7 Things I Learned About Music In 2017 (PLUS: An Exciting Announcement About My EP!)


WELL WELL. It’s two weeks till 2018 and I AM FREAKING OUT. There’s a lot to be excited about, but there’s also a lot to stress about. I’m going to try and do more of the former and less of the latter (but you know me…the Pack Mule Waffle Queen Overcommitter Perfectionist™ *nervous laughter*)

In case you missed last week’s post, I’m doing a miniseries on the blog called: 7 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT ____ IN 2017. Today it’s about music and last week it was about writing. I always like to look back at my year and see all the goals I met…plus some of the goals I didn’t meet. SO LET’S TALK ABOUT THIS SOME MORE IN THE COMMENTS. I want to discuss what you learned in 2017 as well!
2017 was a good year for music. I didn’t record nearly as much as I wanted to, but I feel like I have accomplished other (less tangible) things. I’ve definitely witnessed major improvement in my voice, WHICH IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING. Even though I couldn’t stick to my plan of releasing one cover song each month, I was still happy with the music I did put out there. LET’S LIST.
– Released my single, Back To Normal  
– Released my first cover song and music video, I Found by Amber Run 
– Released my first MASHUP cover of Hello by Adele and Alive by Sia 
– Announced that I was officially #done making covers lololol 
– But not really because I’m still going to make more…I GOT PLANS, BRO 
– Announced that I’m going to start making ukulele covers / an acoustic music video series for my YouTube channel 
– But I haven’t actually made a cover yet 
– How did this list of accomplishments turn into a list of things I haven’t accomplished yet 🙃🙃🙃 
– but IF YOU READ THIS WHOLE POST (or if you scroll to the very bottom) I have a super exciting announcement about my first EP!!! 
So I’m pretty happy with how much music I put out there in 2017. Four songs isn’t bad?? AND NEXT YEAR IT’S GOING TO BE EVEN MORE so stick around, my friend. I have all kinds of new exciting ideas for music videos too so THAT’S GOING TO BE BUCKETS OF FUN. Now let’s get on to the lessons I learned about music this year.

