Nothing compares to the relentless ferocity of vulnerability. For emotional fluency, interpersonal honesty and heartfelt relationships, one will always need an essence of openness and fragility to their human character for the soul to really sing.
Enter Abi Hudson. Her soulful singing in her debut single Fragile Around You attests to the softness of heart we all need to give and get the love we deserve. Her uniquely atmospheric and immediately impressive voice unites with honest, meditative writing talents that breathe the lyrics into life. Produced by Terry Ronald (Kylie Minogue, Girls Aloud) and Steve Anderson (Britney Spears, Take That), the song is delivered with the sophistication and wisdom of a woman beyond her years. Take a listen:
Hailing from Bromley, Hudson is not your typical teenager. Her purpose has been resolute for a while; in this interview, she discusses how she worked tirelessly to establish her extraordinary performing talent from a young age. Having honed her craft over the years, Hudson has claimed her spot as a real contender on the live circuit and can already count acclaimed performances at popular tastemaker nights such as Ella Guru, the Pixie Lott curated showcase, and renowned London venues the Sebright Arms, The Underbelly and Barfly under her belt. In addition to her live success, the young prodigy has just finished recording her debut EP; the collection a compelling statement of intent that blends raw, live elements with intelligent glossy pop to create a signature sound very much her own.
I sent a Skype call down to the British countryside where Abi had stationed herself, and through the friendly chirps of parrots in the background, we poured our hearts out – discussing everything from her influences, the art of dance and where to go from here.
Abi Hudson: Sorry for all the noises of the chickens! I’m in the countryside!
WisdomTooth: The countryside! Sounds like the place to be – don’t worry about the chickens, I had a friend who had chickens.
AH: Oh, really? [laughs]
WT: It was so weird because we don’t even live in the countryside, we live in a town.
AH: Oh wow! We have parrots, dogs, cats and pigs here too, as well as the chickens.
WT: Sounds like a zoo – hopefully you can hear the questions. First up: When did you start singing?
AH: Since I‘ve been singing the alphabet – so since forever. It didn’t become a career until a couple of years ago when I started doing live performances. That’s when I realised it was what I wanted to do. I also had a great singing teacher who said I should get into performing, and when I did that I got good responses from the audience. Even in school, I felt like there was nothing else for me to do but performance – I mean, I’ve been going to dance lessons since a young age, so I was already into it.
WT: What type of dance?
AH: Well, I started off in ballet… when I was two, I’d make all the parents sit down and watch me perform [laughs] I’ve always been a bit of a performer.
WT: I was hoping you’d say ballet; I do ballet too.
AH: Oh, really? I recently stopped, and I miss it so much.
WT: It’s definitely more expressive than people assume; though it’s more disciplined than most dances.
AH: Yeah – like I said I began in ballet then I went on to do other dances like modern, street, tap – all that. Then I got into musical theatre, and then music.
WT: So you’re into dance, and you’re obviously a singer. Can you tell me about the third tier of yourself: songwriting?
AH: When I began songwriting, I was nervous to share the songs I’d made. Because when you’re writing about really personal things, you don’t necessarily want people to know about it – especially strangers. Or your parents [laughs]. But now I’ve got over that fear, I love that feeling of connecting with the audience.
WT: Has your age ever hindered you? At our adolescent age, people don’t always take our words as seriously.
AH: I get what you mean. But when you’re onstage, I don’t think people listen to you. They listen to the lyrics instead. Do you get what I mean?
WT: It’s as if the boundary is removed.
WT: Your song Fragile Around You is all about letting yourself go. Do you consider the vulnerability that comes along with onstage performance and personal songwriting is a necessity?
AH: Undeniably, yeah. I think if you’re not open to being vulnerable and sharing your feelings, you’ll never be able to connect with people. Everything I write about is personal to me because it has to be.
WT: Do you have any musical artists that inspire you in these ways?
AH: I love Stevie Nicks, Kate Bush and Joan Mitchell…
WT: I have a picture of her on my wall! Joan, that is.
AH: Do you really? I love her! I also get influences from everyone I listen to, modern artists included. Ellie Golding, Ella Henderson, people like that influence me too.
WT: If you could describe your music in five words, how would you describe it?
AH: Ooh, five words? Poppy. Authentic. A throwback feel.
WT: Do you have a record that’s really impacted you?
AH: This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush. I covered that song when I was 14 years-old, and I love everything about that song.
WT: And an album?
AH: Probably – Oh no, I can’t remember its name. It’s a Fleetwood Mac album, I think… No, it was Stevie Nicks. It’s a Stevie Nicks album with the song Seventeen on it.
WT: You mean Edge of Seventeen? That’s Bella Donna!
AH: Yes! That’s it. I love that album.
WT: Who would you collaborate with if you could?
AH: That’s Sia. I love her songs Chandelier and Elastic Heart. I’ve covered her too.
WT: What’s your plan for 2017? What do you wanna do, and what are you going to?
AH: Firstly, I am going to do songwriting, live performance – everything to do with music. I want to continue doing music, sustain myself in this dream. I want to keep doing what I’m doing. I want to keep going. ℘