2019 has been a year of firsts for Abby Miller, and she’s making each one of them count.
The Lancaster, Ohio native released her debut self-titled album in May, released her first music video (which has accrued well over 2 million views), and has even heard herself coming over the same radio airwaves that shaped her love for country music.
Miller has gotten herself to this point by focusing on releasing songs with substance. Her debut album, which begins with “Silverado,” is packed with eight songs that detail love and love lost; feelings Miller personally related to when delivering the tracks.
As she prepares to release her next single “Beautiful You,” hear from Abby about the artist that shaped who she wants to mirror her artistry off of, the success of “Silverado,” recording in Nashville for the first time, what listeners can expect from her next single, and more!
Pro Country: Who are some of your biggest musical influences that have shaped your sound?
Abby Miller: One of my biggest musical influences has been Brad Paisley. I know most female artists have a female artist in mind that they look up to, but Brad Paisley has always really embodied what not only country sounds like, but what it looks and acts like. He’s the kind of person, and artist I want to be, except the female version [laughs]. As soon as I got my license and could drive, I remember the first place I drove was to the mall, and the first thing I bought with what was supposed to by my gas money was Brad Paisley’s CD; also all the other CD’s of his they were selling. I spent all my birthday money on those cd’s! His music can you make you laugh, cry, and fall in love. It’s hard to find artists who can do all three. I want to be one of those artists. There’s so many great artists to look up to in country music, such as George Strait, Loretta Lynn, and Miranda Lambert, but it’s not about who you like, it’s who you wanna be like. That’s how you find your musical influence, and mine is Brad Paisley.
PC: You got involved in music and started performing at a very young age. What was it about music that connected with you so early in your life?
AM: My parents always told me that they could never get me to stop singing as a kid. I was told how on long car rides, I would sing the entire car ride, non-stop. And this was also while I was very young, so I don’t think my talent for singing had kicked in yet much to their expense [laughs]. I got to meet Taylor Swift when I was 7 years old; she was just starting out and selling her first album. She’s what inspired me to start writing my own songs and what really brought me into country music. Binge watching Hannah Montana as a kid may have also been an influence on me. I actually performed my first talent show with a Miley Cyrus song in third grade. Due to the positive feedback at such a young age, it encouraged me to continue performing. There’s never been a day I go without music. Music has just always connected to me, and it’s hard to think of a specific thing that has connected me to it, it’s just always been there.
PC: When did you realize that you wanted to pursue music as a career?
AM: I realized I wanted to pursue a career in music when I couldn’t find any other career I could see myself pursuing. My senior year of high school, I had to figure out what it is I wanted to do when I graduated, and nothing except for music ever seemed to stick out or interest me for very long. I’ve tried to pursue different careers due to the fear of not making it in music, but the interest in those careers all faded, but my love for music and the dream I’ve had to be a singer since I was a little girl has always stayed.
PC: What emotions were you feeling as you were preparing to release music for the first time with your self-titled album?
AM: There was a lot of excitement because this was the first time I would ever be releasing an album. All the hard work displayed in the studio would finally be available for everyone to hear on my album. But there was a lot of nervousness and fear, because of course people may not like it. But with the success of my song “Silverado,” it gave me a little confidence that if people loved that song, they would love all of the songs on my album. I was excited to show the world who I was as an artist!
PC: The “Silverado” music video has earned more than 2 million views, and the song is already getting airplay. What has it been like for you to see the success the song is already having?
AM: “Silverado” was the first song I chose to record out of the 25 songs I was given. It was the first song I recorded, and first song I released. This song has been so special to me from the beginning, and there’s nothing more rewarding than seeing how special it is to everyone else who has listened and loved it. I remember listening to the 25 songs with my family, trying to pick which ones I should record, and there were so many we all loved, and I remember no one really paying attention to “Silverado,” but I remember listening to it and knowing I wanted to record it. At the time, I didn’t know why, but I just knew there was just something special about it, and looking back, I’m so happy I picked it and that there are so many people who love it as much as I do. It’s great to know that all that hard work is paying off. It’s something we didn’t see coming, but are soaking up every minute of it!