I will never be a textbook singer. That’s just not who I am. This year, I discovered that about myself. I discovered that music is super emotional for me, and if I’m not conveying my emotion through my voice when I sing… I am failing at my art. It’s not about hitting the right note. I don’t want to impress a listener with my belting or vibrato or my riffs…I want to impress with the amount of emotion in my voice.
Songwriting is a very intimate thing for me. I take my deepest struggles and feelings and thoughts and I translate them into music and poetry…the last thing I would ever want to do is lose that emotional power that I feel when I write my songs or sing them alone. Not gonna lie – sometimes, when I’m writing lyrics and practicing by myself, I will weep. Like hardcore bawl my eyes out, while singing. THAT’S what I want to record. That’s what I want to put on Spotify or list on iTunes. I don’t want my music to be perfect or polished or even “good.” I want it to be emotional. I want you to feel what I feel when I sit at my piano, alone in my house, and sing with tears streaming down my face.
Very few artists are brave enough to show their most unrefined emotions. But there are some artists out there doing this – and they inspire me to no end. I think we should all, in our own ways and our own arts, reveal the rawest version of what we do. I think we should all focus less on making something “good” and instead focus on making it TRUE TO OURSELVES. I’m far more interested in authenticity than meeting someone else’s standard of “good.” Whatever you do, do it with your whole heart. Pour out everything you’ve got.
There are several different kinds of songs in the world. I won’t say “two” but…BASICALLY?? You have songs that are just kind of a mashup of feelings and more allegorical than anything else…and then you have songs that tell a story. Although I LOVE to write the first type of songs (and most of my songs fall into the first category), this year I discovered that I love writing “story songs” even more.
I’m a storyteller at heart. And music provides an interesting vehicle to write a story and deliver to your listener in less than 5 minutes.* In fact, it’s arguably one of the most powerful ways to tell a story, because music is the only art form that gets stuck in your head on repeat and haunts you in your sleep. But DON’T GET ME WRONG I love books too! Obviously. Fiction is my lifeblood and I would be lost without it. Plus there are some things you just can’t fit into a song. But I’ve written at least half a dozen story songs this year and asdfghjkl I LOVE THEM ALL SO MUCH. I can’t wait to share these stories with y’all. 😉
*or less than 10 minutes in my case… I LIKE WRITING LONG SONGS OK no surprise there
I always laugh when people talk about playing an instrument and they say something like “you’re doing it wrong.” BECAUSE THIS STATEMENT IS FUNDAMENTALLY FLAWED. There is no right or wrong way to do music.
When you REALLY break it down: music is noise. Good noises…noises that sound beautiful. BUT THAT’S ALL IT REALLY IS. You hit something, it vibrates, you like the sound it makes. You hit something else, it vibrates, you like the sound those two things make together. < THAT’S. ALL. MUSIC. IS.
^ I just needed to use this gif don’t judge me too harshly
Now, it’s different if you’re playing in an orchestra or band and you have to work together with other musicians to produce the sound everyone has in mind – you all have to be on the same page. But if you’re by yourself?? WHO CARES. Who cares if you’re playing “wrong” or if you don’t follow the same rules that other people do? If it sounds good, DO IT. Never feel inferior because of what someone else’s standards might be. They don’t FEEL the music like you do. And, unfortunately…they’re the ones missing out.
AND YOUR BEST WILL CHANGE ALL THE TIME. I sing a lot in the shower to instrumentals of my favorite songs.* Some days I’m like “OH YEAH THAT WAS AWESOME!! BEST VOCAL EVER!! MAN I WISH I HAD RECORDED THAT” and other days I’m like “wow that sucked.” Because your best varies day to day – regardless of what you do. Some days you’ll just be…off. And that does NOT determine your worth – nor does it accurately represent how good you are! Some days I sing better than I do on other days. It’s the same for any creative ability. ALL YOU CAN DO IS YOUR BEST. And when you do your best, you have no regrets.
*no, I don’t take voice lessons and I never have. I just sing a lot??? Because it’s fun??? AND I FIND THIS IS THE BEST WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SINGING VOICE IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN THAT SORT OF THING. Just sing sing sing sing sing sing and never stop. You’ll see changes happen all on their own.
THOUGH IT’S VERY HARD TO BELIEVE,* I receive criticism on my voice and my music. Not much, but some. And here’s how I’ve learned to deal with it: I DO THINGS MY OWN WAY. The choices I make with my voice and my music (ie: not playing by the rules AT ALL) are…well…choices. I choose to sing the way I do. I choose to play music the way I do. I choose to write songs the way I do. I’m okay with being different, with being criticized for not doing music the “right” way. (Ahem.) But, yes, I’m human.** And criticism hurts. But I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) to not let it bother me. Because there are always going to be people who don’t get me. And there are always going to be FAR MORE people who do get me. Like you, my friend. 😉
*-insert modest laughter here-
**I THINK??? Maybe not. I’ve never shown many indicators of being human so…who knows ??
I said this before, but MUSIC IS MY EMOTIONAL OUTLET. And I’ve learned that more than anything else this year. Whenever I’m struggling with an emotion or a question or a turbulence of some kind, my first instinct is to run to music. I’m not much good with words sometimes, but with music…I DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW TO DESCRIBE IT. It’s the one art I do where I feel like I actually have a “muse.” Lyrics and notes just come out of my heart – there’s nothing intellectual about it. My left side brain just shuts up (for once) and ASDFGHJKL MUSIC JUST HAPPENS. If I didn’t have music to pour my emotions into, I don’t know what I would do. Probably start an angry YouTube channel or something idk.
Especially in the realm of recording. As some of you know, I built my own recording studio this year and ran myself into debt buying equipment to get myself up and running. But here’s the thing: I HAVEN’T ACTUALLY DONE ANY RECORDING YET. The last quarter of 2017 was crazy busy, and I just never found the time to really delve into the world of audio engineering. BUT I’M GOING TO. And I’m super pumped for it.
I’m releasing my first EP in 2018. YES!!! I DON’T KNOW WHEN EXACTLY, but guys: it’s actually happening. The EP is going to consist of 5 BRAND NEW SONGS and it’s also going to have a theme (think: Space by Sleeping At Last.) THAT’S ALL I’M GOING TO SAY FOR NOW. You’re just going to have to stay tuned for more information. 😉
What have you learned this year? Any important lessons/insights about life? I could always use more wisdom over here. LET’S TALK ABOUT MUSIC. Tell me about a new artist you discovered in 2017! Are you a musician yourself?? What is a cover song you would like to hear me do?
rock on,





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  • Reply Rosie C.


    I'm so excited and happy for you!! An EP?! And all this luscious writing. How do you find the time for it all? o-o

    I have learned a lot this year. That making a to-do list is helpful and it's okay to take a break every once in a while. I also learned that being myself is what I do best, and it doesn't matter if that doesn't "please" everyone.

