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What’s New 802? I’m Becca Hammond and you’re listening to Vermont Talks. Vermont Talks may include graphic or explicit content. Listener discretion is advised.
Welcome to Vermont Talks. I’m here with Abby BK. Abby is a Burlington based singer and songwriter. She’s the host of a podcast called Abstract on the Radiator at Big Heavy World and she’s a senior at Champlain College studying communications with a public relations specialization. Abby, welcome on the show.
Yeah, thanks so much for having me. How are you doing today? Did you find Instrumer okay? I did. You know, I never knew all of this was back here, but I’m happy to know that there’s businesses thriving in the hidden depths behind the Toyota like dealership.
I was joking. We’re amongst the car dealerships out here. Yes, there’s another software company actually just around the corner here.
So there’s all sorts of fun tech businesses hidden away up in the woods over here. So let’s talk about you. Tell me about your songwriting.
This is really exciting to me. Yeah, so I’ve been writing songs since I was really little, probably since I was around like three or four, obviously not very advanced back then. But music has always really been like my one true love, like my real outlet. And so I have just continued to write my own music since, you know, being little and just naturally gravitating toward that. And as of late since college, I have really been trying to get myself out there more and become more of an artist.
So the first time I ever really played my music live for an audience rather than just like my mom and my family was at an open mic night my freshman year at Champlain College where I go to school. And from there, I just really wanted to expand into the local music community. So I feel like I’ve done that there’s obviously some some growth obviously still there there’s always growth. But yeah, I’ve really enjoyed just being able to share my music now, which is the new kind of goal with it all.
Very cool. So do you sing and play guitar or different instrument? Yeah, so I play acoustic guitar, I’m self taught on guitar. And I sing, I write my music. And I also have a few band mates that sometimes play with me and have also played on the tracks that I produce as well.
Very cool. So have you made a EP or an album? I have so I have a few projects out on most platforms. I always say Spotify, but you know, I feel like the distribution distribution service I use goes out to like Spotify, Apple Music, all that jazz. So I’m out on all those platforms. I’ve had a few different releases. And I’m currently working on a new project, which will be an EP.
Very cool. So how do you know how many songs you’ve written in general? Oh my gosh, like overall like the course of my lifetime or like ones that are out on platforms, the whole the whole shebang whole life.
Oh my God, I couldn’t even guess like probably like 500. Maybe like I write all the time. Like I get into like grooves, but I would say like on average, maybe like a song a week. That’s really cool. I’m always pushing stuff out somehow got a lot going up on like my my brain, I suppose. Do you find yourself do you come up with lyrics first? Do you hear a melody? Like how do you write your songs?
Yeah, I think it kind of comes to me usually at the same time. I really picked up guitar and taught myself that just at a basic level, just so that I would have something to back up what I would sing and write. So when I first started writing, it was always the tune and the actual written word that would come to me. And I had no idea how to play any instruments. So I definitely come up with the writing and the tune first.
And then as I go, I’ll like play guitar to it with what I what I know and what I can do on guitar. And yeah, that’s typically how it is. Sometimes it switches up. Sometimes I’ll write certain lyrics will come to me and I’ll just write down like a little phrase that will then turn into a song later. But I feel like I’m always writing something in like my notes app. It’s a mess in there. There’s grocery lists, there’s reminders, and then there’s a bunch of song lyrics always at all times as well. That’s a good way to do it, though. It’s always on hand. It’s nice thing about having a cell phone.
Yeah, definitely. So when did you start playing guitar to add to you said you’ve been writing music your entire life. But when did you actually pick up guitar and said, Okay, I’m going to do this.
I’m going to have a backing track kind of to my lyrics. Yeah. So I think I kind of really started to play it in sixth grade, like around the middle school era of my life. Obviously, it wasn’t very good at it.
I would say like six, like all throughout middle school. But, you know, just with practice, you get better. And so yeah, I feel pretty confident in my guitar abilities.
I wouldn’t say I’m a guitarist by any means, but I know enough to like definitely figure some stuff out with my own writing and enough to also like send it off to other people that are more skilled at doing guitar too. So it’s been a learning process for sure. And it’s definitely a skill that I want to get better at.
