Abby Lyons is an American singer-songwriter who writes honest and vulnerable songs on the piano and ukulele. She is also a ukulele instructor on YouTube and Fender Play.
"Live in the sun"
When did you start to get interested in music?
In my family, we were basically required to play music, so I was singing by the time I was two! By the time I was four, I was taking piano lessons. At age nine, I started playing the oboe (which is a woodwind instrument). Then, when I was twelve years old, I decided I wanted to be a singer-songwriter (like Hilary Duff, who I loved), and then I started writing songs.
I began playing guitar right around the same time too. Funny enough, ukulele was the last instrument I added into my playing. I picked it up when I was twenty-one!
If you were an advertisement, which would your slogan be?
Live in the sun.
Which is the part you enjoy the most about music?
My favorite part about my art is singing. I’m not sure if I can explain how much I love singing. I just love being alone in a quiet room and filling it up with singing. I also love singing for lots of people with everyone listening intently. One time I told my friend that I thought my superpower was singing, and I might still believe that.
Singing has always been something that I have genuinely enjoyed, whether it’s been for fun or for work. Other aspects of music have felt more challenging at times, whether that’s been practicing, making time to write, or notating scores. I’m somewhat amazed that singing has always been so enjoyable.
Most artists say that through their art they learn more about themselves, heal injuries… In which aspects has music helped you?
Yes, I think that’s true for me too. In times when I’ve felt the most sad, it has helped immensely to turn that energy into something productive. You can take the emotions one by one and squeeze them into a little box, which is the song. Trying to think of good rhymes can be a great distraction too.
Once all the emotions are out, it feels like a relief. Then the emotions live on through the song. I find it so strange and mystical how a song can transport you back to that moment when you wrote it.
What does music mean to you?
My art helps me feel like more of myself. Do you have those moments where everything feels peaceful and full? When I play or write a song, it makes me feel so calm. I feel like it brings me back to earth.
When I play a song for someone else, especially in a small room, it makes me feel connected to them. I feel like my songs are precious, small things. Sharing them always feels special.
Who are your idols?
At the moment my songwriting idol is John Mayer, because his songs are beautifully crafted and the messages behind them are so wise. Have you noticed his amazing rhyme schemes and his incredible ability to perfectly describe every subtle emotion?? I’m in awe of his lyrics and music. I also really appreciate how so many of his songs have a hopeful spin to them.
If you didn’t like music, what would you like to do?
If I didn’t like making music, I would probably be making fine art or writing books, which I feel like is pretty similar. I used to draw pictures and make up stories all the time as a kid. I think later on in my life I will write a novel and/or make a children’s book.
Do you consider that nowadays there are more or less opportunities for new artists? Why?
I think there are so many more opportunities for artists nowadays, thanks to the internet. Now you can build an audience and distribute music on your own, whereas before you needed a record label.
Thanks to crowdfunding sites like Patreon and Kickstarter, your fans can donate directly to you for your art. I think now is the perfect time for creating music, especially if you’re looking for a sustainable way to create over time.
What would your idyllic life as an artist be like?
My idyllic life as an artist is close to what it is now. Right now I record music in my bedroom and then distribute it to the world over YouTube and Spotify. If I were to improve upon that, I would find a quieter living space (one without cicadas squealing outside), get better microphones, and spend more time writing. I just want to write and record music and then play in at a coffee shops or in people’s living rooms.
Do you want to know more about Abby Lyons? You can find some projects below.