    MUSIC: I discovered Petit Biscuit and his single Sunset Lover (so good, so good!). I have recently begun piano lessons to refresh what I learned several years ago, and I've been trying to learn all the emo Sia songs out there. XD By the way your Sia/Adele mashup: way lovely. So epic. Much amazingness. I would love to hear any sort of cover song that speaks to your heart. 🙂

    xx Rosie

    p.s. When I saw the line "It's two weeks till 2018" I may have had a miniature heart attack.

    December 16, 2017 at 3:25 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      EEEEP ROSIE THANK YOU SO MUCH *all the hugs and all the waffles* YOU'RE THE BEST AND THIS COMMENT JUST PUT A HUGE SMILE ON MY FACE. 😊✨ I honestly don't know how I find time to do all this…but I MUDDLE THROUGH HAHA :')

      CAN I JUST SAY: the stuff you learned this year = GOLDENNNN. 💛💛💛 I completely agree and those are some awesome discoveries!! oooh that's so cool you're taking up piano! IT'S MY FAVORITE. :'''') Sia songs are so much fun to learn! I have a little mashup of Elastic Heart and Someone Like You kicking around in my head… maybe I'll record it sometime??! EEEP. Good luck with all your 2018 goals!! AND OMG I KNOW I CAN'T BELIEVE THE NEW YEAR IS SO SOON like what the heck happened haha

      December 19, 2017 at 2:14 pm
  • Reply Charis Rae


    SO excited for your EP and so glad you had an amazing year!!

    December 16, 2017 at 3:58 pm
    • Reply Abbiee


      December 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm
  • Reply Ivie Brooks

    Abbiee, that is awesome! And I feel like I can actually apply some of this to my writing. The part of vulnerability really hits me because I want to write books with characters who are so vulnerable and have to face problems and its not always happy. This post <3 <3 <3

    Thank you for being the inspiration that you are. And thank you for your kindness! God bless you! <3 <3


    December 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      Thank you so much, Ivie!!! 💛 AND YAAAAS I TOTALLY FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT WRITING TOO. :') making characters more and more human…it's a struggle sometimes! but it's SO IMPORTANT gah. <3 THANK YOU FOR BEING AN INSPIRATION! *many hugs* God bless you too, girl! 😊

      December 19, 2017 at 2:19 pm
  • Reply Ella Marie

    I'M SO EXCITED TO HEAR YOU SONGS! <3 I love how emotion packed your voice and music is. It makes me feel something, which is super cool. I'm not a musician myself, we I've been in musical theatre, so I do have experience with voice. And I totally feel having your best change. Some days I feel like great, I'm able to hit all the notes, but other times it's just not happening.

    ~ Ella Marie

    December 16, 2017 at 5:36 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      ELLA MARIE DFSGAJKDLJA THAT IS LITERALLY THE BEST COMPLIMENT I COULD EVER RECEIVE WOW THANK YOU ❤️❤️❤️ *hugs* yes!! So happy you can relate to that! It's funny how vocals can change from day to day… :') BUT IT'S ALL GOOD HAHA. Thank you again!! You're an inspiration!

      December 19, 2017 at 2:21 pm
  • Reply Evangeline Yackel


    My goodness, you completed a lot music-wise!!

    P.S. Super excited to see what covers you upload. You always pick such great songs. 🙂

    December 16, 2017 at 6:00 pm
    • Reply Abbiee


      December 19, 2017 at 2:22 pm
  • Reply Clarissa

    I'M SO EXCITED FOR THE EP!!!!!!! Especially when you say the theme will be like one of Sleeping at Last's (that guy is awesome).
    I love that you're doing music the emotional way, because I've often told myself that I have to tone down the emotion at certain places cuz it makes me pitchy or off or whatever. I'm still struggling with confidence in my voice, even though I'd reaaaaalllyyy love to start doing YouTube covers.
    Anyways, be strong and keep doing what you love! 🙂

    December 16, 2017 at 6:40 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      YAAAAS SLEEPING AT LAST IS THE BEST *high fives* I probably relate to his style of songwriting more than any other artist haha <3 IT'S GONNA BE GOOD I'M SO PUMPED!! 💛😊 mmm yes I know what you mean! Sometimes I can get too emotional and lose control of my voice…but sometimes I want that? I don't know, it's hard to describe. I just really want to produce the most authentic version of my art possible. YOU SHOULD TOTALLY START DOING YOUTUBE COVERS!! I wish you the best with all your 2018 goals!! *high fives*

      December 19, 2017 at 2:27 pm
  • Reply Savannah Grace

    ACK OH MY GOODNESS I'M SO SO EXCITED FOR THE EP, ASJFLJFASHFHGFAHKSFKH. (also I've been such a stranger around these parts? BUT I SHALL TRY NOT TO BE because I has missed this place called the comments section xD) It's going to be beautiful and gorgeous and AJSGLJGASJLGLJG I just want it to be out NOOOOOOOW. (any idea what month it will be released in/around??)