And I think within like the next year or so, I really want to start taking some lessons perhaps and really building upon that skill. Yeah, there’s a lot to guitar. I find myself playing chords. I’m a bass player by trade or by trade, not by trade, but I’ve been playing bass my entire life. And I always find like chords are my go to terms of most anything other than bass and getting into anything more complicated than that as a whole other ball game. There’s there’s a lot to learn when it comes to guitar.
And you can really just dive into that and have that be your whole world. But if you’re a songwriter, you really don’t need it. I mean, a lot of a lot of songwriters, I’d always bring up Bob Dylan, you just got to play some chords and get your lyrics out there. Because a lot of the things that really matter to people are more the lyrics. Like that’s what they remember is the words and what they felt when they heard the words.
Don’t get me wrong. Playing guitar, you can feel things when you hear guitar, but I find songwriters that are like poet poets, basically. You don’t have to go too crazy with the guitar playing and still be incredibly well respected and fantastic at what you do. So tell me about your podcast. And you said it airs on the radiator on Big Heavy World and big and James and Bob came on the show years and years ago at this point and all the love to Big Heavy World and all the work they do, they do a music from Vermont artists to the Library of Congress, I remember.
So there’s a huge amount of respect in the area for the radiator and for Big Heavy World and all the work that gets done there. So tell me about your show. When does it air and what do you guys normally talk about on the show? Yeah, so my show is called Abstract or Abstract Podcast. And that’s out on listening platforms, but it’s also live on Thursdays from five to six p.m.
Sometimes I’ll air it just on random days that maybe work better for some of my guests. But the whole premise of it is so that the reason why I’m doing it is I really wanted to have a platform to uplift other creative people. And I always feel very inspired talking to people about their passions and their creative projects. And it’s not necessarily just other artists in that way, but also people that just are working on a specific project, kind of like this podcast that is mostly local. I’ve had one guest that I had call into the podcast, but I really started it because I have been really inspired working at Big Heavy World since my freshman year in college. And I started out just kind of being an intern and I’ve really kind of taken a role of doing kind of everything. I feel like I’m like their miscellaneous task girl and I love it.
And they’re honestly like a second family there. But I’ve had the opportunities since around my sophomore year to be an occasional host on their podcast, which they release every week, which is called Rocket Shop Radio Hour. And Rocket Shop always has a weekly musician or a band come in and they’re interviewed. And so I’ve had the awesome opportunity to be able to be a host for that. And so hosting that a few times and continuing to do that whenever the main host can’t do it for whatever reason, really just got me inspired to kind of start my own show. And I really love talking to artists that come in, especially because I also love making music.
So it was a great connection to make. And yeah, I just kind of wanted to have my own platform to have a bit more control over what kind of guests and people I can bring on. But just kind of like give back to the local community in another way. I can appreciate that.
That’s exactly what I like to do too. So do you do mostly, you said that you have music on your podcast, right? So it’s not just an interview platform, you do interview and also showcase their work.
Yeah, so it’s an interesting mix. It’s kind of half music, half interview. And the way that I do it is I have each guest choose five songs if they’re choosing. And I let them have kind of free reign, they can really choose whatever they want, whether it’s just some of their favorite tunes that they’ve been listening to recently, or ones that somehow relate to what they’re going to talk about in terms of their projects, you know, if there’s a certain song that has inspired their creative vision recently or something like that.
But they get to choose five songs, we play them live over air. And then it’s a very conversational type of interview, just kind of getting to know them. And I’ve really been inspired by it as well as I’ve continued to do it, because I don’t feel like we always take the time to really sit down with even people that you know very well, to like ask them what they’re up to and what they’re passionate about. So I’ve always like left every episode truly genuinely feeling really inspired by the people around me and just like wanting to continue to support other people.
