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Home UkuleleNews UkeCon Fest is happy to welcome: Abby Lyons!

UkeCon Fest is happy to welcome: Abby Lyons!

by Marialejandra Araujo

A pop/folk singer-songwriter who plays piano, ukulele, and sings. This is Abby Lyons! She’s inspired by songwriters like Dodie, Sara Bareilles, old-school Taylor Swift, and musicals! Never took voice lessons, but her mom is a voice teacher so she got a lot of tips and advice while growing up.

Abby Lyons is one of the artists invited to our UKECON Festival 2022, so let’s bring Abby Lyons to this writing stage!

Abby Lyons, tell me about your Ukulele story?

I picked up the ukulele because I saw a lot of my friends were getting ukuleles and it looked like a lot of fun!! I also thought it would be a good instrument for songwriting, because since it was totally new to me, I could experiment with it more.

How did you get started with music and what led you to the ukulele?

I grew up in a musical family and my siblings and I started learning at a young age. We were singing all the time as kids and then I began playing piano when I was four. Later I picked up the oboe in 4th grade and guitar in 6th grade. I wrote my first song when I got my guitar. I majored in oboe performance in college and continued playing piano, but not so much guitar. When my friend, Ilene, got a ukulele and dressed up as Taylor Swift for Halloween, I was inspired to get my own. My parents got me a little yellow one for my 21st birthday!

Who are your role models in the Ukulele world?

Someone who really inspired me to play ukulele more was Dodie Clark. I got my ukulele when I was 21 and wrote songs here and there on it, but a few years later was when I really started to play and use it way more. I found her YouTube videos and saw how much potential the ukulele had as a songwriting instrument, plus I just became enchanted by it.

Where do you get your creative inspiration from?

I would say my creative inspiration comes from the typical places, which is basically just life itself. I get inspired to write mostly about relationships, since those seem to be the most rewarding and challenging parts of life. The relationships I write about tend to be about romantic partners, friendships, my relationship to fame, and life in general.

I also get creative inspiration from other performers, whether they’re good or bad. Admiring other peoples’ work can be very inspiring. If I hear a good song, it can motivate me to want to write.

The same is true for a bad song. The very first time I wrote a song, it was because I was listening to someone’s song and then thought, “That’s not the way it’s supposed to go.” I paused the recording and then sang the melody that I thought should come next.

What 3 tips can you give to people that are starting to learn and improve on the ukulele?

  1. Slow practice cures most, if not all, problems.
  2. Findagoodteacher(inpersonisalwaysbetter,ifyoucanmakethe commitment)
  3. Keepyourwristinalignmentwithyourarm,notbentinwardor extended outward.

Read more: Meet Andrew Molina, one of the artists invited to the UKECON Fest 2022!

What lessons have you learned from being a performer/influencer/musician?

I’ve learned that even after all these years as a performer, I almost always get nervous for a performance. I’ve seen that even after writing over a hundred songs, I still feel like I might not be able to write another one. I’ve learned that being an influencer feels more or less the same, whether you have 60k subscribers or 100. I know that my role as a performer is insignificant compared to the message that is behind the music. I’ve learned that you can’t necessarily see the impact of music, but you can trust that it has the same effect on others as it has on yourself.


What are you excited about for the UKE-CON Summer Ukulele Festival?

I’m very excited to meet people in person!! There are several people who I’ve known online for years and this will be the first time I get to see them “live.”

What are you most looking forward to at UKE-CON?

I’m looking forward to hearing the performances and workshops by my other uke-friends!

Tickets are almost sold out! Do you have any words to the attendees (both in person and virtual)?

That’s amazing!! Forget about everything else for one day and throw your whole self into this experience!! It’s going to be awesome!

UKE-CON is a great opportunity for people to connect with their ukulele teachers/artists/mentors. What do you like the most about being part of this one-of-a-kind ukulele community?

I love that the ukulele community is so supportive. We truly have a lot of passion and respect for this small instrument. As my friend, Angie, said, “This small instrument has opened a lot of doors!” That’s true for me, and I think it’s true for a lot of people.


What are you currently working on (professionally and personally) that you are excited about?

Currently I am very excited to be working with a band and ultimately record my third album of original songs. I am very proud of my songwriting on these ones and I feel like this will be the best album yet!

I am also recording vocals for TV shows, including season 2 of The Wheel of Time, David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, and others. I am also looking forward to hearing lyrics I wrote for a song by Lorne Balfe on the show, Pennyworth.

Other than that, I am happily living in Chicago near my family again. I enjoy tinkering around my apartment, drinking tea, meditating, and watering my plants, which hopefully won’t die while I am at this Ukulele Festival (shoutout to my downstairs neighbor who is going to take care of them).

What is your favorite quote or words of wisdom can you share with us?

“This too shall pass”.

Share one funny story about yourself that most people don’t know.

One time my family and I were driving home from getting haircuts and my dad was telling us about the difference between the words, “less” and “fewer.” He said you use the word, “less,” when you’re talking about so many things that you can’t count them or quantity. “Less jello,” for example. He said you use the word, “fewer,” when you can count them. “Fewer ukuleles,” for example. “So,” he said, “after a haircut, you would say that now you have less hair.” My dad is partially bald so I said, “Would it be fewer for you?”

How can people learn more about you and reach out to you? Do you have a website/store/channel where people can find your content?

You can go visit my Patreon page and support my conent there. Thanks!

Awesome!!! We’re really excited to see you at the UKE-CON Festival 2022 in San Diego, California, on August 27th.

Preparing the engines in 3……… 2……… 1……!

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