For Abby Anderson, noticing and talking about the little things are now what matter most. Not for the performance of it, but to help others who are going through it.
When eye contact is broken, solely to protect that small piece of themself.
She recognizes the behavior.
Or when a smile is just polite, because that person recognizes the difference when someone really wants to hear your truth, versus wanting you to agree with them.
She takes the time to ask what they really think.
When women stand, shoulders forward so their chests concave, just so they don’t make others uncomfortable by coming across too sexy or confident.
She recognizes it now, and isn’t afraid to get into what’s causing it.
After moving to Nashville at just 17, the Texas native began playing gigs at popular Nashville venues such as The Bluebird Cafe, The Listening Room Cafe and Tin Roof while working as a nanny to support herself. She signed a publishing and record deal and released her first song “This Feeling” – it truly felt like she’d gotten her big break, catching the attention of country music tastemakers, from being named Pandora’s Country Artist to Watch to one of CMT's 2018 Next Women of Country alongside Ashley McBryde and Kassi Ashton, her bubbly enthusiasm was palpable.
Anderson’s first release, “Make Him Wait,” leaned into her Mormon upbringing and all the values a "good girl" should embody (written alongside Tom Douglas and Josh Kerr). Shortly after she released her debut EP, I’M GOOD, which consisted of five songs including “Dance Away My Broken Heart” written by Kelsea Ballerini, Thomas Rhett and Rhett Akins. That same year she made her Grand Ole Opry debut and performed at CMA Fest and Dierks Bentley's Seven Peaks Festival.
She’d smile, call her parents and tell them everything was great – she was living her dream, how could everything not be perfect? She was recognized as a member of The Bobby Bones Show's Class Of 2019, Music Row Magazine's 2019 Next Big Things and Sounds Like Nashville's list of Country Artists to Watch in 2019. She went on to make her national television debut on NBC’s “TODAY Show” and toured with Russell Dickerson, Chase Rice, Rob Thomas, Brett Eldredge and more.
Yet she’d look at photos and watch performances by her idols: Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Linda Ronstadt, Roy Orbison, Stevie Wonder, K.T. Oslin, Reba McEntire, Shania Twain, The Judds, and Elvis and they weren’t just faking fun, they were exuding it. So why wasn’t she?
“I found this photo of me, and don’t get me wrong, I was smiling and the right weight for my frame, dressed the way people thought a girl like me should dress,” she pauses before adding, “but it wasn’t me. I felt like I was looking at someone else. I asked, ‘why don’t I recognize this person?’"
“So, I made some changes. I gave myself permission to be happy, to eat what I wanted and sing how I wanted without trying to fit into some preconceived notion of what a woman should be. Somewhere along the way, I started standing up taller and actually smiling, not just the controlled grin that portrayed a happy version of my best in photos. And when the outside started to reflect what I was feeling inside, it also came out through the music I was writing.”
Grateful for the experiences and early life lessons that have helped her recognize and accept happiness, Anderson is set to release new music that embraces her past and her present with a sound that fully captures who she is as an artist, a songwriter and as a woman who isn’t afraid to stand up tall and say what she stands for.