So yeah, it’s been very like rewarding, I would say doing it. And I enjoy also having the music element because I think it’s quite unique to get to know people through the type of music they listen to too. So I get to discover a bunch of new tunes as well, which I can’t really be too mad about. I love discovering new music through people too. Yeah, that’s fun. I’m sure live is really cool too, because it’s almost like a mini concert. I know you’re playing it on the air, but it’s also you talking to them. So you get a private concert as it’s happening. Yeah.
Very cool. Is there any sort of specific genres you lean to on the podcast? Is it everybody? Do you have metal bands come on? Like who comes on your podcast? Yeah, so I haven’t actually had anyone play live for my podcast yet. I would be open to that if that’s a possibility somehow, or at least have someone like play tracks from things that they created. But I have had mostly creatives that aren’t musicians yet. So like graphic design artists, I have a bunch of friends that are filmmakers and other musicians, but not ones that necessarily write their own music, but are in other bands.
Just talk about like what music means to them and such. And in terms of the music that plays on abstract, it’s really anything. And I think that’s what makes it so fun and also kind of goes into the name abstract. Like I wanted it to be quite open-ended in terms of what we talked about and what kind of music was played and what kind of art was also supported.
I just really wanted it to be like creative free reigns. So you really can hear a bunch of pretty much everything I think. Yeah, that’s really cool. Having graphic designers on. I’ve only had one person who’s a visual artist come on my show. But I’ve had photographers, but in terms of just someone who makes art, I’ve only had one.
A lot of people don’t like to talk about that kind of thing in the same way. I find musicians are incredibly open to talking and having interviews, but people who paint and people who make all the cool art. It’s funny to me because we have so many really cool art exhibits in this area and I reach out.
I don’t hear from a lot of artists who do visual arts. But that’s fantastic though that you get people coming on. Being in college super helps with that sort of thing, I will say. Because you got to meet all these different people all the time and you’re constantly integrating with each other. And then you go into some field when you start working and everyone’s kind of in a bucket. Like, oh, you’re in a tech field. Everyone does tech and everyone around you is just a techie person.
And I kind of miss the college scene where, oh, hey, what are you working on? Oh, I’m a poet. Oh, I do this. I’m an artist. I miss that.
I miss being able to meet people easily. Radiators fantastic for that sort of thing. Remind me again about how the radiator, I know they reach out to a big, heavy world, I should say. They reach out to college students and I forget how exactly that happens. Is it just a, hey, if you want to come work at Big Heavy World, if you want to come meet people, how does that work? How did you get involved?
Yeah, so it’s kind of, it works differently for everyone. I actually stumbled across it because I’m such a little type A nerd. And when I was, I knew that I was going to Champlain College and I was really like interested in getting more involved in the music scene.
So I just kind of did like a random search on Google and I looked up Vermont music, Vermont made music. And I guess the SEO for Big Heavy World’s website is, you know, they’ve got those keywords. So I stumbled upon the website and I was just looking at, you know, all of the different elements to the organization. And I remember just being like, wow, like if, you know, I’m going to school here, like I should just like make this connection and like check it out. And I’m so glad that I took that leap and got involved so early too as an intern, just because, you know, I feel like most people maybe wouldn’t do that their freshman year.
And I was also a COVID freshman is what I like to say. So everything was kind of shut down. And that was such a great opportunity to have as well, because I still got to see live music every week, which I think was so special, especially during the pandemic. But yeah, I really just got to know everyone there a ton. And I just kept showing up. I never left.
And I’m happy I didn’t. And it kind of went from there. But in terms of the way that a lot of other interns and young people in college are sort of recruited to work there, get involved. I think a lot of it’s word of mouth, you know, there’s a lot of local bands and musicians that come onto the show that if you’re already involved in that scene, you kind of might know about it or hear about it through word of mouth. But we also go on to different college campuses for career fairs and such.
So Big Heavy World will table at a decent amount of those events. So I’m sure people also discover them that way. But there’s a bunch of new interns that come in like literally every semester, I feel like almost every time I’m in there, there’s like someone new to me, which is really exciting. And it’s been fun to sort of go from being the clueless intern who has no idea what this nonprofit does to then being more of a mentor to the new people that come in.
