a huge inspiration of mine, as I mentioned above — she’s one of the reasons I started playing guitar. Carly Simon, Billy Joel, Sade, Stevie Nicks, and Elton John are also some of my biggest inspirations.

Who do you aspire to be like?

I aspire to be like any artist that is not only a great entertainer on stage, but also a true musician and songwriter. A lot of the people I mentioned above I would say fall into this category; I hope to emulate them in my music career.

How have you used your success to bring goodness into the world?

I believe music has healing powers, so I’ve done everything I can to share my music with people that need it the most. I’ve been working with an organization for years called Musicians on Call, where you go room to room at different hospitals and play for the patients. I also try to mentor and give advice to any young aspiring artists, especially young female artists trying to make it in the music industry. I was so lucky to be surrounded by so many good-hearted people when I first started to pursue music professionally at age 13, but I know not everyone is. So whenever I can help in anyway or be there for someone, I try to.

What are 5 things you wish someone had told you when you first started, and why? Please provide an example/story for each.

First, enjoy yourself. If you’re wanting to be a songwriter or performing artist for the right reasons, then this is your passion and don’t let the business side of things ever ruin it for you. Always come back to why you started in the first place. I sometimes get too caught up in trying to make something perfect that I forget to enjoy the moment. Music is art, and you shouldn’t just enjoy the finished product but the journey getting there.

Second, and this is just great advice in general that my mom always says to me, forgive but don’t forget. If someone wrongs you, of course try to forgive them, but don’t blindly put your trust in them again. Be smart, look out for yourself. Most people will have to learn this the hard way, but I wish someone told me this early on so I didn’t have to.

A wise person once said to me, “If you don’t know who you are, they’ll tell you who you are,” so third, know who you are. Before you try to pursue a career as an artist really make sure the fondation is there so you don’t eventually have people building it for you. Because no one knows you like you know yourself.

Fourth, be intentionally authentic. No matter what, always be true to yourself. Because if not, people will either not believe it — so you won’t get very far — or they will believe it, but then you’re stuck being a fake version of yourself.

And finally, no matter how hard you try, you will never make everyone happy. There will always be someone that doesn’t like what you’re doing, and that is OKAY. So my biggest piece of advice would be to focus on what makes you happy, since that is the only opinion you ever have total control over.

I’m still trying to follow all of this advice myself but I would have loved if someone told me all this when I was first starting out.

Who would you want to share a meal with? Why?

If I could share a meal with anyone it would be my late grandmother, Rosie, who I was named after. She passed away when I was only 12 but we were very close and I would love to get to talk with her again, especially now that I’m older. She was such a lively force with an incredible personality that always lit up the room.