When it comes to taking the music world by storm, there are few ways better to do so than to book a gig on a huge tour, such as opening for one Miss Kelly Clarkson. Enter country-pop sensation Abi Ann, who may not be a household name just yet, but is on the fast track to super-stardom. Between her summer plans, her current single “Future Ex Boyfriend,” her next single “Truck Candy” and her down-to-earth attitude, Nashville Gab is excited to introduce you to this new rising star.
Growing up in Texas, Abi was raised on country music, but cites a wide array of influences, ranging from Shania Twain (“She was my number one.”) to the Beatles to Ed Sheeran for his incredible lyrics. Today, her taste is just as good, listing some of her favorites as the Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley and Eric Church.
That sassy Shania-influence can be heard throughout her EP, 17, nowhere more than on her first single “Future Ex Boyfriend.” If you haven’t heard anything from Abi yet, that’s where she recommends you start. However, there are many other layers to the teenage phenom, as evidenced on the likes of “Cage Without a Key” and “Truck Candy.” She calls the former her “biggest sort of proud mother moments,” naming it the song she’s most lyrically proud of.
With her lyrics, she’s also sending a message on her forthcoming single “Truck Candy,” a track that could easily give Maddie & Tae a run for their money. Abi co-wrote the song with Walker Hayes and admits it was born accidentally in early 2014, while working on another song. Yet, good things often happen when you lease expect them, and she’s especially proud of this one. “I love to poke fun at subjects, that’s just who I am. I love the satirical elements that ‘Truck Candy’ has, just poking fun at the bro-country movement. There’s such a lack of women in country music that any time we can bring attention to it in a good, positive way that’s not putting anybody down is such a great thing to do… It’ll make you giggle, but actually make you think at the same time.”
As she heads into the summer, Abi Ann has big plans, scoring an opening slot on Kelly Clarkson’s “Piece by Piece” Tour, which will have her on the road for her longest stint yet, beginning July 11 in Hershey, PA and ending September 20 in Camden, NJ. Abi admits that she was “very surprised” by the news which came via a phone call from her dad. “I started just crying. I’m so incredibly honored and excited.”
She admits that the tour is a dream come true and that she’s most excited to play at the Staples Center, which is also where she saw her first concert as a child. “A lot of things on my bucket list are being checked off this summer.” She also will be taking notes as Kelly hits the stage. “I mean, Kelly herself is just such an incredible, incredible artist so I”m really excited to learn from her,” she says. “I really look up to her and I’ve always idolized her so I’m incredible excited and honored to see what she does and how she handles this all.”
When it comes to Abi’s own live show, she describes it as fun and energetic. “I’m here to entertain you guys. Music is such a great way to let loose and enjoy the moment. The band and I are having a blast so hopefully that translates really well.”
In addition to her own songs, she has a few tricks up her sleeves, including a favorite cover, Taylor Swifts‘ “Better Than Revenge.” “It’s such an oldie, but a goodie and I definitely put my own twist on it so expect to see that on tour. It’s always such a crowd upper.”
When she’s not on stage, Abi Ann has an admirable work ethic and attitude when it comes to education. The singer will be heading to Nashville’s Belmont University this fall, and says that she goes into different zones between singer and student. “I’m kind of like Hannah Montana,” she laughs. “My education is just as equally important as my craft and my career and they both go hand-in-hand. I really value education just as much as I do music so its important for me to find way…I’ll let you know how that all goes in a couple of months!”
As Abi kicks off her summer tour, she’s thankful for her legion of current and future supporters and she can’t wait for the future. “This is my own little contribution to society and I’m incredibly excited, humbled and optimistic about the future. I’m so excited for everyone to hear the music and I couldn’t do it without the supporters.
Watch Abi Ann’s “Future Ex Boyfriend” here!