And that’s also been a really full circle moment for me and one that means a lot to me. Yeah, fantastic organization. I have all the respect to Big Heavy World. I really like what they do. I love their 242 documentary that was yes.
Really interesting to see all those pictures and all of the different first person accounts of how 242 used to run, how much it meant to people. And I think Big Heavy World kind of relates because it means so much to people, the people involved in it are, you got to love it. You can’t get I’ve got nothing, nothing. I’ve never heard anything remotely negative about Big Heavy World.
Everyone’s possible. There’s so much respect for it too, because so many of the bands in town have been on the radiator, like they’ve gone and been on the rocket shop. They’ve done these things. They know the people who work there.
It’s a great community, nice little community hub. I truly hope that we can bring 242 back. That would be so great and such a huge accomplishment. And I know that James and Bob have been fighting for that for years.
It’s been close to 15 years now that it’s been closed or getting close to 15 years. Okay, let’s be highly enough about Big Heavy World, honestly. So let’s talk a little bit more about your music. Do you have a specific genre? Are you kind of eclectic in the way you write songs?
Yeah, I feel like I never know how to answer this question. Like, I think it changes and I like that it changes. I really like the philosophy that you don’t have to be one genre. But I would say in a general sense, I typically do play solo acoustic. So in that way, I think it kind of just sounds more singer-song writer, slower, soft acoustic kind of feel. But when I have played with my bandmates behind me, that changes. And so it turns a bit more rock, a bit more upbeat. And the way that I write songs, I really can hear different instruments in my head sometimes. And I think the genre changes quite frequently.
But in the way that I typically play it, it does, to most people, I think probably sound that kind of singer-songwriter-y feel, even though in my brand, I’m like, this is a rock song, you know what I mean? But yeah, it’s been fun to kind of expand and also include other creative people in all my projects and see what sounds they can bring to what I bring to the table. And that’s been fun to see because the genre kind of changes then. And sometimes in ways that I didn’t even really predict. Yeah, I always find that amazing. There’s a few people who play solo, then you see them with their backing band. It’s totally different. I thought you were like folk punk, but now I’m listening to something that sounds like polka.
I was not expecting this. Yeah. There’s a few people I’ve heard play that, wow, your backing band totally changes the entire vibe.
And they’ll play the same song even. Whoa, this is not, I thought I signed up for cake and now I’m eating pie, but it’s amazing. No complaints.
Yeah, exactly. I love the music scene in this area. I feel like we could talk forever about it. Who’s the most fun person or most interesting people that you’ve had on your show?
You don’t have to, you can pick a handful. I’m just curious what, who’ve you talked to? Yeah. So I’ve mostly had people on that I know that I’m friends with. I mean, I had Bob on my show and also Ross, who is very involved at Big Heavy World as well.
He actually is the manager of the radiator. So I started out with those two just because they, they got to hear all my muses about trying to start up the show. So I enjoyed talking to them, but it’s hard to pick. I honestly, I think every conversation has been so different. And I can’t really choose just one. I know that’s kind of a cop out answer, but a lot of people just have really brought different topics at the table. And I’ve learned so much.
And I think like, whatever conversation I have the most recently is usually my favorite. I was just having a conversation with, she was a graphic design artist, one of the ones that have been on, I’ve now had two. And I had worked with her actually, her name is Maeve. And she just created, she designed stickers for me actually for a single that I released to help me promote them. And we collaborated on that. And I originally went in thinking that we were going to talk about, you know, stickers and creative collaboration.
And we did, but she’s also doing some really awesome things in the local community that I learned about. And yeah, it ended up being like a, a totally different conversation in the best way. And I think that’s what I also enjoy is just like, kind of letting the people lead where they’d like to go in talking to them rather than going in with preconceived notions about what they should talk about.
Very true, very true. And what is your most enjoyable thing when it comes to talking to people? Do you like asking questions? Is it just the learning? Is it the actual tech experience of running something alive on the air? That’s a cool thing to be able to do that and say, yes, I’ve run radio shows before.
