Having steadily released a series of singles over the past two years and coming off the release of “Free Falling”, Dunedin born turned Auckland singer Abby Wolfe has solidified herself as one of New Zealand’s top rising pop stars to watch.
Working with some of New Zealand’s leading pop producers and opening for the Australian band “Great Cable” on their recent tour, the future is looking bright for the talented singer. We caught up with Abby to discuss her experiences in the music industry and what her plans are for the future.
What inspired you to first start making music?
As an angsty teen and I had some feelings I needed to vent. Songwriting was the best way for me to say how I was feeling, and it felt so good to be able to put a whole world of emotions into a concise song. I was hooked.
You’ve steadily been releasing singles over the past two years, do you have an E.P. in the works?
The past two years have been one big experiment for me, I’ve written so many songs and this next phase is revisiting and writing songs that are really “Abby Wolfe”. So definitely a body of work is on its way…
You recently opened for Australian band ‘Great Gable’ on their New Zealand tour what was that experience like? – Do you have more live show plans in the works?
So much fun! The Great Gable boys are such lovely humans, which always makes supporting so much easier. It’s always so humbling to jump on stage and sing my songs, definitely keen to play some more.
You’ve said that ‘Free Falling’ is a song about you confronting your fears of being gay in the music industry. Why did you feel like you couldn’t be gay in the music industry?
We’re judgemental creatures us humans! It’s always hard going against the grain, so to be myself was something that could mean I was an outcast, and that was scary.
I had it in my head that being gay and in music would put me in a box in people’s minds. It felt like I could only get so far, so the only reasonable option was to pretend to be someone else – newsflash, that doesn’t work!
Is this still a fear that you have?
Less and less. The cool thing about being open about who you are is that like-minded and similar people seem to gravitate toward you. Having a support network and some pretty epic role models out there definitely helps. We’re fortunate to now, live in a world where there is visibility for “different”, we don’t have to figure it out alone within our own bubbles of people.
You’re originally from Dunedin but in 2017 you moved to Auckland as an independent artist before finding yourself in the studio with leading pop producers Josh Fountain, Benee, Theia, MAALA, Matthew Young) and Djeisan Suskov (Benee, LEISURE, Matthew Young, Openside). How did that collaboration come about?
It all started with a phone call. Mitch James got food poisoning at the 2017 APRA SongHubs and I got the call up to fill in for him for the day (Thanks Mitch!).
I was in a room with Djeisan and we gelled pretty quickly. He introduced me to Josh and we started working together, playing around with sounds and what “Abby Wolfe” sounds like. Djeis has been a pillar in my career, we’ve written a lot of this new batch of songs together & I think creatively we get each other.
What was the experience like working with them?
Always such a breeze – They’re two of NZ’s best producers and songwriters but more so – just damn good humans. It was a little surreal to move to Auckland from Dunedin and within three months be in the studio with them.
Who are some of your influences?
I love P!nk, I got gifted her album MIZUNDERSTOOD when I was 10, she’s been my favourite since then. I also love Adele and Sia- Big female voices are the jam!
What does 2020 hold for you?
A big move overseas. More songwriting, releases, shows. Definitely more music, and music that feels a lot more like the real Abby Wolfe.
Check out Abby’s recent single ‘Free Falling’ below;