HOT VOX POP QUIZ WITH ABI FARRELL
Who is Abi Farrell? Where are you from, how long have you been playing music etc
I grew up in a village in Oxfordshire and moved to Birmingham when I was 18 to study History, before moving to London in 2017. I’ve been singing since the age of 8 and publicly since the age of 14, when I joined a soul band at school, got seriously into Motown music, and started writing songs.
Who are your biggest influences musically?
I’m really passionate about the history of music and I think that shows in my writing. When discovering new music I look back as well as forward! Chaka Khan, P!nk, Amy Winehouse and Eryn Allen Kane all make me feel empowered to perform and to speak my truth through song, and sonically more recently I’ve taken inspiration from artists like Carole King, Stevie Nicks and Sade.
What’s your songwriting process?
Mostly I come up with a statement melody or hook and structure music around it; that’s how my songs ‘Change The World’, ‘Ivy’ and ‘Good For Me’ came to be. I had statements to make and wanted attention-grabbing melodies to convey them. My guitarist Ben Pinkus co-wrote some of my songs and has helped those arrangements come to life.
I wrote the chorus to ‘Was It Ever Really Bitter’ 18 months ago but had no idea how it would become a full song. I parked it. When a colleague said, ‘Abi, what’s that little snippet on your Instagram? I love it’, I knew I had to finish it pronto. One night in August, Charlie my keys player added more complex chords, went out to play a gig, and by the time he was back I’d finished the verses. It ended up being a 3-minute, stream of consciousness, dramatic soul song. I love being able to use songwriting as a way to make sense of the complexities of being a young woman - it’s my way of saying, you know what, it’s OK, I can make art out of this, here’s my truth.
When you were younger, what was the first album that blew you away and you remember putting on repeat non-stop?
When I was 11, a friend gave me ‘All We Know Is Falling’ by Paramore on CD. I’d put it on every day when I was getting ready for school and again when I got home. I would belt it out start to finish and still know every word.
How would you describe your live show to someone who has never seen you perform before?
I’m so excited for the new full band set up I have for The Spice of Life on Friday 16th March. My overall sound is going in the direction of funk-inspired old school soul: expect R&B, rock and jazz influences from the incredible musicians I’ll be playing with.
If people want to check you out online where is the best place to go?
At the moment, Instagram is the place to head for up to date songs, pictures, news and release plans: www.instagram.com/abifarrellmusic.
Finally, What does the future hold for you as an artist?
Having invested more and more time in writing and full band arrangement lately, I have some very exciting London shows lined up. I plan to release my first single later in the year, and feel more empowered than ever to do what I love, keep speaking up through song, reach new audiences, and keep learning and growing fearlessly.
Photo Credit: Ella Kilford.
YOU CAN CATCH ABI FARRELL AT HER SHOW ON THE 16TH OF MARCH AT THE SPICE OF LIFE
TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE
The Underbelly,21 March
The Underbelly,24 March
The Borderline,31 March
The Camden Assembly,07 April
The Camden Assembly,13 April
HOXTON SQ BAR & KITCHEN,13 April
HOXTON SQ BAR & KITCHEN,18 April
The Camden Assembly,21 April
HOXTON SQ BAR & KITCHEN,11 May
HOXTON SQ BAR & KITCHEN,08 June