That’s really cool. I mean, I love being on air. I love being on the radio. I just think that’s a fun little fun fact about me that I’m a DJ and a little bit of a flex when I’m like, I’m a DJ. I’m just kidding.
But no, it’s like a really cool thing. And, you know, obviously really grateful I can say that. But in terms of what I do on the podcast, I think my favorite part about just being a host of it is whenever you reach a point of a conversation where your questions spark like a light in people’s eyes when they get passionate about what they’re talking about. And I feel like that’s always my goal with each episode is to find whatever it is that people naturally really want to talk about and are really passionate about talking about. And if I can find them like find the way that they can speak in that way, that’s really the ultimate most rewarding part of doing it all. And what I look forward to with each episode. Yes, I love that too.
When someone gets excited and they just talk and they talk and they talk. Yeah. Yes. This is this is why I’m doing this. The last questions I have to ask the better the more you share with me. The better it’s always fun for me because then I have more interesting questions.
I feel like the more excited people get about things. So more about you and your music playing. You said you’re coming out with correct me.
I’m sorry. You’re coming out with an EP soon. And what’s what’s that like? How are how’s the songwriting coming? Has it all coming together?
Does it have a title yet? Yeah, thanks for asking. So I kind of had to make a whole like pivot because my senior year is so busy and just the lives of like the musicians that I’ve also worked with that I worked with a ton and was playing with a lot last year before I actually went abroad and studied abroad in New Zealand last spring.
Cool. So I was gone for like months from the music scene and just like kind of on a wall and did my own thing abroad. But since I’ve been back, it’s taken me a bit to get my footing back and like everyone’s schedules are different and you know, that’s life and still support, you know, everything that they’re doing, obviously. But I still wanted to make music, even though maybe, you know, playing live with other people wasn’t really the route that I should be taking right now just because of scheduling. So I kind of went back to my roots when I first started creating my music.
I did it actually like right when the pandemic hit because we were stuck inside. It was like my little hobby and I learned how to use my focus right and a mic and the production side of things was really terrible because I had no idea what I was doing. But, you know, I kind of went back to my roots in that way and I was like, you know, I love playing with other people, but at my core, it’s kind of as you were saying before, you know, I don’t necessarily need other people behind me.
Sometimes that’s a great vibe and I love that. But with this project, I really wanted to just really be authentic to sort of what my typical style is and maybe reach out to new people and new kind of ways to make what I was envisioning. So that’s what I’ve been doing. I have been focusing a lot more on producing it rather than playing live.
And I’ve been really enjoying it. A lot of the songs I think for this project are more on the folk side of things. And I do think I’m going to have some additional instrumentation on them as well, some by other musicians and some just like technologies doing it, you know. But yeah, it’s I’m thinking it’s called night and day. So there’s a lot of just like motifs throughout each of the songs about night and day, obviously. And, you know, I never really know like which songs to put on what project. I just kind of write things, but then it’ll hit me one day and I’m like, well, these are all meant to go together because there’s like the same themes in them.
And like, I didn’t even mean to do that. So yeah, we’ll see. I think it will be about like four to five songs on this one. And I’m really excited about it because I feel like I’ve been sitting on this batch of five for a while, like maybe like a year.
Yeah. So I’ll be excited to see what they end up becoming. That’s really cool that you have so many songs that you’ve written and that you kind of get to pick and choose in terms of a product or project. A lot of people, they write 12 songs and they’re like, that’s the album moving on to the next one.
And it’s very not planned, but like they write songs to go on the album versus you write songs and then you get to choose which ones are going to go together. That’s really cool. And I love your theme and the name.
That sounds awesome. And you’re doing everything. Are you recording this at Big Heavy World? Are you recording this? Where are you?
How are you doing? All this is incredible. Yeah. So it’s a bit of a mix of everything and I’m kind of doing things a little differently this time. So for most of my projects, I not only play guitar on them, sing them, have written the songs, but I’ve also produced all of them, which has been a huge learning curve, learning how to mix and master. And I’m obviously not a master at mastering, you know what I mean? But I really enjoy being a part of the production. I think I’m also like a bit of a perfectionist over my sound. And I just kind of like seeing what I can do before I also hand it to someone else.