    Also, hey – random (and a little last-minute), but is there any chance I could feature you on my blog sometime in January? I'm planning on featuring a different blogger each month in 2018, and I'd love for you to be the first, if it would work for you! (I can give you my contact info if you'd like to ;))

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

    December 16, 2017 at 10:28 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      SAVANNAH WELCOME BACK!! omg no worries I haven't read your blog in forever!! *facepalm* ASDFGHJKL I'M SO EXCITED FOR THE EP TOOOO!! AAHHH literally this comment has put a huge smile on my face thank you. :") I can't say for sure, but I think it will be sometime around October 2018?? MAYBE SOONER WE SHALL SEE. I just want it to be awesome. 💛😊 AAAH DUDE I WOULD LOVE TO BE FEATURED ON YOUR BLOG!! omg I'm honored. I won't be available for the first two weeks of January but anytime after the 15th would work!! Totally shoot me an email:

      December 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm
    • Reply Savannah Grace

      OCTOBER 2018??? OMW, I CAN'T WAIT THAT LONG *is dying over here* xD. And EPICNESS – I shot you a message through Google Hangouts, but I'll email you if that makes it easier ;). And yes, after the 15th works perfectly! 👍

      ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

      December 20, 2017 at 5:20 pm
  • Reply Meaghan Rutherford

    I've always wondered if I can be better at something one day and worse the next. Glad to know I'm not imagining things. It's frustrating, though.

    December 17, 2017 at 2:25 am
    • Reply Abbiee

      IT IS FRUSTRATING BUT YOU ARE NO ALONE! I struggle with that too… :')

      December 19, 2017 at 3:41 pm
  • Reply Ellie

    AN EP?? DUDE I'M SO HYPED. 100% downloading the moment it comes out.

    And the rest of this post was so interesting to read! I'm definitely not a singer or songwriter – that's just not where my passion lies – so getting an insight into what singing + songwriting is like was fascinating.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

    December 17, 2017 at 2:34 am
    • Reply Abbiee

      AAAH THANK YOU ELLIE 😊 I'm super pumped for the EP too!! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this post! *hugs*

      December 20, 2017 at 1:35 pm
  • Reply Hanne T

    dude i've listened to each of your releases this year over and over and over again, so needless to say, your new EP will be WELL LOVED.

    December 17, 2017 at 3:25 am
    • Reply Abbiee


      December 20, 2017 at 2:44 pm
  • Reply Musicgirl121

    "I think we should all focus less on making something "good" and instead focus on making it TRUE TO OURSELVES."

    ^^^^ YES TO ALL OF THAT. I often struggle with wondering if what I've created (novels, songs, poems, etc) are "good." And over this past year I've been trying to focus not on whether or not my stuff is good, but whether or not it's true to me and something that I believe in.

    I like this post because it's a good reminder that we have to believe in our stuff and relate to it and be able to emotionally connect to it, because if we can't, then how will anyone else connect to it?

    December 17, 2017 at 7:30 am
    • Reply Abbiee

      EEEP THANK YOU SO MUCH 💛😊 I'm so glad you could relate to this post!! All of this is definitely super close to my heart. :') "I like this post because it's a good reminder that we have to believe in our stuff and relate to it and be able to emotionally connect to it, because if we can't, then how will anyone else connect to it?" <<<< YES TO ALL OF THIS!!! I couldn't have said it better myself. ✨ thank you so much for reading!

      December 20, 2017 at 2:46 pm
    • Reply Musicgirl121

      *virtual hugs*

      December 20, 2017 at 8:49 pm
  • Reply Erin Marie

    Dude, I love your passion and authenticity. Never stop believing in and pursuing your craft! Music is one of the most lovely things God has given us and I agree, do it your own way. I am totally pro-natural vocals, rather than taking voice lessons. I love the emotional approach and just letting it all flow through you. There are people out there that have professionally trained voices but they don't have the emotion, and it doesn't resonate. Emotion has to be at the heart of any artistic expression, at least for me. Super cool that you are releasing an EP! You're super talented, dude. 🙂

    December 18, 2017 at 12:57 am
    • Reply Abbiee

      ASDFGHJKL THANK YOU ERIN <3 I COULD SAY THE SAME OF YOU!! *high fives* "There are people out there that have professionally trained voices but they don't have the emotion, and it doesn't resonate." << AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN !!! I agree 100000%. and I would totally much rather have the emotion in my voice than all the skill. AHH THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR ENCOURAGING WORDS 💛✨ LOVE YOU DUDE!

