POP DUST: Woman Crush Wednesday | Abi

"I think it was so important for me that I knew I wasn't alone, and it's such a huge priority for me to ensure others know they aren't as well."

Women are killing it in the music industry, and song lovers couldn't be happier! In our column, #WomenCrushWednesday, each week we'll feature an awesome lady whose tunes are blowing up our playlists and ask them about their musical journey.

This week we spotlight Abi, who's blend of country and pop has attracted artists such as Kelly Clarkson and Pentatonix to have her as an opening act. She grew up developing her career, which helped make her a big advocate for awareness about the dangers of bullying in schools. Read on to find out more about all of this, plus hear her latest release and the thoughts behind it!

How did you get interested in music?

As a child, I was always musically inclined. I began doing musical theatre from a young age and fell in love with performing. At the same time, I was very into English, literature—mainly poetry. When I put poetry to music and began writing, it was a very therapeutic process that honestly, changed my life and I haven't looked back since!

Your vibe is pop and country mixed together. What has inspired you to take on this genre?

I grew up in Texas listening to mainly country until I moved to LA in my preteens, where I was exposed to all kinds of cultures and genres of music. I think that both of these cities truly crafted my direction and I found myself in love with the idea of blending the two because I, myself feel like a bit of a blend.

I also read that since your career started so early in life, you've had to balance music and school. What was challenging about that for you?

I think that especially in middle and high school, you have a skewed perspective of what's important and not—you live in a bit of a bubble, which is not a bad thing. With that being said, I think that I was going against the tide building a career and not going to school events because I was in the studio, or not being able to hang out with friends and it felt like the end of the world. In hindsight, I'm really thankful I kept my priority as music because it helped me develop a strong work ethic and learn how to balance work and school healthily.

You're also an anti-bullying activist. Why is this work important to you?

Music has always been there for me in times where I felt isolated, or I heard someone had been talking behind my back. Music has served as my happy place in both happy and sad, so I hope I can provide that oasis to individuals who are going through tough times. I think it was so important for me that I knew I wasn't alone, and it's such a huge priority for me to ensure others know they aren't as well.

What has your experience been like as a woman in the music industry?

I think that it's an incredible time to be a woman in general. As a woman in the music industry, I feel so empowered being surrounded by so many fellow strong, bold, and incredible women artists. In that sense, nothing has changed because I grew up looking to the women whom I aspire to be like. However, I think the prejudice women have faced in the past is dissipating because of how powerful and vocal we are about it.

Your most recent release is "A Day Without." What inspired this song?

Yes! Although I did not personally write this song, I would go to say I relate to it more than some of my own. I heard this song after losing my dad, learning that the incredible and sadly late Andrew Dorff was a writer on it, and it really struck an emotional place for me. The song's meaning is truly open to the listener's interpretation and I found it to personally mean the idea of losing someone you love.

How does the song compare for you with the other material you've released?

I think the song and the other pieces I have been working on are a bit more mature and emotional than those I have released previously. I've taken about a year and a half to really find my voice and I love that these songs truly define that.

You've had the chance to tour with some incredible artists. What have been some memorable experiences from those tours?

Definitely. I think that the experiences I look back on most are watching the artists perform. I have learned so much from just watching their shows 20+ times, and it's definitely made me a better performer myself. I'm a big lover of travel in addition to my music, so putting the two (together) is a dream come true—my own personal Disneyland or something!

What's coming up next for you?

I'll be promoting my single along with these next few tunes! I'm so incredibly excited to have them out and into the world.