But in terms of this, I have kind of done a mix of things. So what’s really nice about being a student specifically at Champlain is we have a studio on campus and a bunch of my friends are involved with music as well. And a lot of them actually work in the recording studio. So I’ve had the pleasure of recording my vocals and my guitar tracks in that studio on campus, which is a great resource. And so I’ve been doing that.
And then I’ve also been utilizing the Mac Labs on campus, which have logic for free, which is my favorite editing software for music. And so I’ve been down there. I’m down there for like hours. It’s like my little cave. I swear to God, like people will see me there for like two days straight.
Like I never leave. And I just mix my tracks and listen to what I’m making and go into like a state of, you know, I don’t even know like where I am or what’s going on because I’m so focused on it. But yeah, that’s kind of how I’ve been doing it. And I’ve been sending tracks out to other people to see, you know, if they have a certain instrument that they’d like to add to it that I know that they’re skilled at, then they can take a go at it and then kind of decide and pick and choose what I want it to sound like and where those pieces can fit in.
That’s really impressive. There’s a lot to the recording side of it. There’s a lot to the editing side of it. Like you can make an entire career out of one or the other of those things. So that’s really props to you.
That’s really impressive that you can do all of those things. And then you enjoy it. That’s the other thing. A lot of people are like you might love being a musician, but you don’t love editing your work. That’s there’s there’s a lot to be said for editing. That’s a whole different skill set entirely. It’s very techie.
For me, I always find editing to be very, very boring versus playing music was very, very enjoyable. So props to you. Seriously, that’s very impressive. And did you did you do all the mastering on your previous work that you’ve done? Yeah. So I the last album that I released, it’s called Crossroads, and I released that last November.
So would that have been I guess that would have been 2022, technically, right before it turned 2023. And I yeah, I mixed and mastered all of the tracks myself. This upcoming album, I think I’m going to have some help in doing it. My uncle does he’s a guitarist and he also does a lot of production. So I think he’s going to help me.
And I mean, I’m open to like outsourcing. I also found this really awesome platform that just masters your tracks automatically. I know there’s like mixed reviews on like whether or not you should use those, but I’ve found that it just makes my sound sound better on platforms. It just like ups the volume essentially and makes it sound more full. And it seemed to work fine on my last single that I released. So I was like, well, maybe I’ll use that.
So it’s really just like an experiment. I feel like I just want to learn as much as I can about all of it. And yeah, I like getting my hands on like each kind of piece as you’re saying. But I also have learned the beauty and designating and getting other people involved. I think before when I first started out, I was like convinced I had to do everything myself. And that like the best way to do it was if I did it by myself and like I didn’t, I didn’t think I have the, I don’t think I had the confidence in my work to then trust other people with it. But as I’ve continued to believe in what I’m making more, I feel like I can trust other people with it more. And that’s been really fun to do, too, to really see, you know, what other people can do to improve what I do, because I’m by no means perfect.
I’m just stubborn sometimes and feel like I need to do everything. But, you know, most of the time when I include other people, like other people come with skills in certain areas that only benefit my sound. So I’m definitely open to continuing to find more people to involve in on the process, too. Yeah, it’s amazing what collaboration can do.
It’s amazing hearing two different people mix the same exact track, too. Yeah, it can be totally different. Totally different. Like it’s amazing how different it can be from the exact same raw recording like that.
It’s incredible. Like I said before, it’s a whole skill set in and of itself on top of being an artist, on top of being a songwriter, because you could be an artist, like a musician without being a songwriter. Like there’s a million, there’s a million little pieces to what you’re doing.
Props to you, that’s hugely impressive, especially the fact that you’re doing merch, too. A lot of people kind of forget the idea that making music is fantastic. Don’t get me wrong, but you almost need some visual aspects to hand to people. That’s why people love vinyl. Vinyl came back so hard because, look, it’s like a poster almost.
