Janoah Paxton Photography
The entirety of most of our lives resides in our pockets at any given time. Our phones hold our loved ones’ contact information, our social lives, even our grocery lists. They make our lives a little more convenient while at the same time isolating us. I discussed what Abby J Hall refers to as the double-edged sword that is social media, her latest single, “Tough Love,” and so much more in this back and forth exchange.
Kendra: Couldn’t help but notice a wonderful clip you posted on Instagram singing “Lovebug” by the Jonas Brothers. Were they a group that got you into music, or were you sparked to pick up an instrument and sing long before them?
Abby J Hall: Thank you! Definitely remember that song from Disney Channel and think that their music is awesome. In my house, there’s always someone singing. My dad taught us how to play guitar and my siblings and I would often make up melodies, such as a theme song for our imaginary TV show.
Kendra: Looking back to “Busy” from some years ago, how do you feel you’ve evolved as a songwriter since then?
Abby J Hall: I think I’ve hopefully evolved as my music taste has evolved and by working/being inspired by other artists too. I often cringe at myself and previous works, haha but I think I’ll always be proud of that song. Interestingly enough I feel like “Busy” is so old but I’ll have people say that it’s still one of their favs which I’m happy about!
Kendra: Because it does vary a bit from your latest, “Tough Love.” This one hits lyrically on a lot of levels. Was this song a response to the quarantines and whatnot that owned the past year?
Abby J Hall: Yes! Actually, I was feeling quite down one evening, went to the keys and hashed out what I was feeling then posted a clip on Tik Tok. The response to the song inspired me to finish it, it was really cool to read through the comments and see how many people were in the same boat.
Kendra: There were a couple of lines that really hit me, one of them being about how one should not have to “fall over the edge for someone to notice.” It goes back to the idea of checking on all your loved ones because not everyone is posting how they really feel online. How do you feel social media has conditioned us in terms of caring for one another?
Abby J Hall: Ooooh good question, yes I think it’s super important to be checking in on our friends as we really do not know what’s going on in someone’s life. I definitely have a love-hate relationship with social media…it’s awesome for connection yet can tear people apart too. I feel like since you can’t see the person’s face, a lot of things can be misconstrued and almost dehumanize people. Honestly, I go back and forth on how I feel about it. I stand by that face to face is always best, although that’s been a bit harder recently.
Kendra: You also kick the song off pointing out the people who are always on their phones. I get it when you’re home with nothing to do, but the second you’re in a social setting and STILL on your phone – that’s when I become really peeved. However, social media and whatnot is like a double-edged sword for people like us who use it as a tool to reach people with our various crafts. Do you find it hard to log off because you are an artist and social media is part of the game today?
Abby J Hall: There was a time it stressed me out, and I was worried about numbers but I’m less and less concerned about that as time goes on, I’m more concerned about putting out good work! There’s a lot of fake views, followers, and bots but I’m okay taking the longer route if I can stay genuine and achieve real fans. It’s only a game if we choose to play.
Kendra: Are you currently working on more single releases, or is there an EP or LP in the works?
Abby J Hall: I’m definitely working on more songs, putting out an album would be a dream. Maybe one day soon;)
Kendra: Lastly, it’s getting a little easier with the vaccine rollouts, but it’s still kind of hard to have a definite answer when it comes to future plans given the current state of everything, but as far as what you can control when it comes to your career and creativity – what do you have planned in the coming months for yourself?
Abby J Hall: Yes, hopefully, things can get back to normal soon. I’m working on some cool projects that I can’t say too much about right now – stay tuned. Also taking time to get outdoors this summer which is my absolute favourite time of the year. Thanks so much for having me!