ICYMI INTERVIEW // Introducing Abbie Ozard
Words by Hannah Ryan
Manchester's Abbie Ozard grabbed our attention with her refreshing take on coming of age indie pop music. The result; Bittersweet lyrics and harmonies to die for. Having recently dropped the video for another heartfelt and bouncy single, 'Heartbreak Radio', we caught up with Abbie to see what other treats are in store for us.
To kick thing off, how would you describe your sound to anyone who hasn’t heard you?
Sad bangers with a load of harmonies in and bittersweet lyrics
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey into music?
I started a choir when i was around 9, we did classical stuff and eventually i just wanted to perform the kind of music that i listened to in my room. I always played piano but i wanted to learn guitar as well so as i taught myself that i started to write my own tunes in school (which were absolutely awful) but i just carried on writing and listening to as much music as possible to help inspire me. My style has definitely changed over the years and hopefully developed but i’ll always be infactuated with music and how it makes people feel, i don’t think i could live without it really!!
What is your earliest musical memory from childhood?
Watching The of Sound Music every day after school.
Best & Worst thing about growing up in Nantwich?
Best thing is having all my friends close and around me when i was in sixth form. Worst is that you literally cannot get away with anything as its such a small town haha
Did going to uni in Manchester shape the artist you are now - was there a subculture, venue or experience?
Definitely! I think the best thing about doing music at uni in Manchester was the fact all my mates played music so we could all just be creative and improve each others skills together. The band are all friends from uni which is handy as we know each other really well so we can all tell each other when we’re being annoying. The people i work with when i’m doing photos and videos are from uni too so i feel lucky to have such like minded people around me!! We’ve all started going to the venue Yes loads, its all pink so its my dream and the music they play in there is always banging.
If you had to pick, what film would your music be a good soundtrack for?
Definitely ‘The Edge of Seventeen’ or ‘Juno’, basically any coming of age film.
How would you say your sound has evolved since first creating your music?
I started off quite dark and synth based with the sound i was creating, maybe it was because of how my mood was in at the time of releasing my first tune but i’d say now i’ve really found my feet with my sound. I’m enjoying the mix i’ve got in progress, i’ve got a load of sad girl songs i’ve written in my room but i’ve also got some happy indie pop tunes. I want to keep people on their toes with my sound so i’d like to have a real mix of songs, that way people can listen to my music whatever mood they’re in.
You’re not shy to address heartbreak and relationships, is this the driving force behind a lot of your influence? Should future love interests be warned...
Haha i guess i’m not, I think writing music is like a type of therapy so when i have stuff that happens to me that i care a lot about i just use listening and writing music as a way of coping with things. They probably should watch out, don’t come near me or i’ll write a song about you !! hopefully i’m not as bad as Taylor Swift though.
You discuss openly about the importance of being open about one's sexuality, is this something that is important to you and your music?
As i mostly write about the issues that come with growing up, sexuality comes hand in hand. I think we’re getting to a stage now where people can be more open about their sexuality, although there is a lot of work to be done. The more people that write about it in songs and in the media the better, it will always be an important topic to me.
You’re latest single ‘Growing Pains’ was released in February, was there a particular message in this record you wanted to convey?
I basically became inspired when i started to think about how important i used to think boys were. I wanted to write a tune that talks about the acceptance of unrequited love so i could give out the message that it’s not the only thing that matters and it’s fine if someone doesn’t want to be with you because it’s something everyone goes through to help individuals grow.
How has the reception been?
A lot better than i thought it would!! I’m just so happy to just be releasing tunes that are little insights into my brain that people can listen to and relate to, the more people that listen, the better.
All proceeds of your debut event was donated to the Teenage Cancer Trust, was there a reason behind this particular charity?
Teenage Cancer Trust and any cancer based charity has always been important to me and my family as cancer is problem close to our hearts. Me and my dad chose this charity together as we felt that we wanted to support young lives.
You talk openly about the struggles with identity and acceptance, if you could give advice to an individual going through something similar, what would it be?
I’d probably say, try and be as open as possible to as many people as possible. The more people you talk to about your struggles, the better!! Never think you’re a burden to people, it’s mad how much one conversation with someone can change your outlook on everything.
You’re signed to an independent record label based in Liverpool, how important is championing the DIY music scene and why?
I think it’s so important to support your fellow smaller artists, after all every band or artist started somewhere. The more we all support each other the better the outcome. I think its also important to support photographers and other creatives that help push your music, that way we can all be a success together.
Any tour dates or festival appearances ICYMI should know about?
I’m playing Off The Record in Manchester in November. There is more to come but i have to keep secrets!
What is the biggest goal for you as an artist? What’s next in the pipeline for Abbie Ozard?
My biggest goal is probably to release an album and for it to be in Pitchfork or NME’S top 20. I don’t have any plans on stopping until i get to where i want to be and i’m prepared to work as hard as i can to get my music heard. The plan now is to keep releasing tunes and playing lots of gigs, i want to get to a point where people know most of the tunes in my set and can sing along, that would be the absolute dream.