Singer-songwriter, Abigail Barlow has amassed a large following on TikTok.
Fans love her original music and sneak peeks into her creative process. Through short clips, Barlow revealed how her newest single, “James” took shape.
Barlow chatted with ECHO about “James,” TikTok, and what fans can expect next.
Where did the inspiration for your new single, “James” come from?
James was inspired by… well, James.
Do you often pull from life experiences?
I tend to pull from life experiences when I write. I find the words far easier when it’s actually happened to me.
What did the writing and production process look like for “James”?
I started with the arpeggiated bells and this super cool chord progression and the first words out of my mouth were “I’m not tryna love you” because I WASN’T trying to love this boy but the song sounded so dreamy and crushy! And I really was just so enamored by this person that the rest sort of flew out in under 15 minutes. Then after the whole song comes together, I always have help with my drum programming, mixing and mastering by my longtime collaborator, Pascal Pahl.
What comes first for you? Melody or lyrics?
I always say my lack of process IS my process. I’m all over the place when it comes to writing. Because it’s all me, it could start with some bare bones production, a cool idiom, or a really catchy melody floating around in my head. I try not to box myself in creatively by having “a process” on what comes first.
What is it like to see the positive response to “James”?
It is SUCH a dream! I was so nervous before it came out because I had mixed it and I messed with it so much that I got SO tired of it by release time and was all “oh lord no one’s gonna like it” even though initially I was obsessed with it hahaha.
If you could set fans up in the perfect environment to listen to “James,” what do you imagine it looking like?
I love this question so much. Picture this: A magic enchanted forest with a tree canopy of weeping willows and all shades of pink flowers everywhere. Just like, a fairytale illustration.
What has it been like to see your audience grow; especially on TikTok?
It is literally insane to me. Young people are COOL THESE DAYS. They know what they want to hear in their artists and they’re actively seeking it out on platforms like TikTok. I’m so so grateful for them.
You recently posted a song along with the hashtag #girlpower. Your followers inspired you to rewrite it. What has it been like to involve fans in your writing process?
I thrive off of constructive criticism. TikTok is such a good test tube for my music because my followers genuinely want me to succeed and LOVE my music. So when someone suggests I change or tweak something, I know it’s something I need to take into consideration. That girlpower song was actually an incredibly depressing little 45 second song until one of my followers suggested I turn it on it’s head and empower girls. I’m SO THANKFUL for that comment.
How did you first get into music?
I got a hit-clip when I was 8 of Britney Spears’ Oops! I Did It Again and I never looked back.
How has your music evolved over the years?
It has gotten worlds better than it once was. Because I like to write about life experiences, the more life I live and lessons I learn, the better my music becomes.
What can fans look forward to next?
Oh I’ll be releasing more singles in the very near future… some of them being some fan favorites on my social media. Keep a look out because I let you know what’s up on my social media!
What is one quote that you’ve heard or that you go by that you want to ECHO out to the world?
“It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.” My mother is an extremely quotable lady and THIS is my favorite one.
You can check out Abigail Barlow on TikTok here.