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Empowering Women Through Music: An Interview with Rising Artist Halle Abadi

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

Following the release of her latest single, “CLEO,”  I had the absolute pleasure of sitting down this past week with Los Angeles-based independent pop artist Halle Abadi, whose music is paving the way for a rising genre of songwriting that features themes of female empowerment and confidence at an entirely new level.

As a singer and songwriter myself, it’s always fun for me to pick another artist’s brain when it comes to their writing process, their approach to the vast creative expanse that is music, and how their ideas come to fruition. Just 21 years old and still yet to graduate college, Halle Abadi and I covered topics from her start in music at a young age, to her inspirations, to Tiktok’s influence on her rising exposure.

Her Campus: Let’s start with how you got into your music. Was it something you knew you always wanted to do? Or was it something you sort of found along the way?

Halle Abadi: I’ve been singing since I was like three, I’ve been playing piano since I was like four or five. I started performing around that age as well, so music was a really, really huge part of my life always.

Abadi asked beforehand if she could give me the long-winded version, to which I was eager to oblige since it’s always fascinating to me to hear how music has shaped artists in different ways and different periods of their lives. She reflected fondly on her start, saying that her performances as a kid and her voice and piano lessons are what essentially shaped her childhood memories when asked to reminisce upon it.

HA: Then when I was thirteen, I think I wrote my first song and it was like… absolutely horrible. It was just so, so bad.

To this, we shared a laugh and a little cringe. Being fresh and new to songwriting in your preteen years is not without its embarrassment, the material of middle school heartbreak and drama serving as the foundation for any great songwriter.

HA: My mom has always been super supportive of everything I’ve done with music, and she’s the one who really got me into it. So she was the one who was like, “Cool, well let’s go find a studio around you and let’s record it!”

Much to my disappointment (though probably not for Abadi), her thirteen-year-old demo, she said, was probably still in safekeeping with her mom.

It wasn’t until she was sixteen that she took her next steps by seeking out a producer and got back into writing original music to be released. She released her first song when she was seventeen, just finishing up high school, and has gradually released singles ever since. However, it wasn’t until after the pandemic hit as a freshman in college that she realized music was something she wanted to do and could actually pursue, mostly in part to the traction she was gaining on social media. It was upon the release of her single, “Focus,” in August 2021 that she started to notice more and more people responding to her music.

With 24.4K followers on Instagram, 233.4K on TikTok, and a whopping 4.9M likes on TikTok, Abadi is notably familiar with receiving ample attention via social media platforms simply by promoting snippets of her singles.

HC: TikTok has become such a vital tool for music artists to grow their audience and showcase their work. Is that a tool that you find important to use in your exposure as a performer?

HA: I feel like now it’s super important for independent artists to use TikTok in that way. It’s good in a way because you know it’s super organic. People who are going to stream your music after finding you on TikTok are most of the time real fans, real listeners, which is really cool. And that’s really the only marketing I’ve done for any of my songs, so that’s the only thing I rely on. It’s certainly interesting,

I can vouch for this since I know several of my now top Spotify artists have come from scrolling through my For You page on TikTok (ie. Delaney Bailey). 

HC: Switching over to your songwriting, what does your songwriting process look like? Do you write your songs by yourself, or do you collaborate? Do you pull from personal experiences or do you just do general messages?

HA: I think it could be any one of those things, depending on the day. I write a lot alone, a lot of those things are more personal to me, and I think take more time and more care to develop and to release. A lot of the stuff I have out are collaborations, which are super fun for me to do. We just go in and usually have a phrase that we want to work with.

She hinted at a new single on deck to be released, created from the made-up phrase “bad b*tchery,” which sounds like it will follow a similar pattern of empowerment and feminine confidence that her previous singles carry throughout their lyrics.

HC: Is this a message or theme you want to keep throughout your music as you continue to write? Or do you have future songs where you want to diversify your content lyrically, as you mentioned with your personal narrative songs you’ve been writing?

HA: I always find myself gravitating towards wanting to write about empowering things just because that’s a really, really huge part of who I am, I think. Growing up, I would listen to really strong female artists like Rihanna. I was a huge Nicki Minaj stan since I was eleven, which definitely shaped who I am now!

When asked what other artists she garnered inspiration from, she spanned a wide variety of talents such as Taylor Swift, Doja Cat, and Amy Winehouse.

HA: When I’m in the studio, and I’m trying to think of a lyric and I’m trying to get inspiration, I just look up “Nicki Minaj verses,” and I just read them to inspire me!

She explained as well that her pull towards strong, empowering lyrics comes from her experiences growing up as a teenager, feeling insecure and excluded from her peers.

HA: I really wanted to work on my confidence and find a place where I belong, and I feel like music is that for me. I just want to do what I can to give that feeling back to people as much as I can. If I can have that impact on someone, that is my favorite thing to read comments or DMs from someone who says my music gave them a confidence boost or made them feel like a bad b*tch, because that’s what I needed growing up.

She was adamant about not being a relationship type of girl – which we could attribute to the fact that she is a Gemini – so she felt it wouldn’t be genuine for her to write about that kind of material and preferred to stick to what she knows well, which is lifting up other women who might be feeling as alone as she did growing up.

HA: But with that being said, there’s a lot more vulnerable music that I want to put out that I think can still be empowering which is also a different side of me.

To close out, I had to know what we’ll be seeing from Abadi coming up this year, with promises of a new single and different material being discussed throughout the interview. I had to ask if there were any possibilities of shows or perhaps a visit to the East coast, or if she would rather focus on an EP or an album as the next step in her music career.

HA: I’m just hoping to put out as much music as I can this year that I really, really believe in. I think it’s easy to get caught up in what other people like, and then you yourself are kind of like, “mmm, I don’t know if I love that, but it’s having a good response from people, so I’ll put it out.” Not to say I haven’t put out anything I don’t like, I just want to put out things I really, really love. I think shows might come later, but right now I’m just going to focus on releasing music, hopefully, an EP.

Abadi radiates positive energy and that definitely shines through, both in conversation and in her music. Her records are fun, edgy, and have playful lyrics that will make any listener feel like their ego just skyrocketed through the roof. As a songwriter who uses lyrics as a friend, it is so comforting to know and recognize the growth of confidence and character throughout Abadi’s music. I cannot wait to see where she takes us next, and for the rest of the world to experience it too, especially young women.

piper is a political science major and psychology minor who channels her passion for music and candidacy through writing for the pace university chapter of her campus :) she uses her love language of gift giving to currently serve as the 2022-2023 treasurer for her chapter and just enjoys surrounding herself with people just as passionate as she is! if you need to find her, she's usually found at a 5sos concert or working on her own music <3