      December 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm
  • Reply Jessica

    I'm excited about your music plans for next year (especially the story songs. I like those a lot too)! Go you! It will be good. 🙂

    Yes to your point about emotional singing being better than polished singing. I agree, and I think you bring that out in your songs. It's a very brave thing to do. Did you always pour your heart your music and singing, or was it something you had to learn to let yourself? Because I know music is an emotional object, but I feel like I can never get into it. I always seem to be riding the surface, and it's kind of frustrating. Maybe I lack the confidence to let myself really show. Anyway, if you have wisdom on that point, I'm all ears! Thanks again for sharing what you've learned this year. xx

    December 19, 2017 at 1:56 am
    • Reply Abbiee

      AAHH THANK YOU JESSICA 💛😊 I so appreciate that. Hmm yeah I think I've always emotionally connected with/ expressed myself through music? But I definitely had to learn how to gain confidence in singing to really let my emotions OUT, if that makes sense. As far as finding a way to emotionally connect with a song, I would say: try to find something about the song that you relate to. So if it's a song about love, maybe connect it to a memory you have that brings up that feeling for you. It's amazing how personal experiences can really trigger those emotions you're looking for. A lot of my music is about my spiritual journey/my walk with God…so when I'm singing I'll sort of "root" myself in the feelings and emotions I experience when I talk to God…then I let it move me from there.

      NO IDEA IF THAT HELPS OR IF I'M JUST BABBLING. xD Thank you so much for reading, Jessica!! *hugs* You're an inspiration! ✨❤️

      December 20, 2017 at 2:55 pm
  • Reply Amelia Ruth

    I do write songs, but mostly instrumental pieces on my piano. I've been composing for as long as I've been playing….*don't ask me how long* I reallyyyyyyyyyyy loved this post. Because my compositions in music are a part of me that no one else sees — that sounds dramatic, but it's this little soul-vibe that doesn't come out any other way. I am a joyful, smiles, sunshine-y girl, but every song I've ever composed is serene and echoed and somber and almost mournful. It interests me that you can never see this part of me anywhere else…and I've tried composing up-beat, pumped songs but it just isn't that part of my being. The part of me that composes is also the part that is thought-provoking, with deep loves and desires that are full of depth and aspirations that are unknown.
    I don't know — I just really loved this post. <3

    December 21, 2017 at 9:08 pm
  • Reply Nabila

    THAT IS ACTUALLY SO COOL!!!! Congrats!!!!! I’m excited!

    December 23, 2017 at 12:37 am
  • Reply stayclassyjazzy

    OOO I AM SO EXCITED TO LISTEN TO YOUR EP GIRLIE!! And can I just say that I love the layout of your blog posts! Everything is aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to read! I am excited to see what 2018 has instored for you!! P.S. I'm glad you enjoy making music that tell stories and is authentic because we need more artists like that:)

    December 27, 2017 at 1:32 am
  • Reply Grace Anne

    SO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU!!!!! <3 I can't wait to listen to all of your beautiful new art.

    December 31, 2017 at 3:17 am
  • Reply Esther

    Also, it’s January SO UM I NEED MUSIC ALREADY!!! And I don’t want to pressure you or anything (who am I kidding, I totally do) BUT THE SOONER YOU SHOW US YOUR BEAUTIMOUS MUSIC AGAIN THE BETTER. ALSO. AN EP. GUUUURL. STAAAHP. wait, what am I saying?? DON’T YOU DARE STAAAAAHP I WILL DIE IF YOU DO!!!!!!!

    (sorry I’m a bit worked up…. BUT SERIOUSLY HURRY UP)

    January 24, 2018 at 5:15 pm
    • Reply Abbiee

      AHHHH ESTHER YOU BRIGHTEN MY LIFE YOU KNOW THAT 💛💛💛💛💛💛💛 I WISH I COULD GIVE YOU ALLL THE HUGS AND ALLLLL THE WAFFLES RN :””) I totally need to produce more music I know!! THE GOING IS SO SLOW. IT’S HORRIBLE. But I have big plans for this year so hopefully I can stick to them. *laughs nervously into a pillow* LOVE YOU SO MUCH

      January 25, 2018 at 6:39 pm
      • Reply Esther

        Well I for one, CANNOT wait and I am SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!!! EEEK I LOVE YOU TOO!!!! <333

        January 25, 2018 at 9:02 pm

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