PC: What was it about “Silverado” that connected with you the first time you heard it? What do you think it is about the song that has connected with so many others?
AM: Looking back, I think what connected me to “Silverado” is the fact that I was experiencing the emotion of the song for the first time in my life. There was a guy I really liked and was in a situation very similar to “Silverado.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back, I think the fact that I was in the same place as the girl in the song is what connected me to the song. And I know there’s so many women and men out there who feel the same. It’s comforting to know we’re not alone, and the success of this song with so many people has been a great reminder to me that so many others have been through the same thing.
PC: You posted a video on your Facebook page this week as you were listening to “Silverado” being played on the radio. What did that moment mean to you?
AM: There were a few moments I got teary-eyed while listening to my song for the first time on the radio, but I managed to somewhat hold my composure. My song had actually gotten played on the radio in Utah, but Utah is a very long ways from Ohio, so this was the first time I got to hear it myself. The same radio and the same station that I’ve listened to so many of my favorite country artists. To hear myself on there alongside of them is an indescribable feeling. I have yet to hear someone put that feeling into words, because it’s just impossible. It’s such an incredible feeling that is so hard to put into words. There is no other song of mine I’d have had that moment with other than “Silverado.” I am so thankful for the people who wrote the song and helped me make it what it is for all the people sharing this success with me.
PC: Most of the songs on your album deal with love; whether it is finding/appreciating love or losing it. Was that something that you and your team were focusing on as you were putting the album together, or is that something that happened naturally?
AM: I would say both. We picked songs that meant something to me, and that were also the kind of song we wanted to represent me or define me as an artist, which just happened to be about appreciating love and losing love. The songs we focused on just happened to be about those things.
PC: Wilbur Rimes (LeAnn Rimes’ father) served as one of the producers on your album. How can working with someone who has had Wilbur’s level of success in producing young artists help you in your own craft?
AM: LeAnn Rimes was also young like me when she was first starting out, so I think he is able to use his experience with his own daughter to give good wisdom and guidance to other young female artists such as myself. One of the things Wilbur has told me is with young people singing these songs about love and heartache, you can hear the inexperience they have with it in their voice. It’s hard to express emotions you haven’t yet experienced in your own life. So him telling me that has definitely challenged me and encouraged me as a singer to dig deeper into my own emotions when singing these songs.
PC: You recorded your album in Nashville and had several Nashville players on it. Was there any level of nerves you were feeling recording in Nashville for the first time?
AM: I had recorded once in Nashville before I recorded my album, and it was only for fun, and they were not original songs of mine. There were a lot of nerves when I went in to record this album. I had to train my voice for most of these songs and really push myself out of my comfort zone to do a lot of these songs. I had to challenge myself to sing in ways I hadn’t been used to singing before, and it’s made me a better artist because of it. It’s made my comfort zone much bigger than it was before.
PC: What do you hope listeners take away from your debut album after listening all the way through?
AM: I hope my listeners find songs they can relate their own heartache to, as well as songs they can enjoy and dance to. I hope my listeners find everything country music is meant to be and should be with the songs I have released and with the songs I will release in the future. I also hope they learn a little about me through my music.
PC: You’ve talked about your new single “Beautiful You” on social media. What information can you give about that song and its release?
AM: “Beautiful You” is a very positive and upbeat song that I am very excited to release! It’s very unlike my other songs where I sing about being in love or losing love, this song is about not loving some guy, but loving yourself! It’s about loving the person underneath the makeup and the fancy filters. I don’t mind applying makeup or using filters here and there myself, but I think it’s such an important reminder for us women; we can’ forget to love the woman underneath all of that! If we wish to find people who love us for who we are, we need to love ourselves for who we are. That’s what “Beautiful You” is about; loving the “beautiful you” that you were made to be! As far as the release, all I can say is we are currently working on the music video and should have it out very soon!
PC: What are your plans for the rest of 2019 and beyond?
AM: My plans for the rest of 2019 and beyond are to continue writing my own songs, do some more co-writing, and to hopefully start releasing my own songs! I also plan to start doing more shows outside of Ohio and reaching more people outside of my home state!
*Images courtesy of Abby Miller and Abby Miller Facebook Page*