Totally, yeah. Of your art, of your music, it represents a sound in the physical world, which is always kind of fascinating. Tell me about your stickers. So you’ve done one run of stickers. Do you have other merch that you’ve designed or helped design or collaborated on?
I honestly should have brought my stickers because I was just giving them out today. So what happened with that is I, so I just released a single back in, I believe it was like a few months ago. I forget exactly what month, but it’s my newest release out and it’s called Orange. And I actually wrote it when I was abroad and it’s a love song, like most of my other songs are, but it’s a very fun and upbeat song and a lot of my songs are kind of sad. And this one was not nearly as sad or angsty. It was definitely upbeat and happy. And I really wanted to capitalize off of that.
I was like, this is a rare occasion. It’s a happy Abbey song and we need to like have some real fun with it. And I think what has been really fun is when I write certain songs, sometimes I can also see like very interesting visuals in my head of like what, you know, if the song was playing out, what a music video would look like, like there’s certain imagery that comes to me.
And for this one, I wanted to do something really fun. And the stickers are based off of actually a music video that I made. That was a concept that came to me in my brain as well. And so while the song is a love song, it’s called Orange and it’s about essentially like how the color orange reminds me of a certain person. I didn’t want the music video to be based on a real person because I, I feel like people always speculate when you’re an artist, like who your music’s about. And that always just like pisses me off. Like it just annoys me sometimes. Because I’m like, you know, I mean, fair enough, like, you know, you can play Nancy Drew, I would too, honestly, if it was like my friend or someone I knew.
But I, I don’t know, I don’t feel like artists need to explain what they make and like who it’s about. And I wanted to kind of do something funny. So instead of having like a male actor, a love interest in my, in my music video, I ended up falling in love with an orange, like a literal orange, which was super goofy and fun. And it’s a really funny music video. My friend, Georgia, who’s a filmmaking major and a really talented photographer, she was also on my podcast and I spoke to her about it.
She produced that for me. And then the stickers are based on the concept of the music video. So the orange is like personified in it with a little sticky note. It has little expressions throughout. And so the stickers are of an orange with the sticky note that’s smiling. And it’s quite cute.
And yeah, that sounds cute. Maeve, who is the graphic designer who made them for me, she really killed it with the designs as well. And so yeah, that, I mean, that’s like creative collaboration right there in that regard, you know, working with both of them, they really brought it to life. And I’m really happy with the stickers. We made them by hand as well at a makerspace. So all of it’s made from a vinyl cutter. We literally stuck all of the little pieces to make them. So they’re made with a lot of love. Yeah, that’s really cool. I find even more respect making, making your stuff by hand is incredibly hard.
And we live in such a world where it’s so easy to just buy, you know, buy it online. All the props to sticky brand and all the people who are making stickers, but cutting your own vinyl and actually sitting there and doing the work to like layer everything. Yeah, it’s meticulous.
Yes, it is extremely meticulous and very finicky. So props to you and on the music video. That’s, I got in a conversation recently with somebody about how complex the whole music scene has gotten where you might be a fantastic musician, but do you have the merch? Do you have the, you know, the music videos and the music videos can’t be boring.
They’ve got to be like something entertaining. You have to have a mini filmmaking career within your career as a musician now. So props to you. That’s very, very cool. Have you done just the one music video or do you have multiple?
I have two. I, so I kind of have just like been so lucky that I’ve met people that genuinely it’s like mutually beneficial and it’s helping them and their portfolio and for their class. So that was the most recent one and George is like one of my best friends from college. And we’ve talked about for the longest time, you know, collaborating on a music video and she’s taken a lot of the photos for my albums as well. And it’s really fun to work with her because we’re close friends. So I really trust her vision and I love her work and, you know, that’s mutually beneficial.
She can use it for her portfolio work as well since she’s a film major. But in terms of my previous music video, my cousin actually is a film professor in upstate New York and for her class, she made a class project within her class to make a music video for me, which was an honor. And so I got to film at this like retro diner in upstate New York.
