Singer-songwriter Abigail Barlow, 18, also known online as “Absofcourse” performs live for hundreds of viewers across the world on a daily basis. Often with the help of her loop station, Barlow performs a combination of original songs and covers on the live broadcasting platform YouNow.
Barlow, who recently moved to Los Angeles, California to further her “big dream” of eventually headlining an arena tour, has most recently been crowned a finalist for the Shorty Award’s YouNower of the Year category.
Barlow spoke to Channel Kindness about what influencers her songwriting, the significance music has on mental health, and how she portrays kindness in her music:
DS: As a songwriter, what inspires you?
Love and relationships are what inspires my music the most. Not just with others, but learning to love yourself. I tend to write about my own life a lot as well. For example, moving to Los Angeles was a huge step in my life that inspired me and deeply influenced my writing. I wrote a song called “Blanket of Stars” that outlines the anticipation of my move and then finally arriving in a place with all the tools I need to pursue my dream.
DS: How have you given back to those who support you?
I love being able to live broadcast online for people who are just as passionate about music as I am. I find that a lot of times, music helps me extend kindness to my supporters that couldn’t be given with just words. I love personally connecting with people who listen to me and help them in whatever capacity they need, whether it’s singing their favorite songs or offering my advice. Broadcasting has given me the opportunity to be a safe place on the internet where people can listen to music and escape from real life for a while.
DS: How have you portrayed kindness within your music?
I try to incorporate the importance of kindness and empowerment in my music whenever I can. I think even a major chord in music can be a vehicle for warmth and love within a song. In my song “Around the Bend,” I talk about how being young can put you at a disadvantage because people will try to tell you that you’re too small of a voice to really make a difference. But love and kindness can help you achieve the impossible!
DS: How do you personally stay positive?
Staying positive isn’t the easiest thing to do sometimes! When I’m having a bad day, I try to step back and look at the big picture. I’ve been blessed with an incredible family that supports me in every way, I’m healthy, and I’m alive. Thinking in that sense helps me to persevere through those hard times and continue to push forward. I’ve also found that positivity is essential for me when I’m pursuing my goals. For example, one of my goals last year was to grow my social media platforms and build an audience for myself. I’m still growing my audience but felt really honored when I was recently nominated for YouNower of the Year at the 2017 Shorty Awards. Regardless of whether I win or not, it has shown me how far positivity can take me.
DS: Can you expand on the role music had on your mental health and personal well-being?
I always say that music is my therapy, because music has the power to change your mood. When you listen to a song that perfectly describes the struggle you’re going through, you can listen to how that artist solved their problem or how they began to get through it. Singing is my passion and performing for people every day is just a dream come true. Ever since I started broadcasting online I’ve become more confident in myself and in my music, which has made me grow so much faster as an artist.