Country Next: Abbey Cone

Abbey Cone; Photo by Bethany Reed
Abbey Cone; Photo by Bethany Reed
Abbey Cone; Photo by Bethany Reed
We take pride in introducing fans to country music’s brightest new stars through our Country Next series. Here, we chat with Abbey Cone.

Abbey Cone has been paving her way to country stardom since she was a little girl. Growing up in a small Texas town, she began fueling her passion for music at age 6, performing with a band on Grand Ole Opry circuit stages. By age 16, she was pursuing her dreams in Nashville. And that dedication provided her with her first record deal in 2019.

It wasn’t until the world shut down in 2020 that Cone, like many artists, had to set aside her musical plans. Riddled with anxiety due to the state of the world, what Cone experienced ended up becoming somewhat of a blessing in disguise. The time away from the spotlight transformed how she perceived herself and gave her new confidence that she describes as more “genuine.”

Now signed under Valory Music Co., Cone is ready to embark on a new journey – one that she believes not only represents her the most but also shows her growth as an artist. And she’s doing that with her release of “Rhinestone Ring.” The love song, produced by Nathan Spicer, is about appreciating what – or who – you have without needing anything more and is the first taste of more music on the way.

Cone, who will take the road in 2022 as a supporting act on Brittney Spencer tour, caught up with Country Now to chat about her childhood, new music, upcoming shows, and more.

Read on to find out more about Abbey Cone in this exclusive Q&A below!

Abbey Cone; Rhinestone Ring
Abbey Cone; Rhinestone Ring

Can you talk about your background and how you began a career in country music?

I grew up in Argyle, Texas, but I usually tell people, who aren’t familiar with Texas, that I am from Fort Worth. I started singing when I was 6 years old. I was a big Barnie and Friends fan, and I was singing along to the show one day, and my mom saw me. She was like, ‘Wow! She doesn’t suck!’ (Laughs). So she put me in singing lessons early on, and everything just kept happening from there. I started guitar lessons when I was eight, and in Texas, there are these Grand Ole Opry circuits, and there is live music every Friday and Saturday. So, I did that all over Texas because that was the only place where a kid could sing. Then I moved to Nashville when I was 16 years old.

What steps did you take to move to Nashville?

I took my first trip to Nashville when I was 12 years old. I told my mom that I wanted to go. So, I went to the Grand Ole Opry and saw Vince Gill. Then, I started going to Nashville consistently after that. And, through that, I got into the songwriting community, and that’s what made me consistently want to stay in Nashville. I never got too into the Texas music route. I always knew that I was working toward moving to Nashville and having a country career there. Then, I got a publishing deal when I was 16 years old. I graduated high school early online, and I was just here from that time on.

Do you remember the first song you ever wrote?

I’ve only written one song by myself, which was when I was about 11 years old. Then, I started co-writing when I was 12 because I had just met some people in Nashville, and then I fell in love with co-writing. I love that experience of having people there! Although I am always thinking of ideas and starting songs on my own, I always try to finish them with other people because that’s how I prefer to write. But, the first song I ever wrote was a song called, ‘Shooting Star.’ I don’t remember what it sounded like, but hopefully, I was predicting my future in the song.

Who inspires you musically?

Right off the top of my head, I’d say Lee Ann Womack. I’m a massive fan of hers. I’ve been listening to her since I was a kid. I also have a funny story about Sheryl Crow‘s song ‘The First Cut Is the Deepest.’ So, that was the first memory I have of music. I was listening to that song when I was about 6 years old, and when I heard it, I just started sobbing! I just remember crying and feeling the emotion in that song. So, I feel like I’ve always been a sucker for strong female songwriters. But, I love artists from other genres like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé. I, obviously, Shania Twain too. So I’m kind of all over the map.

How did you cope with navigating 2020, and how did that period change you as an artist?

So, I signed a record deal in 2019. I had cut a handful of songs, which is how I got my record deal, and we were planning to release that project in June of 2020. Then [2020]  happened, and it was like everything came to a halt. For me, it was like everything I had worked for, which was moved to Nashville, [try] to do the mainstream country thing and get a record deal, was what my goal had been since I was a kid. But, when I got that deal, nothing happened. So, it was mentally hard for me to go from feeling like I was about to start what felt like my life to it not happening indefinitely. I think that brought out some anxiety that I had. I realized I had most of my identity in my career, and I didn’t know who I was without it. So, the last year and a half forced me to figure that out and figure out other things that I like to do that made me happy. So, I think that time was necessary for me. I feel like I’ve always been confident in certain areas of myself and my talents, but I was still insecure when I got my record deal. So, I think this time allowed me to find a more genuine confidence and a new excitement for this journey that’s just beginning.

Can you share the inspiration behind your single, “Rhinestone Ring”?

I actually didn’t write ‘Rhinestone Ring’ during [2020]. I wrote it about two years ago. So, it’s ironic, but also an amazing coincidence that it came out [this year]. So, ‘Rhinestone Ring’ is about having all of these giant, pre-planned dreams for love, more specifically for a wedding, then needing that person and realizing that you don’t need all of that. I think it’s an interesting parallel to the time that the world has been in with coming out of it. I feel like a lot of people feel the same way about their lives right now, which is just a great parallel. So, I’m glad that this is the first song that I get to put out.

How does “Rhinestone Ring” prepare you for what’s to come, musically?

I think ‘Rhinestone Ring,’ from a sonic perspective, prepares everyone for what to expect sonically from me. I think this was my take on a classic, simple, country love song, but with me added into it. It has mine and Nathan Spicer’s production on it and just a fresh take on it. But, for people, I think the song sets up what they can expect from me as a songwriter and a singer.

Can you talk about the shows you have coming up next year with Brittney Spencer

Yes! I’m going on a little eight-day mini-tour with Brittney for her In A Perfect World Tour. I’ve never met her. So, I’m so excited to meet her! I’m just a massive fan of hers. I feel like she’s so genuine and super respected within Nashville’s songwriter community. And, I think this is like the perfect first tour to go on. It’s going to be me and an acoustic guitar. Honestly, it all happened so quickly and randomly! I had reached out to Mickey Guyton. I know she and Brittney are friends. Mickey and I had been with the same management, and we’ve been close for years now. So, I reached out to her. I was like, ‘Mickey, I don’t know if you could put in a good word for me, but I’d really want these shows.’ So, it kind of became like this ‘girls supporting girls’ thing. And that’s how I got it!

Anything you want fans to know about you that they may not know yet?

If I have anything, it’s just that I want to make people feel loved. I want people to know that I’m figuring it out as I go, and I’m doing this out of nothing but my love for it. I’m just so excited to get out there, play some shows, and start meeting people.

What does the rest of 2021 look like for you?

I’m excited to be writing again. I didn’t write that much in 2020. So, my creativity took a hit. And, I’m excited about the songs I’m currently working on to hopefully add to the songs that I have cut to make a really good album! I’ve always dreamed of putting out an album, so hopefully, I’ll get to do that next year!

Fans can keep up with Abbey Cone on Instagram.

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