Abbey Cone Speaks on Her Debut Project and Having a Clear Vision

To put it simply, Abbey Cone knows what she wants. Her first collection of music released under her name was dropped on April 22nd, but she had been holding onto the songs for a while because she originally planned to release them independently. “I wanted to cut my first project without a record label and for that to be what got me my record deal. I think my main desire was just to have back-to-back bangers, kind of?” She says with a subtle laugh. “I just wanted it to be undeniably good so that I could get a record deal.” In 2019, she was signed to The Valory Co., an imprint of Big Machine Label Group.

Despite putting out her introductory project a few weeks ago, Cone is anything but an amateur when it comes to the music industry. She started taking voice lessons when she was six after, and as a Texas native, she grew up playing mini Grand Ole Opry stages across the state. When she was 12 she visited Nashville for the first time and realized songwriting was a real-life career people had. Four years later, at the age of 16, she got scored her first-ever publishing deal.

Cone revealed herself in October 2021 with her first single, “Rhinestone Ring.” Although the track was written before the times of COVID, Cone found new meaning in it later on. “I decided that ‘Rhinestone Ring’ should be the first song to come out because I felt like it kind of paralleled the pandemic. The point of ‘Rhinestone Ring’ is realizing you don’t need as much as you thought you did,” Cone tells The Nash News. “I thought that was similar, maybe, to what some people had experienced or found out about themselves throughout the pandemic.”

Initially, Cone didn’t even plan on dropping singles. Hate Me was originally supposed to come out in June of 2020 and as the timeline shifted, she figured it made sense to have tracks that preceded the collection. “I just like to listen to what the response is from releasing the songs and go from there,” she states. “So I actually enjoyed releasing singles rather than the whole project ‘cause it let me ease back into it after two years of not doing anything and then also not ever having released music before.”

Photo credit: Bethany Reed

Another pre-release, “King Of The World,” details dealing with someone who’s self-centered and intensely narcissistic. It was the oldest song on the EP, Cone had written it over five years ago and it was penned within 45 minutes. After it was done; she and her co-writers, Aaron James Babcock and Pete Good, never made any edits; it was exactly how it was meant to be. She comments on the track exclaiming, “It’s really just super true. It wasn’t hard to write that song because it was from such a real experience.”

“King Of The World" features clever and headstrong lyrics that appear in each chorus, “You’re only king of the world / ‘Cause your world is so damn small.” What also makes it sticks out amongst its peers on the tracklist are the polished, sassy hums in between some of the lines. “I love little intricate background parts,” Cone remarks. “I think I’ll do that forever.”

It's also important to note that on this first project from Cone, she had her hand in nearly every aspect of its making. She co-produced it alongside Nathan Spicer and has writing credits on every entry. She also co-created and co-directed it and all the behind-the-scenes efforts. She speaks about her thought-out creativity saying, "I think I just realized if I don't have a vision for myself, then somebody will tell me what their vision for me is and I don't want that. I just try to have desires." She pauses and then adds, "Especially being a female in this industry."

Cone makes it known that she's not only an advocate for herself, but for her art and the detailed vision she has for it. She also commends the team around her that is ready to help her in various ways once she gets an idea that she wants to see through.

Although her first collection is fresh, Cone was named one of Pandora's 10 Country Artists to Watch in 2022 and was inducted into CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2020. As for the accomplishments she hopes to achieve with the first six songs under her name, she says, "First and foremost, I want people to respect me as a true artist and musician, you know? I try to do the social media thing as well as I can, but I always wanted to be considered a musician and a songwriter and an artist first."

She adds to her statement,"I think, as a person that could have potential fans, I just would like to make people feel seen and heard." Her debut certainly does that as it encompasses various emotions that people, especially young women, can identify with. From the irresistible and flirty opener "In A Room With You," to the vulnerable confessions found in "The One," to the burning and audacious title track that closes the project out. "It is a lot about the full spectrum of love so I hope that, no matter where everyone is on that spectrum, they can find themselves somewhere in these songs," Cone tells us.

This year, Cone is slated to open for Maddie & Tae on the All Song No Static Tour presented by CMT Next Women of Country. Cone was the support at a few Brittney Spencer shows, but this is her first real rodeo."The biggest thing I'm excited for on this tour with Maddie & Tae is learning from them. I'm just excited to be a sponge, learn, and experience things," she states passionately. "I'm excited to soak it all in and get more confident on stage and keep going from there."

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