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Check Out ABI’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to ABI. 

Hi ABI, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I moved to Phoenix summer of 2018 to pursue my passions. I had just been newly licensed in cosmetology about 7 months before this and wanted to put myself in a position to work independently to financially support my music career. Having a negative experience with both of those careers so soon, I was determined to do it my way. I found a job in a salon in Old Town Scottsdale and worked for about 7 months building a clientele for my own until I moved into my own suite April 2018. In the meantime, I was networking almost every other weekend and just putting myself out there in the entertainment industry, I knew exactly where to go to find the popular kids and it was only a matter of time before I met the people I needed to. Eventually, I did a show at the Pressroom with the investment group BBI, bringing Saweetie here Oct 2019. Because I couldn’t legally perform due to a contract I was waiting to expire, I hired the local opening artists instead and worked behind the scenes. Being a female in the industry, I purposely wanted to gain the respect as a businesswoman rather than an artist, first. Nobody knew that I was the entertainment. I enjoyed that people were intrigued by my business ventures and my humor that I so willingly showed on social media, but they didn’t really know the other half. The deeper parts of me and the artist inside of me. I knew I needed to build real connections for both music and hair but it was important for me to maintain a standard and my own culture with both, as I’m not into the superficial game these industries can comes with and people using each other for personal gain. My trial and error has taught me plenty of discernment over all these years. February 20, 2020, I dropped a surprise single, RARE with no planning, no marketing, and no paid streams. It organically reached 15k streams in 30 days. That’s when I knew I could do music on my own, I just needed a plan and money. I dropped a few more songs in 2020 just to gain data and then went into hiding again with my music. A year later in January 2021, I opened Soul Salon & Spa, a 1700sq foot salon where I do hair, sound healing, give back to the homeless community monthly, and educate other licensed cosmetologists. The goal with my salon was to be able to not only bring community together and provide me more financial opportunity but to also fund my music as it costs money and time to put together professional work, especially independently. I want to showcase all of me- not just as a businesswoman and entrepreneur but the singer, writer, musician, actress, dancer, director, and creative me. I love bringing visions to life with both hair and music, they’re stories to be told, and regardless of my success I know I’ll always reach those who need my work or voice. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My road has been rocky, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I moved to this state with my partner of 4 years, and we split just 1 month after I moved my entire life here. I had no car, no home, no job, and no money. I invested my last $600 into my business and made magic happen. The rest is history. I could write a book (and am) on my life experience and how I got where I am now, especially my short time in Arizona. Most get uncomfortable when I tell the ugly stories but I’m very open about my struggle as much as my success. That breakup was the best thing to happen to me, and nothing compared to real loss I’ve endured, but I will never forget that day and the promises I made myself. There’s levels to this life and with each one comes new battles. I always make sure to be transparent with my audience of the real blood, sweat, and tears that goes into entrepreneurship whether it’s music or you’re building/running your own business. With social media, we usually only see the vacations and the designer cars… the highlights. I always make sure to show the losses as any real entrepreneur knows it’s just as much struggle as it is success. You can only cross the finish line by taking a step and some steps you will miss big time; you must be okay with that. With being vulnerable, with failing, with being wrong. If the passion in what you do is strong enough you will overcome any battle, as you were prepared perfectly for it. 

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
For my hair business, I do a specific type of work but my overall specialty is color. I am known for my color knowledge in diverse textures and all types of hair. I pride myself on the diversity of my salon. I also teach business as I’ve built my own course for other licensed professionals in the industry who want to work independently. I am slowly starting to incorporate my spirituality into my business as I now offer sound healing and have other intuitive employees who offer services in that realm. I also give back to the community every month whether it’s to the homeless physically or to a children’s organization financially. I think it’s really important to give back to the community as a business owner and I love having a safe space for community to gather. For music, I am not known for anything other than my strong and raspy singing voice. I do not fit into a genre and I hope I never do. I write my own music and I’m very adamant about being authentic with anything mt name is on. When I release my project this coming spring of 2022, I want to show my skills in all areas like I talked about above – singing, dancing, acting, and directing. This project is one of the most important ventures I’ve ever done in my life as I’ve waited years to be able to make music on my own terms and showcase it how it’s deserved. I could care less on the success of it as long as it is true to me. Although, I think I’m capable of much more than people here know and am ready to shake the industry up. 

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
As a child, I was always outgoing, the class clown. I was a free spirit and always doing what I wanted. A lot of the times I was getting in trouble in class for talking. I hate being controlled and told what to do, I never got the rules. I grew up singing karaoke trying to hide that I enjoyed it. On school field trips I was always having rap battles with the boys (and winning by the way). I spent a lot of time and years on sports and although I enjoyed them, I wish I would’ve taken the opportunities I was given for music to enhance those skills instead. I never truly knew what I wanted to do as a child, I just knew that I was going to be very successful at whatever I did. Growing up in such a small, rural area, I didn’t even know that it would be possible for me to ever do music or half of the things that I’ve accomplished at my age. If there’s something, I could tell myself looking back, it would be to dream bigger… way bigger. 

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