It’s kind of like in the middle of nowhere, but that’s what made it so amazing. And yeah, that was a whole song for a whole music video for one of my songs as well, which was also a lot of fun. And yeah, I love doing the music video stuff. I am glad that I can hand that off to other people that, you know, how to know how to do the filming and production side of things, but I love being a part of the storytelling and the storyboarding and bringing certain ideas for them to then, you know, take and run with it.
Right, right. Your vision, like you said, if things come to your mind as you’re writing the song, that’s very cool. I’ve all the props to you. What a cool career you’re building out. Very well-rounded, like you’ve got a good plan.
Thank you. I try. I feel like I don’t. I feel like I’m like flying at the seat of my pants all the time. I just try my best to dabble in and everything a little.
I’m very impressed. It seems like you’ve got a really good idea of all the different little things that you need to do to make a very successful career. Is that what your plan is? What do you want to do in your life?
I mean, obviously you’re going to school for communications with a public relations specialization, but do you think music’s going to be a giant part of your life no matter what going forward? Yeah, it’s a great question. I feel like it’s the question that is always asked to me, which is fair and the one that I keep thinking about. I have honestly found, as I have continued my education and communication in PR, that the world’s intersect more than might meet the eye. When you’re an independent artist, you really have to do all of your own PR and marketing.
It’s quite difficult because it’s as you say, there are all of these moving parts. On top of just creating music, writing it, singing it, producing it, you then have to promote it. The skills that I’ve gained from my major is all about publicity and promoting and how to pitch yourself and promote a brand. It’s really helped me in having the confidence to also promote myself. It feels gross to promote yourself, but I try to sometimes just remove myself from it and view myself as a client.
If I had a client, I would want to do all of these amazing things for them. I love to support other people. I need to view myself that way.
Obviously, you have to do it in a certain way that’s not all about me. I’ve really taken those skills and I would love if I could somehow combine them post-grad, whether that’s working for an artistic organization or somehow for a firm promoting artists, something like that. That would be amazing. I know that I’ll do music regardless. It’s my outlet. It’s always been what I’ve done. I know even if I’m working in the communications field in some other role, I’m always going to have my music. I’ve always said if something would ever happen with my music and it would take off, I would honestly drop everything and just do that just because that’s always my true dream.
I love what I do in public relations as well. I’m looking for the ways to intersect them, but I’ve been happy that they intersect more than even I initially thought that they would. Yeah, definitely. I feel like there’s positions even in Burlington that seem to kind of meld all of those different fields and really help other people too. That’s kind of one of the beautiful things about communications in general.
Okay, Abby, what is the most important thing? If you’re a social media or a Spotify or where do you think people should go to check all your stuff out? Yeah, so in terms of my music, if you just search Abby BK, it’s ABBEY and then BK, the letters, there’s like B period, K period, but it doesn’t have to be that technical.
If you just look up BK, you’ll find me just fine. You can find all of my music on whatever platform really you want to listen to. And if you want to follow my music on Instagram, it’s abbybk underscore music. And yeah, I think those are the main projects. Abstract, I have social media for as well. It’s just abstract podcast for Instagram.
It’s ab dot strapped. And yeah, same for Facebook. So those are the two main things you can follow along. Very cool. And all of your links are going to be on the show notes for today’s podcast, which is going to be at vermonttox.com forward slash 41. Thank you so much, Abby. This has been really enjoyable. I’m props to you. I’m super impressed.
You’re doing all sorts of things that like a band’s almost like a business and you really are approaching it in that kind of way. So props to you. Yeah. Welcome. Thank you. Thank you for being on the show. Yeah, thank you so much for having me. And I really look forward to hearing this back and promoting your show too. Thanks so much.
Have a good day, everybody. Thanks so much for listening to the end of the show. Subscribe to Vermont Talks on your favorite podcasting platform. You can find me on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, all over the web. Contact Becca at vermonttalks.com if you’d like to be interviewed or if you know someone who should be. Thanks so much to Jason Baker for creating the show music. The views and opinions expressed by the guests are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Vermont Talks. Any content or statements provided by our guest are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, anyone or anything. And that’s what was new in the 802. Have a great day.